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Norton GoBack & Systemworks; Now drive not Recognized

Posted on 2006-05-16
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Last Modified: 2011-09-20
After installing and running Norton systemsorks, the computer wouldn't shut down properly. I turned off power and rebooted only to get a message that the \windows\system32\config file is corrupted or missing.

Couldn't get it to boot nohow! So, I installed a new boot drive and made the original a slave so I could transfer the information. But, the new operating system won't recognize the drive. It's visible in the bios and with the utiltiy Maxblast 4, but no drive letter is assigned.

Is there a way to assign a letter so I can get the data off?

I posed this question yesterday and got some good ideas, but nothing has worked so far. To reference the sequence of events, please look here:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Storage/Q_21850921.html#16693729 

That question is still open I assigning more points now and will gladly award all the points for a solution.
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Question by:ggrayman
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by:zephyr_hex (Megan)
zephyr_hex (Megan) earned 400 total points
ID: 16695980
to get the data off, use a bootable OS like BartPE or UBCD
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by:zephyr_hex (Megan)
ID: 16695986
by the way... norton goback stinks.  it causes FAR more headaches than it's worth.
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by:ggrayman
ID: 16695995
I am trying to find a way to make the cd recognized so I can get all the data off easily. All data is intact, I believe, and the drive works. Even Windows disk management sees the drive, but without a drive letter!
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 16696040
That's because of GoBack.

Try using a Knoppix CD and transferring the files off via FTP or Samba on the network or you can also use USB flash drives.
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by:zephyr_hex (Megan)
ID: 16696055
knoppix, bartpe, ubcd ... any of them should do the job
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by:ggrayman
ID: 16696057
I just looked that up. Isn't it only for Linux? This is XP Home Edition.
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by:ggrayman
ID: 16696066
Would you explain how this works and what I need to do, please?
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by:ggrayman
ID: 16696090
Will all the files be intact using this kind of solution?
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by:zephyr_hex (Megan)
ID: 16696111
you can use knoppix to boot up an xp machine.  you can copy files from your hard drive to an external drive or external device.
you may need to learn some unix in order to do it...

then there is BartPE.  it is not unix-based, but is the same concept as knoppix.  you would make your BartPE on a working computer following the instructions that tell you how to build it and burn it.  then boot up on that cd.  it is a bootable xp.  you will be able to copy your files to an external device or drive.
http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/

then there is UBCD.  it does the same type of thing as knoppix and bartpe.  i think bartpe is the easiest to use.  knoppix requires a huge download.  ubcd, as i recall, took a bit to put together.  bartpe is easy.

your other option is to remove the drive from your computer and connect it as a slave to a good computer.  you can transfer files that way.
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by:ggrayman
ID: 16696135
I tried connecting the drive as a slave in a good computer, but there is no drive letter. That's what I have been saying. MaxBlast4 sees the drive, but with no letter. So, there is no functionality - can't get at the files.

It sounds like this will prevent these bootable cd's from working as well.

If you would please look at the history in the first posing of the question cited in the opening comment above, you'll see what has happened. If you'll tell me that the bootable cd idea will work after reading that, I'll try it.

thanks!!!
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by:zephyr_hex (Megan)
ID: 16696151
if the data on the drive is retrievable, you will be able to get at it with a bootable OS.  i can't tell you for sure if it will work based on your situation.  you need to try it.  it will take you about 10min to make the bartpe cd, if that.

as for your situation, it's possible the partition table is blown on the drive.  in that case, it is unlikely you will be able to get your data back.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 16696157
Here's the thing - goback changes the partition type.  BartPE (last time I tried it - about 2 months ago) could not identify the disk type, so BartPE, as fantastic as it usually is, will NOT be usable in this case.  Linux (Knoppix), though it will realize it's not the right partition type, WILL read the partition and provide access to the files.  Then you can use Knoppix to transfer the files to flash drives and/or via a network.  

