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Computer Crash Killed My Drives

Hi,

Yesterday I had a major  crash. I was working on my computer. I had just installed 2 new pieces of software: Office 2003 and Norton Systemworks 2006. I needed to shut down my computer to install a new KVM switch. I shut down normally through Windows without a problem. I installed the new KVM switch (a TrendNet 4 port KVM) and rebooted. Upon reboot, POST told me that the drive was not able to be read. I rebooted many times with no luck. I tried everything I knew and nothing worked. Then I put another hard disk in (a spare I had lying around). There was no OS loaded on it so I put in an XP disc to try and load it. The XP loading program told me there was a problem with the drive and it was not compatible with XP. I never saw a message like this before. I put in another spare drive and I got the same result!

Now I have discovered that my Maxtor One Touch 250 GB USB external drive, which was connected to my computer at the time, is also not readable. I have hooked it up to TWO separate computers. They recognize the USB device as a Maxtor One Touch but NOTHING shows up in My Computer or Explorer. There's no drive there. It's as if there's no hard drive inside the case.

I'm totally baffled. What could have happened with my computer that would have killed all these drives? I was having NO problems up until all of this happened yesterday.

The worst part is that the external USB Maxtor was my backup drive and had ALL my backups on there! I'm screwed if I can't get it to work.

PLEASE somebody help. Does anyone know how this could have happened or if there is a way to fix it? I don't care about fixing the computer, I just want the drives back!

Thanks in advance.

Rob
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noob23
Asked:
noob23
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4 Solutions
 
Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
is the KVM removed?

run your orginal machine WITHOUT anything attached....what is the result?

(side note....if you need data recovery  http://www.gillware.com $379)
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noob23Author Commented:
The computer was always on a KVM switch.

Besides, I hooked up both drives to 2 different computer and had the same results.
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noob23Author Commented:
In fact, upon your recommendation, I just hooked up the USB Maxtor to a 3rd machine NOT on a KVM. Same problem. No drive shows up.
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MarkCommented:
With the external drive attached to the computer that recognized it. Go to  disk management. To get there click START-->RUN  type in "diskmgmt.msc" without the quotes. In here see if the drive is recognized and given a drive letter.
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noob23Author Commented:
Yes it's there! I see it but it's unallocated. What the heck happened??? All my backups were on here! Do you have any idea how this could have happened? What could the "broken" computer have done to my drives? Is there a way to recover the data without sending them to a data recovery center?
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
if it's unallocated.. probably needs a

fix /mbr
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
Here's instructions that mention W2k.. but applies to XP as well.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/q229716/
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noob23Author Commented:
Am I supposed to do this on the original "broken" computer?

I have now set up a new computer with XP. The original "broken" one is still sitting here. It has W2K, not XP.

Please tell me what to do. Do I perform the fix /mbr on the old computer?

Thanks.
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MarkCommented:
If your important data is on the external, I would concetrate on that first. Here is a link to the microsoft article to give it a drive letter http://support.microsoft.com/kb/297694/en-us
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noob23Author Commented:
Well the internal drive is important too. Can I intall it into my new computer and do the fix /MBR on it there? Do you think I'll get both drives back to life and get the info off of them?
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MarkCommented:
The fix/mbr solution is only used for a bootable drive, and since you now have another computer up and running you should try to access them from that computer rather than from a questionable computer that may have problems.
If you are putting the drives in another computer then you will have to jumper them  properly to be seen. Are they ide drives or SATA drives?

I just reread the question and the installation of norton systemworks may be at work here. Did you use any part of this program prior to your problem coming up.
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noob23Author Commented:
The only thing I did with SYstemworks prior to the crash is set it up on my computer and update via Live Update. I did half of a scan but decided to stop due to time constraints.

Please explain to me how I can get the data back. One drive is USB external and the other is an IDE internal. Do I just hook it up as the slave drive inside? And then what? Please help. THanks!

