GPT Protective Partition Issue. PLEASE HELP!

I have a problem with one of my hard drives. Ok. I had Vista installed on my computer but I decided to remove it because it was lagging on my computer so I decided to re-install Windows XP media center back on my computer which I did today.
Also, I have 2 hard drives. 1 hard drive is a raptor 35 gigs which I put my OS on and the other hard drive which is 350 gig is a slave drive. They are both SATA drives.
So I was able to install XP on the 35 gig drive without an issue. I had removed the cable for the slave drive while I was installing XP. After the install, I went back and re-installed the cable for the slave drive. When I went to see if the drive was recognized, I was unable to see it within 'My Computer'. BUT I am able to see it within 'Device Mananger' and the BIOS.
Within the Disk Management section, for the slave drive, it stated that the drive is GPT Protective partition. I am unable to do anything with aka not able to assign drive letters to it.
I searched for the issue over the internet for a while and all they say is to reformat it. But I have lots of important documents\files that I can't afford to have deleted.
Is there anything that anyone might know regarding this issue and any resolution would be extremely appreciated.
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You probably already know this, but GPT disks are supported as data disks (not boot) under Windows Vista, XP-64 and Server 2003 as well as some Linux distros (but I can't name a specific one - I did some browsing on Distro Watch but didn't go too deep - there are some ways to get the present Linux kernel to recognize GPT disks, too).

Itanic systems use GPT disks as boot drives.

As you probably know, GPT disks cannot be turned back into ordinary (MBR) disks while preserving data.

The easiest way to get your data back is to re-install Vista, suck it off the drive onto something else and turn the disk back into an MBR disk.


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pimpp1184Author Commented:
Thanks for your response. But I had done that already. I thougth there would have been another way but unfortunetely there was not thus I had to go the long way of backing everything up through a series of small hard drives and then deleting the partition on my GPT hard drive and then formatting it back to windows XP compatible partition.
Stupid windows ... they always have a way of pissing people off.

I had this issue when i downgraded a machine from Vista to XP one of the disks had this fault. I had VMWare workstation on the XP install and opened up a Windows 2003 server VM, and mounted the faulted drive in the VM. Moved the data to another hard drive that didnt have the fault. Then opened up a command window.

Type in DiskPart in command line.
Type in list disk in command line to show all disks in this machine.
Use select to set the focus to the specified partition, for example select disk 13.  or what ever number the drive showed up as in list.
Use clean command to remove GPT disk from the current in-focus disk by zeroing sectors.

Then use a tool to do a low level format, there are several tools to do this from windows. But they will take a while. HDD Low Level format tool took 5 hours to do a 1TB SATA drive.

now partition and format
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