Yes, Knoppix IS Linux, but it runs ENTIRELY off a CD so there's nothing to install.  
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by:ggrayman
ID: 16696179
Would you supply a link for the Knoppix CD, please?
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by:zephyr_hex (Megan)
ID: 16696208
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Lee W, MVP earned 1600 total points
ID: 16696218
Here's a direct link to the ISO in English (there are four current versions, English DVD and German DVD, and English CD and German CD
http://www.kernel.org/pub/dist/knoppix/KNOPPIX_V4.0.2CD-2005-09-23-EN.iso

Those ending in EN.ISO are English.

If you don't know how to burn an ISO image, then post back and I'll post a link with a variety of instructions.

It's not difficult, but you'll probably need to ask a few questions once you boot to knoppix as by default, Knoppix only sets drives to Read-Only.  Knoppix reads NTFS fine, but CANNOT reliably write to NTFS so it's very difficult to enable (besides, you're not looking to enable it, so don't worry).  Configuring Samba can be a little daunting but it shouldn't be that difficult.  The EASIEST way to use it will be with a USB flash drive as that is simply a matter of enabling write to that (formatted as FAT32) which is not very difficult.  You can LIKELY also use a USB external hard drive, if you have one,PROVIDED it's formatted as FAT32.  

As I think about it, the EASIEST probable solution is to put the drive in another computer with a hard drive formatted as FAT32 - then you can just copy from one drive to the other without issue.

IF the partition table wasn't altered by GoBack, then you could use another Windows install or even BartPE, but since it does, you'd have to change it back.  There are ways you might be able to, but they are more risky if you are not an expert (and even if you are an expert).  Lastly, there's software I have used to convert it back to the correct type, it's not free, but it's not TERRIBLY expensive - it's called Partition Table Doctor (free version will identify your problems but not fix them).  You can check it out at www.ptdd.com
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by:ggrayman
ID: 16696255
I am downloading the file now. I don't know how to burn an ISO image. Please post instruction link.


What is SAMBA and I didn't follow the talk of "converting it back."
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 16696270
Instructions for burning an ISO.
http://iso.snoekonline.com/iso.htm
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 16696328
Linux is NOT Windows, just like a Hyundai is not a BMW.  They both do similar things but they work differently.  As such, Microsoft has it's own style of networking.  In order to allow Linux to connect to a Windows computer via a network, you need some kind of "interpreter".  Samba is that interpreter - but it must be told how exactly to speak to the Windows computer, which typically involves editing text files in my experience.  So this can be a little daunting.

There are several ways to format (prepare) a hard disk for use and store files on it.  Microsoft's first method was called FAT.  Microsoft modified this and enhanced it, creating FAT32.  Windows NT (which Windows XP is based on) introduced NTFS - the NT File System.  Together, these three file systems - FAT, FAT32, and NTFS are the ONLY systems Windows can typically recognize.  To know what kind of system you have, the computer saves this information to a special part of the hard disk using a two character code, for simplicity, we'll say FAT is 06, FAT32 is 0B, and NTFS is 07.  GoBack uses 44.  So when a Windows machine sees a 44 it says "hey, I don't have a clue what type that is" and will not assign it a drive letter.  You can, with special software, edit this setting directly and POSSIBLY revert it back to 07 (NTFS) instead of 44 and thus you enable it to be read by BartPE and other Windows machines again.  The program I linked you to, Partition Table Doctor, can revert it for you more safely than manually editing.

think of it like your brother is a person who speaks English and Spanish (FAT and NTFS) and is gagged and encased in box that is covered in Russian (Goback) writing describing the contents.  You (the Computer) have no idea what's in the case because you only speak English and Spanish - if you could find the person with the key to the box (Partition Table Doctor), he could open the box and you could see your brother (your data) again.

Does that help explain it any?  



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by:ggrayman
ID: 16696403
You explain very well. This might explain the cryptic message, 68 (44h), in MaxBlast under the "type" column which for other drives read NTFS.

One of the things we did to try to gain access to the drive was to run the fixboot and fixmbr commands. Might these commands have damaged the partition or allocation tables?

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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 16696413
They SHOULDN'T have, but when you've been working with computers long enough you learn not to be definitive, because while computers are logically, programmers make mistakes and computers only interpret what they told.  And even the hardware can sometimes be illogical (years ago, Pentium CPUs had a flaw (programmers!) that made them divide incorrectly!)
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by:ggrayman
ID: 16696435
Is SAMBA part of this gargantuan download?

