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Secondary hard drive is recognized but can't get access to the data.

Posted on 2004-09-17
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Last Modified: 2010-04-03
Hi,

I originally had XP professional and a second hard drive both formatted as NTFS, both drives are IDE. I installed Windows 98 and then re-installed XP over the top leaving the C drive as FAT32 and the second drive as NTFS. I then found that I could not gain access to the data my second drive. The second drive is picked up which is verified in Device Manager and in Disk Management XP tells me that the drive is 'unallocated'. The data is definately there as I used two independant data recovery programs to view the files on the drive. Both programs have determined that there exists an extended partition that is logical NTFS but cannot seem to read the partition information. I converted the C drive to NTFS as someone told me that XP will only see a second NTFS formatted drive if the C drive was also NTFS but this had no effect. I considered recreating the partition but was unsure as to whether this would make matters worse. i understand that this is a common problem but have as yet not found a solution. Any ideas??


System;
AMD Duron 1ghz
OS, XP Professional
256Mb Ram
20 Gb Primary
40 Gb Seconday
 
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Question by:Stewart41
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20 Comments
 

Expert Comment

by:Sixtech
ID: 12088638
Hello,

You should not repartition the second drive. This will destroy the data on the unit.
First try the following:
Reinstall XP by booting directly to the CD.
When it asks for verification of your other operating system follow the instructions and put in the Win98 CD.
On the install screen delete the primary partition that you had xp on prior.
Create a new partition and this time make it ntfs ( quick will work )
Once the OS is installed see if you can access the other drive.

If not you might want to check out www.ontrack.com. They have some tools that I believe will allow you to pull the data off the unit.

Good luck
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Author Comment

by:Stewart41
ID: 12089328
Can you clarify exactly what you mean by booting to the CD? I don't know of this procedure to install operating systems. Can you give me a bit more info.

Thanks
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Expert Comment

by:Sixtech
ID: 12089545
Sorry I should have been more clear. The xp cd should be bootable. You will probably need to set your boot order in bios to
1 floppy
2 cd
3 hard disk
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Expert Comment

by:Jeff Rodgers
ID: 12089598
Is the drive being considered as foreign media??? Try importing the disk in disk manager.
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:pegasys
ID: 12090686
Windows XP is backwards compat with FAT, FAT-16 and FAT-32. Problem is Windows 9x isn't. It really doesn't like NTFS. This is why it won't boot. It looks like the Win98 bootloader is trying to run the XP boot.

Won't work.

Here's how you should do it, and in this order:

1) Install Win9x on 2nd HDU (or partition)
2) Install WinXP on 1st HDU (or partition)

THis will work,

regards

pgx();
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Expert Comment

by:tosh9iii
ID: 12092527
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Author Comment

by:Stewart41
ID: 12101634
Hi,
       Thanks for your help but could you clarify the actual procedure. My current boot order is floppy, cd rom, IDE-0.
Am I to assume I am to install windows 98 and then try booting from the XP pro CD? As far as I understand, the XP pro installation CD is not bootable in the sense I take you to mean it, i.e. it is not bootable in the same way that a windows 98 boot disk is bootable. Is this correct?

Regards,

Paul
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Expert Comment

by:tosh9iii
ID: 12120400
No, it is not correct.  The Windows XP CD "is" bootable, if you want to install it, put it in your cd drive.  In BIOS change the boot order so that the cd rom is first.

Do you want to have two operating systems (win 98 and win xp) or just one?
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Author Comment

by:Stewart41
ID: 12122439
Hi,
This is what I did to ensure a boot from the CDROM only:
1. Changed the boot order to: CDROM,Disabled,Disabled.
2. Changed the Try Other Devices to No
3. Rebooted the machine. It tried to boot from the CDROM and then came up with a Boot Failure message.

 I am using a copy of my XP installation CD  ( lost my original ), is this what is causing the problem? Incidentally I only want XP on my machine.

Thanks,
Paul
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Author Comment

by:Stewart41
ID: 12123108
Hi,
As a follow-up, as mentioned in my original post, I tried converting from FAT32 to NTFS using Partition Magic. This had no effect on my being able to read my second drive. Is this because I did it the 'quick' way? Will re-installing XP as NTFS from scratch make any difference as seems to be suggested? If I am installing from scratch I appear to have two options:
1. Install Windows 98 first and then XP on top using NTFS
2. Boot from the XP CD and install without using Windows 98

   Does my problem stem from the fact that I am installing Windows 98 first and then XP over the top?

Thanks,
Paul.
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Expert Comment

by:tosh9iii
ID: 12148614
"I am using a copy of my XP installation CD  ( lost my original ), is this what is causing the problem? Incidentally I only want XP on my machine"

Most likely, yes it is causing the problem, but I can't say with absolute certainty.


Even though you can't use your copy of windows xp to boot up, can you use it to install Windows XP? If so, then all you need is a bootable disc or floppy.

Go to this webpage, scroll down to "Windows XP Setup Disk Sets"and click on the one that pertains to you.

http://www.bootdisk.com/bootdisk.htm
 
Basically use the floppy disks to boot up, then use the cd to install windows xp.
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Author Comment

by:Stewart41
ID: 12171329
Hi, I tried as you suggested and I still do not get any joy! Here's what I did:

1. Used fdisk to delete all partitions on the C drive and cleared the MBR for good measure.
2. Used the XP setup floppy disks to boot the computer.
3. On the installation options I chose to create a partition of a specified size and formatted it as NTFS.
4. Finished installing XP. Tried to access my second drive in XP and it is still coming up as 'unallocated'.

Where do I go from here?

Thanks,
Paul.
0
 
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Expert Comment

by:tosh9iii
ID: 12194511
So basically, you're back where you started.  

Windows XP is installed on the first hard drive, but you can't access your second hard drive.

You've already tried some recovery software but none of them really worked.

It's not looking too good, but I'll see what I can dig up to help you.
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Expert Comment

by:tosh9iii
ID: 12208694
Got any news?  Any new changes?

I'm pretty much empty handed, but I did come across this webpage that I thought you might find interesting:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1143957/posts
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Author Comment

by:Stewart41
ID: 12222639
Hi again! I'm currently investigating the hard drive with Microsoft's dskprobe utility. I found www.ntfs.com a good source of information and am slowly beginning to find my way around disk data structures and NTFS partitions! A slight correction to the above, I have used 2 demo versions of data recovery software, both told me that the data is there but recovery using these programs is limited to 64k size files! It's looking like the partition table in the MBR is suspect, the partition boot sector looks intact and matches the NTFS backup copy. I am determined to find a solution to this problem, if nothing else other than to gain an understanding of what is actually causing the problem so that I can fix it if it happens again! I'll keep you posted as I go along.

Paul.
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Author Comment

by:Stewart41
ID: 12267705
Hi All. Finally cracked it! Using dskprobe I was able to build up a picture of the disk data structures and compare the one on the faulty drive with good ones. The data on the second drive turned out to be on an NTFS primary partition as opposed to Extended as previously thought. I eliminated the possibility of a faulty partition boot sector by comparing with the backup that NTFS keeps on the same drive. This meant that the error had to be in the partition table of the MBR. The error turned out to be the data representing the System Indicator in the partion table entry, it was reading 00h ( None ) instead of 07h for an NTFS partition. I put in the correct value, saved the MBR back to the drive and voila, full access to all my data! I still have no idea what could have caused the problem in the first place but at least I know what to do if it ever occurs again! Thanks for all your input.

Paul.
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Expert Comment

by:tosh9iii
ID: 12284067
Honestly, I thought that it was practically impossible to recover the data, but you did it, congratulations.

Tosh
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