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How to determine is data is accessable?

Posted on 2004-10-03
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Last Modified: 2010-04-03
Win 2K Pro OS. Started PC and got error that files were missing/corrupt in Winnt/system dir, and drive wouldn't boot.

Tried using ERD and some sound files were missing, and still no access to drive. Tried to re-install OS fromCD, but it wouldnt do it without re partitioning/reformatting, and or overwriting MyDococuments, etc... I also tried adjusting drive jumpers as slave, and tried accessing drive in another system. Bios saw it, but WIN 98 didn't see it at all. Is their anything to try first before considering exspensive data recovery? Any solid helpwouild be greatly appreciated as there is very imp data/files on this drive.
I do not care about the drive as much asthe data.

Thanks in advance.
skullguy
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Question by:skullguy
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huntersvcs earned 250 total points
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W98 can't see it because it's probably formatted NTFS.  Boot from the W2K CD and select repair from console.  This should mount the NTFS partition to at least enable you to copy your files to a FAT32 or other partition safely.

After you have done this you can repeat the process to see if the repair (without console) gets the system back up and running.  BUT FIRST SAVE YOUR DATA!  ERD doesn't work with W2K.  

Leave the jumpers alone unless you want to save the data to another drive - then the W2K drive should set to MASTER before you use the CD to mount the NTFS partitions.  As long as the NTFS partitions have not been damaged, you can use NTFSPRO instead of the W2K CD to mount the partitions no matter how they have been jumpered.  Remember, you can always reinstall the OS - but the OS isn't nearly as important as your DATA!

Keep in mind:  your files; emails and addresses; any outlook data; databases from various programs; FONTS; etc.

If you can get the NTFS partition mounted, you can at least then check:

boot.ini -
[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT="Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional" /fastdetect

Hope this helps.
Rick
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by:AlexGGG
AlexGGG earned 250 total points
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First of all, be advised that any operation that writes to the disk may make things worse. This involves CHKDSK runs. Running CHKDSK is in fact an all-or-nothing game. After CHKDSK processing, the data will be either dead or alive (and I can't place any bet based on your initial post), but likely there will be no second chance to correct the situation (if it fails).

Liilte to no information regaring the extent of the damage to the drive can be learned from your initial post. You mention system refuses to boot referring to the system directory corruption. This can mean two things - either Windows directories are damaged (limited damage), or the whole drive is damaged (extensive damage). But there is no way to differentiate between these two based on what you provide.

I suggest you first try the following:
1. Get a working Windows 2000 installating on some other computer (install it if you don't have one readily available).
2. Attach the damaged drive to that working installation.
3. Boot to that working installation and check if you can access the drive from there.
 
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