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Power outage while writing to a hard drive. Lost FAT system.

Posted on 2006-06-11
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
Hi all. I hope this is the correct place for this question. I have three hard drives in my computer (2-ide, 1-sata) running Win XP HE. I was writing data to one of them (160 GB SATA) and experinced a power outage (and no, I did not have a UPS hooked up. I do now). I do not see any data on the drive when I try to access it and when I check the properties, it shows the File System as RAW. Is there any way to restore the file system (which was FAT 32) without reformatting and losing all of the data? Incidentally, this was my backup drive as well. Thank you in advance.
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Question by:mhoggard
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by:maramom
ID: 16882536
An excellent data retrieval program: GetBackData  www.runtime.org It has fat32 as well as ntsf versions.

You can try it first to see if the data's recoverable, as well as check the integrity of the files. You'll have to pay to actually retrieve the files. There are several other programs, but this one has proven to give excellent results when many others have failed.

Best of luck!
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by:maramom
ID: 16882552
correction: GetDataBack
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nobus earned 125 total points
ID: 16883747
if you want to try other ones, here some links :
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.recovermyfiles.com/                              RecoverMyFiles
http://www.pcinspector.de/file_recovery/UK/welcome.htm                  pc Inspector
http://www.bitmart.net/                                    Restorer 2000
http://www.ontrack.com/easyrecoveryprofessional/                  Easy Recovery
http://www.snapfiles.com/get/restoration.html                        Restoration
http://www.snapfiles.com/get/activeundelete.html                  Active undelete
http://www.handyrecovery.com/download.shtml                        Handy Recovery
http://www.snapfiles.com/get/smartrecovery.html                  flash recovery
http://www.ontrack.com/                                    ontrack
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
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by:nobus
ID: 16883749
Oh yes, and stop using that drive to boot from, only use it for the data recovery (connect it as slave device)
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Author Comment

by:mhoggard
ID: 16954123
Thank you for those comments. I realize I can recover the data. However, I do not currently have another hard drive large enough to dump it to. I was hoping that there was a way to just re-install the files to the existing hard drive and get it back in working order. If this is not possible, I will have to buy another drive and use a recovery method.

Thanks
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Expert Comment

by:maramom
ID: 16956731
You can try to recover the partition..(If that's the issue)...but then you risk losing the data. Any changes you make to the drive will increase the chance of data loss.

http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=1139&page=8
This one has an awkward user interface, but can do the job.
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by:nobus
ID: 16957452
As said , first rule is to have the data recovered first, with any means; then try repairing.
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Expert Comment

by:maramom
ID: 16959979
>>this was my backup drive as well
Does that mean you have a copy of all of your files on your other drives? If so, trying the partition tool would not be catastrophic with a possible mistake.

I suggest you try GetDataBack (free) just to see that your files are retrievable, and check the integrity of the files. This can assure you that they are still recoverable. Then decide whether you want to try to fix the partition, recover the data, or start from scratch and recopy your files (or just ghost or clone your primary drives), depending on how you were using your backup drive.
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Author Comment

by:mhoggard
ID: 16997945
I purchased a new hard drive to back up my data. It is a 300 GB drive. When trying to partition and format it, it will only partition to 128 GB. On boot up, the system recognizes it as 300 GB. I am using Win XP to do this. Any suggestions?

Thanks
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 16998998
you need to check if your BIOS supports drives larger than 128 Gb :

http://wdc.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wdc.cfg/php/enduser/grid_alp.php      

more info on disk size limits :  http://www.dewassoc.com/kbase/hard_drives/hard_drive_size_barriers.htm
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Assisted Solution

by:maramom
maramom earned 125 total points
ID: 17005370
That sounds like an issue of your system not supporting 48-bit LBA. (Limits the drive to 128GB, as stated)

Do you have XP service packs updated? XP1 added support for this.

Since you had a 160GB hard drive, I"m assuming that you were already able to format it to the full 160GB and it was all recognized  ...is that correct? It also appears that your BIOS supports it, as it is reported as 300GB and you already had a 160GB without issue.

How is the new drive connected? IDE/SATA/USB? If you are using an external enclosure (USB), the enclosure must support 48-bit LBA in order to create one partition of the full 300GB drive.

If the enclosure is the issue: You can create three partitions or, attach the drive directly to the MB via sata or ide.

Are you using XP install to partition, or a running system? If it's XP install, without sp1...that's the problem.

If the enclosure (if applicable) is not the issue...try partitioning on another system, then bring it back to load the data, or use an install cd that includes sp1 or sp2..
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Expert Comment

by:maramom
ID: 17010827
Anotther possiblility is the hard drive itself. Some hard drives have a jumper to "limit drive capacity" for older systems. What are the specs on your new drive? Did you check the proper jumper configurations?

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Author Comment

by:mhoggard
ID: 17150819
Thanks for the help. Sorry for the lack of response on my part. I have recovered the data after installing SP1 and using Restorer 2000.

Thank you both. Once again, this forum has been spectacular.
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