Visible but innaccessible partition under Windows XP

Greetings, ill make it as short and clear as possible.

I've got a 120 Go HD, with 2 partitions. My OS used to be installed on the first partition. I used PerfectDisk in order to defrag it. After a reboot, the system would not boot anymore. In order to diagnose the problem, I installed Windows XP on a spare HD I had.

Now I can see the two partitions fine now. However, the first partition is virtually innacessible. After a long lag time (trying to fetch information from it i guess), Windows tells me that the partition is not formated, and wheter I should format it now ... of course I dont, ive got plenty of usefull data that I want to keep !

I tried using partition magic in order to merge both partitions, in hope of getting the data back. No luck. With the same lag time, PM finally pops up, and it seams it has not succeeded in getting the name of the partition. However, PM sees it as being a NTFS partition.

Now is there in way to diagnose the problem ? Getting my data back ?

Pointers would be greatly appreciated.
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Hello ftrudeau =)

You have to format the drive i think at this stage =\
But before that you can try using one of the tool below to check if you can recover that data or not!

PC Inspector:


OnTrack DataRecovery:


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I would try recovering the data with PM built in file browser (it is slow) and then use a disk checker to see if you hd is hooped. For Maxtor hd's get Powermax, for Western Digital drives get WDDiag; both of which create a bootable floppy that will tell you if your hard drive is any good or not.
Hope this helps.
I have had the same problem before and had to install the drive on a system running Windows 2000 Advanced Server (although I believe any version of Win2000/2003 should do it). Never did figure out exactly what stopped me from accessing the data, but I am fairly certain it was the NTFS portion not allowing me access due to some incompatibility. Once I put it on the Win2k machine, I just imported foreign drive and it was recognizable. I transfered all the data off of the drive, formatted it, and put it back into the original machine. Then I loaded the OS. Havent had a problem since.
If you actually take this advice, be wary of what you do in Disk Manager inside Win2k. There are warnings that it will give you when you do certain things to the drive. Read them closely, and dont do anything that may overwrite the data until you have checked here, or found a help file that explains it well enough that you can be certain the data will be left alone. Sometimes a "May overwrite data" statement means "definitely will".
Dont know if this helps you in your situation, but it did solve my problem.
ftrudeauAuthor Commented:
Sorry for the delay. Yes, I ended up formated my drive. Thanks for the tips.
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