Lost 12GB of 20GB Hard Drive; Only 8GB Visible
Posted on 2004-08-19
I tried to install Windows 2000 Professional over Windows Millennium Edition (Me) on my Compaq Presario 4814 last month. Big mistake! I now know that this is an unsupported upgrade path for Windows, but I should have checked that out before I did the install. Here is the scenario and problem:
Three years ago I replaced the Compaq's original 2GB hard drive with a 20GB hard drive, which installed easily and has worked just fine with the Windows ME operating system for the past three years. In other words, all 20GB were always recognized and usable. Prior to attempting to install Windows 2000, I had about 12GB of data on this hard drive. There was only ONE partition on this drive.
During the Windows 2000 installation process, Windows 2000 scanned my hard disk and saw TWO partitions. One was 8GB of damaged or unformatted (free) space, and one was 12GB of used data. I was given a choice of partitions on which to install Windows 2000. Although I was about concerned that TWO partitions were seen, I went ahead and chose to install Windows 2000 on the 8GB damaged or unformatted partition because I knew that the 12GB partition contained all of my data. I was then asked which file system I wanted to use for Windows 2000, and I chose FAT32.
Anyway, there were errors during the installation process, and I was told to restart my computer. The computer would no longer boot past the "Compaq" screen, which now gave an error that said something like "NTDL Not Found". I don't remember quite what the message was. After unsuccessfully trying to boot in Windows 2000, I reinstalled Windows ME because I just wanted to at least recover my data. Unfortunately, Windows ME now only sees about 8GB of hard drive. I cannot access the other 12GB in any way, shape, or form, unless I use the demo version of Ontrack's EasyRecovery DataRecovery software, which does see about 20GB of data on my computer.
I'm frustrated because the data seems to be there somewhere, but I cannot touch it. And I don't want to have to buy software that is over $100.00 just to get it back. At the very least, I would like to be able to see in Windows that my hard drive is 20GB.
What happened here, and how can I fix it?
The computers specifications are as follows:
Compaq Presario 4814
266 MegaHertz Pentium MMX Processor
208 MegaBytes of RAM
20 GB Internal Hard Disk
Internal ZIP Drive
Internal CD-ROM Drive
Internal CD-RW Drive
I am unsure of the manufacturer of the hard disk, the BIOS, or the motherboard. However, I can tell you that the computer was purchased in August of 1997. That may help you to understand the characteristics of its hardware.