From the process you described, I envision this knoppix booted computer accessing the drive, after which I must direct the data transfer using SAMBA to a FAT 32 drive for simplicity's sake.

Do I have it correct?


If so, I will need to work on this tomorrow. Will you be around at all?
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by:ggrayman
ID: 16696470
You mentioned the Partition Table Doctor. Would that simply change the Russian to ENglish or Spanish and obviate the need for the Knoppix fix and transfer?
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by:nobus
ID: 16696838
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 16696862
I will be around sporadically tomorrow.  

I may have confused you a little -

SAMBA is used to transfer data via a network.  If you have a network, Samba is potentially the easiest way to transfer the data over the network if you need to.

If you have a USB flash drive Samba is NOT used - the flash drive is connected locally to the computer - no network.

Partition Table Doctor COULD obviate the need for Knoppix by reverting the drive back to English or Spanish (following the analogy).  They do have a trial, so you can try it.  Attach the drive to another computer and install Partition Table Doctor (PTD) on that computer, then run it.  It should be able to tell you what it finds and then if you buy the program, it can correct it.  Once corrected, Windows should be able to read the drive and you can copy off the data on it using Windows.

A couple of months ago, a friend of mine had a similar problem.  We spent several hours working on this and ultimately, I believe I used PTD to correct the partition and put the drive in another computer which then assigned it a drive letter and freely moved things around.  Because of this experience, I know BartPE won't work on it and likewise, I know Knoppix WILL work on it.  And while knoppix is great and linux is great for a great many things, there are so many ways of doing things in it that it can be confusing - indeed, its flexibility can make it that much more complex which is, in part, why I can't just say "do this, do that, and you're done"

For reference by me and others tomorrow -

1.  How much data do you think you need to copy?
2.  Do you have USB flash drive(s) you can use?
3.  Do you have an external hard drive (USB)?  If so, do you know if it's formatted as NTFS or FAT AND is it empty enough that you COULD format it again (erasing all data on it) so that you can use it with Knoppix?
4.  Do you have a network of computers - even just one more - that this computer can connect to (presumably yes, you're using one now to read and respond to these comments).
5.  I can't PROMISE you that PTD would recover the drive back to the correct drive type, BUT, I would THINK it has a 90% chance of success.
6.  Have you considered calling Symantec and asking them how to recover this disk (I did not in my problem a couple of months ago - they MAY have another solution or a utility you can download from them that can fix this).
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by:f-king
ID: 16700356
Hi
the drive letter problem was caused because goback was previously installed on it and it was protecting the partition table ,by running fixboot and fix /mbr you might have corrupted it.
What you have to do now is reinstall goback on your new drive and on your systems reboot try to recover the partition table with the goback startup screen.Otherwise you will have to repartition the drive and format it again.

Hope this helps
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by:ggrayman
ID: 16700456
I tried nobus' suggestion of the Norton boot disk. It didnt' work. I got some boot error.

I tried the Knoppix. All the data is there!!!!!

In the previous post, you asked in question 3 if I have a drive I can reformat for use with Knoppix. I am assuming you mean to format in FAT32 so that Knoppix can write to it in a format that can be brought back into NTFS.

Is this correct?

I have an 80 gb drive that was a slave to the "bad" 40 gb drive formatted in NTFS. I plan to move all that data off the 80 gb drive temporarily onto a new 200 gb system disk, and reformat the 80 gb drive with FAT32.

I'll then install the 80 gb disk as a slave tot he "bad 40 gb drive. I will transfer the data from the "bad" 40 gb drive tot he 80 gb drive. Then I will remove the "bad" disk for later reformatting and use, replace the 200 gb drive and transfer all the restored data from the 80 gb drive to it.

I will then reformat the 80 gb drive with NTFS and return its original data and the restored data to it.

I outlined all this in case there are some functional limitations I don't know about that might alert me to.

I'll await your reply before proceeding.

