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Post PartitionMagic Merge "Disk Read Error has Occurred"

This question could be relevant to: http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Q_20934821.html.  

I have been running ArcGIS with HAZUS-MH software (natural hazard analysis software, besides the point) and needed to get back the additional 21.06 GB on my 160GB HD.  I ran PartitionMagic and merged the two drives together and after the merge process, I got the "Disk Read Error has Occurred" C+A+D.  

I have XP, one HD, and plenty of data that I cannot loose (senior thesis deadline coming up soon).  I read in the other post that emsaddict was able to browse the 160GB HD from an additional drive.  Should I go and buy an additional HD to avoid too much trouble?

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tigerlight04
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tigerlight04
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CallandorCommented:
I would say get another drive if this data is as important as you say it is.  No sense wishing later on that you had backed it up, and it won't cost you an arm and a leg.  What version of Partition Magic do you have, and have you used Partition Magic before?
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tigerlight04Author Commented:
It's version 8.0.  I have not used it for years, so for all purposes, no.  
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CallandorCommented:
If you run PM again to look at the drive, what does it report as the size of the partition?
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tigerlight04Author Commented:
More of a novice in this area....

Should I put in the XP cd to get in?  Then look at PM?  

...Currently planning on going to CompUSA for an ATADrive in the morn.
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CallandorCommented:
If you can't boot into XP, you are going to have a problem backing up the data.  I would advise getting the new drive, installing XP on it, and then hooking up this drive to it as a slave and copy data off it (if you can).  Only after backing up your data should you attempt to fix the partition, in case it goes bad.
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tigerlight04Author Commented:
Aparently most stores aren't open on Easter Sunday.  That solution will have to wait until tomorrow.  In the meantime, I will try putting the drive in another machine as a slave to make sure the data is still on there.
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tigerlight04Author Commented:
I did not buy a second hard drive.  But, I used a friend's hard drive (He has the same mother board, video card so it booted fine in my system) to run my system.  My hard drive is still showing two partitions: 149GB and 20GB.  Neither of those drives are accessable, and show 100% free.  
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CallandorCommented:
It looks like you have a serious partition table problem.  Your first order of business will be to recover what you need from those drives, before trying to fix the partitions.  Buy another drive to copy the data to, and then try one of these file utilities: http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Q_20900970.html
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