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Posted on 2006-05-26
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Hey all,

I have a slight issue that I would like to run by you.  I have three data drives all 120 GB with nearly 90% capacity filled (coming from a Win98 system with FAT32).  The objective was to copy the data from these three to three new 300 GB in a new system running Windows MCE with NTFS.  Two of the drive developed the same symptoms, the 120 GB partitions turned into 6.4 GB partitions with the rest unallocated.  The third 120 GB copied all data without a hitch.  The data on the two strange ones do exist verified by running data recovery software.  Looking at the drives I did notice a FOUND.000 directory with about 2 GB worth of files inside.  I would like to know, has anyone come across such a situation?  Could it be that the drives just happen to be failing and this is all a coincidence?  Do you have any suggestions on repairing the disk outside of running data recovery?  Thanks for your help and comments.
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Question by:Purple_Sky
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by:logic0004
ID: 16770613
There have been issues sometimes with NTFS and FAT but most of the time NTFS drive should be able to see the FAT drive. One more thing to keep in mind is the max. size of the drives windows MCE can see. Check in ur BIOS what u see the drives as , i mean Primary Master - 300GB (new HD) and the other PS or SM as 120GB or 6.4GB. Also whats the make of the HDs.

Well, there are two possible things u can try :

1. fixing the HD -  http://www.grc.com/spinrite.htm

2. Recovering the data - http://www.runtime.org/products.htm

Both of the softwares are very much efficient and i have successfully recovered and repaired my HDs many times.

U might wanna recover u data first and then do the repair.
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by:rindi
ID: 16770661
What is the mainboard you are using? Possibly you have a BIOS that has problems with your HD's, an upgrade might therefore help.
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by:knoxzoo
ID: 16771185
Possibilities abound.

Did the two drives that you're having problems with ever have a disk overlay installed? (MaxTools, On-Track, etc...)  If they were originally in an older system with an older BIOS that didn't support drives of that size, they may have the overlay (translating) software installed, which needs to be loaded at boot.  And there's always the possibility that whoever installed the drives in the first place may have installed the overlay software without realizing he or she was doing so simply by using the disk provided with the drive to partition and/or format the drive.  

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by:Purple_Sky
ID: 16772042
Disk overlay was a great idea, but i double checked and the disk were originally attached to a Promise Ultra100TX card that saw the drives without the need of an overlay.  I am starting to belive that this was a case of coincidence, due to the fact that the two drive that faced the problem where segates and the one that functioned and copy properly was a Western Digital.  It just erks me that I cannot find some rhyme or reason for this to have occured.
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by:knoxzoo
ID: 16772810
Them being attached to a Promise card doesn't negate the possibility that the original installer used the Seagate CD to install them.  Have you tried setting them as boot drives on another computer, or back on the original, just to see what happens?  If the old system's still functional, and they'll work on it, you can always network the units and copy the stuff off the drives that way.

Another possibility is that the drives were ghosted replacements for other drives that had originally been on the mobo's controller and had the overlay installed.  ?????

IIRC, the last time I ran into this (when the overlay turned out to be the problem), I was able to use the Seagate (or was it WD?) CD to access the drives and pull the data off.  
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by:Purple_Sky
ID: 16773274
I double checked if there was evidence of an overlay and there where none.  The post about the overlay was a great idea that I forgot about and was happy 'cause I thought that was the reason.  Unfortunately it was not.
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by:garycase
ID: 16773342
I do NOT believe in coincidences -- so I think you can rule that out.

Some systems in the late 1990's had an obscure BIOS limitation at 6322 cylinders.   The resulted in a max partition size of 3.2GB => interestingly, 1/2 of what you're now "seeing" on the Seagate drives.   There were several ways to overcome that -- the best was a BIOS upgrade -- but one in particular that comes to mind based on your issue is Seagate's DiscWizard, which would install an overlay that overcame the limitation.  Since both of your problem drives are Seagates, it would seem likely that your issue may be related to this, although the 6.4GB is a strange barrier.

The 100TX card only supports 28-bit logical block addressing, but that should not have caused any problems with drives of only 120GB.   So I'm not sure why they would have been installed with Seagate's software -- but many people tend to simply use the disks/CDs that are shipped with their hard drives (I don't recommend ever using them).   If that was the case, then these drives could very well have a non-standard MBR structure that's causing the behavior you're seeing.

Question:   Do you "see" all of the data you want to recover if you run GetDataBack?   (use the free demo version from the link given above -- http://www.runtime.org/products.htm)

One other thought:   I doubt this will make any difference, but it would be interesting to see if the symptoms are the same if you plug in the Promise 100TX to your new system and attach the drives to it.




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by:garycase
ID: 16773348
... a drive overlay is not always apparent in the layout of the drive ==> there were several different techniques that were used to "fool" the BIOS into thinking the drive had different parameters.   The fact that BOTH of the problem drives are Seagates is definitely something more than a coincidence !!
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by:logic0004
ID: 16773862
Just a thought, if its possible can u roll back everything to it was before and see the 120GB drives work or not... this might give out some more information that what would be reason, to me it seems some Hardware issue, but if u roll back then u atleast know that ur drives are fine..

try it out if u like my idea...
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by:nobus
ID: 16774441
the found.000 folder can be the result of a chkdsk, containing the files in error. you can try recovering them (if needed) with one of these :
http://www.diydatarecovery.nl/~tkuurstra/chkmate.htm                  Chk-mate (fileo1.chk)
http://www.ericphelps.com/uncheck/                              uncheck
http://www.sharewareguide.net/Utilities/System-Utilities/flobo-chk-identifier.html   "
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by:nobus
ID: 16774474
..and it would not be a bad idea testing the drives : http://www.disk-utility.com/hard-disk-low-level-format.html
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scrathcyboy earned 2000 total points
ID: 16777973
The chance the drives failed at this time is -- ZERO -- 0.00%.

There is something wrong with the new drive or system setup, where it is NOT recogniziing the data on the original drives.  I recommend you get these original drives onto another system, ONE by ONE, and set them up as slave, and have the other system find ALL the data on the drives.  Then copy it to the new drive, which is set as secondary master on that other system.  These original drives did not fail, something you have done is stopping them from seeing the full capacity on those original systems.  Install them on another system to get all the data back off them.
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by:garycase
ID: 16787219
Purple_Sky - What's the status here?   What does GetDataBack "show" you ??
... and did you try plugging the drives into the TX100 controller again?  (in the new system or the old)
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by:Purple_Sky
ID: 16790025
Sorry about the long delay.  There was never an overlay installed on the drives, I was able to recover the data from the newly unpartioned space on the drives. I did try to put the drives back as they were before the incident happened, but the damage was still there.  I can't explain it, but the only thing that makes some logic is that Windows XP must have run a checkdisk on the drives (due to the fact of the FOUND folder) and must have "found" and error and "tried" to fix it resulting in the current situation.
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by:scrathcyboy
ID: 16791551
I think you are correct.  Checkdisk does an amazing amount of damage to the file allocation table that cannot be undone.  The only safe time to use checkdisk is when the disk is fine, and there are no problems, otherwise try to avoid using it -- and as you said, sometimes you cannot, XP is going to do it anyway.  Glad you solved the issue.
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