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by:ggrayman
ID: 16700552
this Knoppix approach looks like it will work. It seems the only weak link is the reliability of Knoppix writing to the FAT32 formatted disk. Is this a major problem? Is the risk of this not working worth first pursuing the Partition Doctor option?

My feeling right now is that since you didn't sound completely sure about the Partition Doctor option, and since we know Knoppix see the data, that if the risk of failing to  write to FAT32 is not so great, that we should go with the Knoppix option.

What do you say?
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 16700596
Glad we're making progress.

Yes, that sounds fine - HOWEVER, before you go through all that data movement, try connecting the USB drive to the problem PC and boot knoppix - I don't THINK knoppix will see the drive without it being there when knoppix starts.  But the point is, you want to be certain knoppix will see the USB drive AND the internal hard drive - provided it does, you're good.  At that point, I'd disconnect the USB drive and go with your plan, copying off the data and formatting as FAT32.  Keep in mind, Win2000 and XP can only format FAT32 to 32GB.  they will read drives larger without issue. You can create multiple partitions on the drive, but it won't format beyond 32GB.  You can also use third party software to format the USB drive as FAT32 LARGER than 32GB.  

A note about nobus's suggestion and link - it's probably quite valid and appropriate - BUT, if this were ME at this point, I'd probably prefer to proceed as we have discussed.  We see the drive and all the data.  Now we just want to save the data.  Once we have the data off the machine and can confirm it's ok (as I strongly believe it is, but still, once copied off, verify some files randomly on another PC).   We can try other things with the drive that MIGHT fix it or MIGHT cause problems.  Everything we're doing is essentially read only, so no changes or corruption SHOULD happen.  Anything that's going to "fix" the disk is going to write to it and has the POTENTIAL (maybe not the probability but the potential) to cause further damage.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 16700615
I kinda answered your second comment, at least partly, in my last comment written while you were writing it.  But, to add, I've never seen knoppix have problems WRITING to FAT32 - only to NTFS.  So if you have a FAT32 drive, you really should be fine.
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by:ggrayman
ID: 16700677
The 80 gb drive is and IDE; not a USB. There is no advantage to USB as long as the formatting is FAT32, correct?
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 16700719
I just say USB because most people aren't willing to swap things around with internal drives.  If this is an internal drive, then so be it - I'd say that's better (same FAT32 formatting problem applies, but a 98 boot floppy with fdisk can partition and format the drive larger than 32 GB).  The transfer rate between two internal drives should be better and there's almost no chance of knoppix not seeing both disks.

Thing to remember, knoppix mounts everything as read only.  You need to right click on the fat32 drive and change the read/write status.  Then you can copy the data over.
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by:ggrayman
ID: 16700744
"Here goes nothing!" as they say.
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by:scrathcyboy
ID: 16704943
3 principles here -- 1.  let windows manage its registry, norton cant get its own software right, let alone manage how windows should do it.  So blow the program away forever.
2.  You should have had a backup of your hard disk to restore to the new setup, always have a backup, and
3.  If you cannot restore the config directory, where all the registry settings are, you are starting from scratch.

If you can summarize the current state in 3 points, we can help solve it, maybe.
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by:ggrayman
ID: 16705255
leew:

I just finished a small batch of data transfer successfully! It works.

This knoppix is simply amazing. And your insight and friendly concern are right up there, too.

Please go to the other question I cited in the first posting here and jot me a comment so I can give you those points as well.

If you don't mind, I'd like to keep you posted on how it all ends up.

Thanks again!!!!! And again!!!!
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by:scrathcyboy
ID: 16705274
many people have suggested knoppix for years, there is nothing "amazing" about it or suggesting it.  I think nobus was first long before most others.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 16705373
ggrayman,

just keep posting here and accept the comment(s) here that contributed to your solution, once everything is done.  The maximum points for a question is 500 and as much as I admit there are times  where I think the question deserves more points, the EE rules must be followed.

And once you have things working again, I encourage you to take some time exploring some of the programs on the Knoppix CD.  Personally, I find the "KStars" program under "edutainment" to be really nice - haven't seen anything on Windows like it - especially anything FREE on Windows.
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