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Disk Partitioning Error

Posted on 2006-07-05
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
I had a XP Pro disk which booted up fine.

Ran Partition Magic 7.0 to repartition the drive.  It ran for a while and then returned cluster errors and rebooted.

Now the pc will not boot up in ANY mode.

I'm flustered and need a course of action.  I don't mind rebuilding the pc but need access to the data in order to move it off of there.
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Question by:mcnuttlaw
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10 Comments
 
LVL 69

Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 17045708
First rule of repartitioning: back up your data before you do anything.

You should hook up the drive as a slave to a desktop, and use GetDataBack from www.runtme.org to try to access the data.  It will cost you a little to save what you can see, but this software is worth it.
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by:mcnuttlaw
ID: 17045839
That website is not pulling up.

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Accepted Solution

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Callandor earned 1400 total points
ID: 17045913
Misspelled it - www.runtime.org
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LVL 70

Assisted Solution

by:garycase
garycase earned 600 total points
ID: 17047565
First rule of repartitioning:  Back up your data before you do anything.  (I agree with Callandor)

Second rule of repartitioning:  Don't use Partition Magic.   Symantec has a way of messing up everything they touch !!   Use Acronis TrueImage, Terabyte's Boot-It NG (my personal favorite), Paragon's Partition Manager, or any of several other trusted re-partitioners.   I've used most of them -- but now use Boot-It exclusively, as it's a very well-focused, tightly written and exceptionally stable program.   I've had it refuse to repartition drives that it found errors on; but have NEVER seen it fail in a manner that caused data loss.  It does exactly as advertised and does it exceptionally well -- and is very reasonably priced.

First rule of data recovery:  STOP.  Do not use the drive for ANYTHING.

Second rule of data recovery:  STOP.  Do not use the drive for ANYTHING.  (Get the point ??)

Third rule of data recovery:  Use GetDataBack from www.runtime.org ==> I agree with Callandor that this is the best software for this -- and I spelled it right :-)
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Expert Comment

by:enfz
ID: 17047914
Best thing to do now is to probably ghost/image the hdd across to another hdd before attempting to run any sort of recovery program on it. That way if it doesn't work out, at least you still have something else to work on. As mentioned above, try not to use the hdd for anything else as it may actually scramble the existing data in there even more.
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Author Comment

by:mcnuttlaw
ID: 17047995
I'll let you all know how it goes.  I just need to get some data off of it.  Hopefully runtime.org will do the trick.
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Expert Comment

by:garycase
ID: 17048125
... I suspect GetDataBack will get what you need.   For what it's worth, there's no reason to attempt to image the drive -- with reported cluster errors no good imaging program will finish an image;  and even if it did, all modern imagers only copy those clusters that contain data; and with known errors in the file system you don't want to trust that info.   If you happen to have a professional disk duplicator with an absolute sector copy function you could use that;  or if you have an imager that supports a similar function (I believe Acronis has this mode) that would also let you do that -- but since nothing you're going to use on the drive will write to it (GetDataBack does not "touch" the drive being worked on) there's no particular advantage to doing that.
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Expert Comment

by:enfz
ID: 17048968
Imaging the drive is more of a precaution, in case the drive starts getting worse and corrupting even more data. Besides, ghost has the -fro switch to copy every sector, even the bad ones across. It all comes down to how important and valueble the data is. What I normally do before working on a hdd with corrupted important data, I always make a copy of it first regardless.

On a totally unrelated note, fdisk is an awesome disk partitioner..never hard a problem with it :)
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Expert Comment

by:garycase
ID: 17050643
... yes, fdisk works well => but it not an "in place" (i.e. without data loss) "re-partitioner".   Of course, as noted above, even when using a product that can do that, you should still have backups of any data on the disk (which, of course, would have eliminated the need for this question).
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Author Comment

by:mcnuttlaw
ID: 17073362
A bit of good fortune happened.  I put the hard drive in as a slave in another XP system and it mapped the partition to a drive letter.  I was able to read the partition as a data drive and successfully accessed the data I needed.

However, this meant that I was not able to even use GetDataBack but will keep it in mind for future use.
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