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Hard drive failure

Posted on 2006-10-19
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-03
Just looking for opinions on this one.  I have a machine that would not boot, giving various errors pointing to the disk failing.
I install a new drive, put Win2000 Pro on it and all is well.  I then take the old drive and hook it up as a slave in order to try and get the data onto the new disk.  This works and I can see the data on the old disk, but when I go into the documents and settings folder, the users profile folder is gone.  The Administrator and All Users folders are there and are accessible.  

So this leads me to my question, is the missing folder located on the "bad" part of the disk and is that why it can't be seen?  If that is the case, I guess there is no way to recover that folder, correct?  


Not sure I put this under the correct topic, feel free to move it if necessary.
Question by:Pepfontana
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

ID: 17766487
Yes you put the question in storage topic, not a problem

your HDD had the bad sectors now you have to check with any datarecovery software to retain the data.

Menas  install the any data recovery software on your new HDD(installed the win2k pro)and then using that application scan the entire disk ( sector by sector) check that folders / data is avilable in that bad HDD.

Author Comment

ID: 17766536
Any recomendations concerning the data recovery software?

Expert Comment

ID: 17766585
Hi Pepfontana,

I use Active Undelete for all my data recovery needs.

You can find it here:  http://www.active-undelete.com/

The only downside is that the demo has a 64 kb limit, the purchased version has no limit.  This program has already paid for itself 100 times over...believe me!

Try out the demo, and see if it is what you are looking for...it's free!

Good luck!
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LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 17766639
Be sure you "own" the Documents and Settings folder [http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=268019]; and that you have all viewing options in Windows Explorer set so you can see hidden files, Protected System Files, etc. [Tools - Folder Options - View]

The two best data recovery packages (both are free to download and scan your drive; but both require you purchase a license to do the actual recovery) are GetDataBack [http://www.runtime.org/gdb.htm] and Easy Recovery Pro [http://www.ontrack.com/easyrecoveryprofessional/]

By the way, what was the OS on the failed drive?   (XP uses a newer version of NTFS than 2000 ... so this COULD be part of the issue)

LVL 17

Expert Comment

ID: 17766672
Yes Easyrecovery pro option is good application to recover the data ...firstly cehck with trial verrsion if it shows the data then not a problem ,if its done with easyrecovery then you can purchase that sw.

Author Comment

ID: 17766683
Hi Gary,

The OS on the old drive was also Win2000 Pro.  I do have all viewing options turned on and no luck.  

LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 17766737
Easy Recovery Pro is excellent ... but very pricey.   There's a "Lite" version that's more reasonable ... and it will do all of your recovery, but only 25 files at-a-time.   GetDataBack is also excellent, and is much more reasonably priced.   I'd try it first.   These two packages are the cream-of-the-crop in recovery.

Author Comment

ID: 17767993
Just ran Easy Recovery and it does not find the folder either.
LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 17768164
Are you SURE there was a separate profile for the user of the system?   Renaming the Admin profile (which many folks do) does NOT change the name of the profile tree in Documents and Settings [i.e., did you look through the Administrator folder structure to see if the data you want is there ??]

Author Comment

ID: 17768781
"Are you SURE there was a separate profile for the user of the system?"

Yeah, because our users are only aware of their own username and P/W.  Even if he found the profile folder by accident, I don't think he would be capable of deleting it, as the OS wouldn't let him if he was signed on to that profile.  The user used the PC the day before and when he came in the next day, he could not boot and the hard drive failure messages began.  
LVL 93

Expert Comment

ID: 17771936
try any of these , to check if they "see" the folder :
http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/collection/0,collid,1295,00.asp            Free Recovery
http://www.pcinspector.de/file_recovery/UK/welcome.htm                  pc Inspector
http://www.stellarinfo.com/                                    Stellar
http://www.recovermyfiles.com/                              RecoverMyFiles
http://www.bitmart.net/                                    Restorer 2000
http://www.snapfiles.com/get/restoration.html                        Restoration

otherwise, you may jyst have bad luck as you supposed that the folder is in the bad tracks

Accepted Solution

leontas earned 2000 total points
ID: 17773270
Usually this happens because the "make files private" is enabled. In this case, even if you are an administrator you can not get the files back.
Say for example one of your users forgets the password. Your Admin user can reset the password, however ALL private files will be lost.

Due to the structure of NTFS and Window's way of "protecting" unauthorised" access to private files, it is impossible to get your data back as its encrypted. Therefore, even if you use file recovery programs I seriously doubt you'll manage something (I've tried and failed with many programs).
Your best bet would be i suppose if you can boot to the new harddrive by using ERD Commander.

Its a Boot CD which loads an application that looks similar to the Win XP interface, letting you decide which Windows system to boot, etc. It does not boot reading your XP system, but allows you to log in to it (think of it as a platform to access damaged systems).
You could try it, and then have your users enter their password (dont reset because files will be lost) and copy files to the new harddrive.

Tell us how it went :)

Author Comment

ID: 17791040
Apparently, while trying to recover using CHKDSK, all of the files that were missing were put into various folders titled dir0001.chk thru dir0006.chk.  Within those folders the address book, my documents, old emails, favorites and various other data were all there.  

I am going to award the points to leontas as it was the ERD Commander that eventually led me to discover the files.  

Thanks everyone!!

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