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Partition data lost using fixmbr

Posted on 2004-10-12
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Hi folks

As you see from the title, I had problems on my HDD which had system files on the primary partition and data on the extended partition.
As a last resort to get the drive to boot, I ran Fixmbr without realising that the partition data would be lost.
I have managed to recover part of the data with Ontrack's easyrecovery but the directory structure is lost, along with the filenames and, it seems, some of the files.  

There is a lot of data and it will take weeks to go through it all and rename the files.  In addition, certain time-sensitive files were held in directories named as dates.  These dates were the only references to the time-frame of the files and I need to recover the directory names if at all possible.

I have not carried out any operations on the drive other than running easyrecovery with the raw data recovery option.

I have seen sirbounty's list of recovery progs but I get the impression from opinions expressed on this site that I have used the best of the bunch already.

Can you help, please?

Many thanks
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Question by:morse57
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8 Comments
 
LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:katacombz
ID: 12287986
try this,

boot to a windows 98 floppy, if you don not ahve one you can download one at www.bootdisk.com

once at a command prompt type fdisk /mbr  
it should hesitate then return to a command prompt
repeat the command 3-4 times the reboot and see if it repairs the master boot record on the  drive

then it would be a good idea to cun a chkdsk /r from the recovery console.

when dealing with these type of problems it is always good to make a ghost back up of the corrupted disk as sometimes trial and error will prevail and some attempts to recover data can make the issue worse.
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LVL 2

Author Comment

by:morse57
ID: 12295663
Thanks, but the partition was formatted under NTFS, so Win98 won't help, will it?

Sorry, should have made that clear.

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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:AlexGGG
ID: 12296551
CHKDSK is typically not a good idea. Most like a casino dice game. It makes changes to the volume, and making incorrect changes will worsen the situation (and you have no rollback feature in CHKDSK/NT). As katakombz mentioned, there is some sort of voting, and if the majority of data is damaged, the correct data will be voted out completely. Oversimplified (it is actually a rather complex process), but I hope you get the drift.

I suggest you search for some data recovery tools other than Ontrack's EasyRecovery and try them out. They typcially allow some evaluation before requiring money for you. Being an author of one myself, I feel not in postion to advise on specifics :)
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:katacombz
ID: 12297454
yes the fdisk on a win 98 boot disk will work
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Accepted Solution

by:
Swylen earned 1000 total points
ID: 12299848
Maybe the backup MBR and file structure is OK still.
I got a NTFS drive back using testdisk. http://www.cgsecurity.org/ 

It scanned the physical drive and allowed me to load the NTFS backup MBR file and write it back to the front. When I rebooted I had my drive back.
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LVL 9

Assisted Solution

by:cooledit
cooledit earned 1000 total points
ID: 12300794
hi, there

Here is how to get your data back. Follow the instructions on this page + download the tools.

http://www.partitionsupport.com/
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LVL 2

Author Comment

by:morse57
ID: 12305781
Thanks guys - I'll try those and let you know.
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LVL 2

Author Comment

by:morse57
ID: 12461748
Thanks for all your help.
I was able to recover the partition but not the files, thanks to Swylen and tools linked to by Cooledit helped to recover the most important files.  I have lost important date information in the folder structure, but at least I have the files back.

Thanks again
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