ROb
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MarkCommented:
Thats just what you do. Set the drive as a slave drive setting your jumpers properly on both master and slave,and putting the drive on the middle connector on the cable.
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nobusCommented:
in case you need recovery soft, here some links (most prefer Getdataback)
http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/collection/0,collid,1295,00.asp            Free Recovery
http://www.grc.com/spinrite.htm                              Spinrite
http://www.runtime.org/                                    GetDataBack
http://www.stellarinfo.com/                                    Stellar
http://www.bitmart.net/                                    Restorer 2000
http://www.snapfiles.com/get/restoration.html                        Restoration
http://www.snapfiles.com/get/activeundelete.html                  Active undelete
http://www.pcinspector.de/file_recovery/UK/welcome.htm                  pc Inspector
http://www.handyrecovery.com/download.shtml                        Handy Recovery
http://www.snapfiles.com/get/smartrecovery.html                  flash recovery
http://www.ontrack.com/                                    ontrack
http://www.ontrack.com/easyrecoveryprofessional/                  Easy Recovery
http://www.cgsecurity.org                                    Test Disk + utils
http://www.z-a-recovery.com/setup.exe                        zero assumption
http://www.stompsoft.com/recoverlostdata.html                        Recover Lost Data
http://www.recovermyfiles.com/                              RecoverMyFiles
http://techrepublic.com.com/5100-1035_11-1051391.html#            Disk Commander
http://us.mcafee.com/root/package.asp?pkgid=105                  EasyRecovery
http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/10031                        VirtualLab Data Recover
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FriarTukCommented:
have you tried booting with the boot cd, entering recovery mode, & trying fixboot then fixmbr?  It is very possible that NSysWks was accessing all drives on your system in order to work with them.  Stopping & shutting down may have corrupted your partition info.
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noob23Author Commented:
Sparkmaker: I did hook it up as a slave drive. It does not show up as a drive. How do I get the info off of it if it does not show up? It's as if the drive is not there. I have set up many computer with 2 internal drives, so I'm familiar with setting up masters and slaves, so that's not the problem. They are set up correctly. The problem is that the drive just doesn't show up. Is the drive dead? But how could both the internal and external drives be dead?

The external is hooked up now but only shows up in Disk Manager as an unallocated drive.

What do I do here? How can I get these drive recognized by Windows so that I can get the data off of them?

Friar Tuk:  I have never used the recovery mode. I have the Windows 2K CD. How do I do it?
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MarkCommented:
As far as the slaved ide it sounds like it bit the bullet. Can you see it in the bios.

The Other issue with the external, in the disk manager right click on the drive and try to allocate a drive letter for it. If you know what letter it was given in the original computer, that would be my choice.
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noob23Author Commented:
That would be bad if the internal is dead. I guess there's not much I can do about it.

So if it doesn't show up in the bios, it's totally dead?

External: I'm in Disk Manager now. The only options when I right click on it are Properties or New Partition. It doesn't offer the option to assign the drive letter. I'm afraid if I create a new partition it will just blank the drive. What should I do?
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MarkCommented:
Don't do anything, partitioning will destroy data.
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noob23Author Commented:
So I'm screwed?
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MarkCommented:
If the IDE isn't showing up in BIOS then the controller on the drive is probably cooked.

Your next decision depends on how crucial the data is on those drives. If its worth the money I would go with irwinpks original post and try Gillware. http://www.gillware.com/
You may try the external removed from the casing and setup directly to the motherboard controller as a slave drive. The important thing to remamber, is not to make any destructive actions such as partitioning and the like.

If its not worth the money , then you are looking at using recovery software.
Nobus has posted a long list of prospective programs earlier including these two, which are very popular.
 spinrite http://grc.com/spinrite.htm
And Callandors favorite GetDataBack http://www.runtime.org/ 

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nobusCommented:
you can try to revice your drives like this one, but NO guarantees it will work :

http://www.deadharddrive.com/                  replace hdd logic
http://hddguru.com/content/en/articles/2006.02.17-Changing-headstack-Q-and-A/
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
OR...refer to the FIRST comment of the thread... :-)
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FriarTukCommented:
here ya go noob23

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/229716/en-us      "2k recovery console"
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/301645/en-us      "2k how to use recovery console on pc that doesn't start"
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MarkCommented:
@FriarTuk-->If the hard drive isn't seen by the BIOS, how can the recovery console help?
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FriarTukCommented:
hey sparky

original stmt "POST told me that the drive was not able to be read"
he didn't say not detected, he said it couldn't read hence boot, therefore recovery console would come in handy when running diskpart, bootdfg, fixboot, or fixmbr.

i believe that came later when he tried to slave the drive.  on that note did he: a) make sure the jumpers were set as master & slave or both to cable select?  b) try setting bios to auto detect as well as set it manually? c) try the drive as a single master only in the other computer?

you asked him to run diskmgmt.msc & it showed the maxtor usb drive with drive letter but unallocated - this is the one he can try to repair.  i had a maxtor one touch, it was formatted in fat32, for sharing amongst different o/s's.  it was attached to an xp box, which when the disk defrag was run, corrupted the drive.  i was only able to recover about a third of the data.
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FriarTukCommented:
hey noob, what's the status?
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
split points with all participants
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