Recover data from a dynamic disk

I have a 2TB hard drive which I partitioned into 8 x 250GB as a dynamic disk. I had to remove it from my system as I had a failing C drive and now I cannot access the dynamic disk. I have tried EaseUS and Aomei Dynamic Disk Manager but I just cannot access the drive. I have two PCs, one running Windows 8.1 the other Windows 7 Ultimate. Could anyone advise anyway of accessing the data on the dynamic disk?
medcomputersAsked:
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rindiCommented:
Install getdataback to your windows 7 PC and scan the disk. If the tool sees your files, have it registered so you can copy the data off.

http://runtime.org
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medcomputersAuthor Commented:
Hi rindi
Many thanks for your suggestion. I will give it a try but have to find another 2TB drive first. If I get all the data off can I reformat the drive and use it again as a basic disk?
Matthew
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medcomputersAuthor Commented:
Rindi
As far as I can establish under Properties of the drive the file system is unallocated and I cannot tell if it is FAT or NTFS. In order to use getdataback you need to know which file system the drive is using so I am not sure what to do.
Matthew
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Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
it must be ntfs since windows will not format a partition larger than 32gb as fat32
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nobusCommented:
you can also use Bootit-BM (use the trial) to see what OS it is
make the cd - boot from it, but do NOT install it on the disk -hit cancel
select partition work to see the partition(s)
www.terabyteunlimited.com/
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rindiCommented:
Although it is possible to use windows to create a fat32 partition on a 2 TB drive, if the disk is dynamic you are limited to ntfs.

If the disk is technically OK, you can use it again after you have recovered your files. To find out whether it is technically OK run the disk manufacturer's diagnostics utility on it after you have recovered your files. If the diagnostic tells you there are no problems, use it again, if it tells you there are problems, and if there is still warranty on the disk, have the vendor you originally got it from replace it for warranty. Also for that it is useful to have the output of the diagnostic tool. You'll find those tools on the UBCD, or you can also visit the manufacturer's site and download it from there:

http://ultimatebootcd.com
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Before applying any of the given above methods I would like to know in which exact condition the drive is.
When you say - I am not able to access the drive - what does it mean? Does it mean that the drive is seen in Windows Disk Management but has no volumes on it?
Is it seen as dynamic but empty?
Can you take a screen shot of Windows Disk Management and post it here?
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medcomputersAuthor Commented:
Hi noxcho
I am attaching screenshot of Disk Management as requested. It seems a really complex procedure to have to copy all the data to another drive using getbackdata and I wonder how accurate it will be. I won't ever make a disk dynamic again. I thought it would be really simple to install the disk as normal should any problems arise with the C drive or other drives on the system.
If you can help at all I would be really grateful.
Matthew
The-dynamic-drive-in-question-is.docx
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rindiCommented:
Data recovery always requires you to have free space on another location available to copy the data to. That has nothing to do with whether the disk is dynamic or basic. You only really need Dynamic disks if you are going to use Windows Software RAID, you didn't mention anything about RAID so I don't really understand why you changed the disk to dynamic in the first place.

Apart from that data recovery isn't necessary if you take your backups seriously, and that is necessary as all disks will fail at one point or another.

If you scan the disk using getdataback you'll see whether the data is there, but on a 2TB disk this will take time, so it would be time to start scanning it (you can do that with the trial version, only register the tool once you know the data is there to recover).
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
So this was a single dynamic drive but with more than 4 volumes, right? Was his drive always on this machine?
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medcomputersAuthor Commented:
Hi noxcho
Yes you are right, it is a single dynamic drive with 8 partitions. I am currently accessing the drive using a SATA docking station on my Windows 7 PC. The disk was originally in my Windows 8 PC. I took it out when the C drive started to fail which I decided to replace with an SSD but that is another story. When I tried to reconnect the 2TB dynamic disk it would no longer work. In fact I had completely forgotten I had formatted it as a dynamic disk.
Matthew
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
So the drive is "foreign" on this machine. The drive is connected via SATA to USB docking station, right? If yes then can you connect this drive not via docking station but internally to one of the free SATA ports?
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medcomputersAuthor Commented:
Hi noxcho
I would have to take another drive out, it is a very old motherboard. Do you think connecting it internally would make any difference? I will have to try in the morning now as soon as I get a minute.
Thanks
Matthew
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nobusCommented:
>>  Do you think connecting it internally would make any difference?  << It makes a HUGE difference : no USB bridge hardware, nor USB protocol
it will also be MUCH faster
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Yes, it will make difference. Make also sure that your old motherboard does support big drives such as 2TB. Very old motherboards have had such limitation.
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medcomputersAuthor Commented:
Hi noxcho
Thanks I will try to check with mobo manual. I have a lot to do today but will get back to you asap.
Matthew
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medcomputersAuthor Commented:
Hi noxcho
I think I am getting into deeper and deeper water here and wonder if you can help.
You are quite right about installing the 2TB hard drive internally enabled me to see all the partitions but in Safe Mode only. However when I first booted the computer I received the error message "The User Profile Service failed to login. User Profile cannot be loaded."
I did some research about fixing a corrupted user profile and found some instructions that started logging into Safe Mode. Having done that I could see the contents of all my drives including the eight partitions of the 2TB drive.
I thought I would try to fix the above error message which was stopping me logging in normally. I had an option to use System Restore to go back to yesterday before I installed the 2TB drive. I now find when I login normally all the drives are loaded correctly in the BIOS but then the system just switches off. I sometimes get to the point where I still get the User Profile error message and then the computer just shuts down for no reason.
I'd be really grateful if you have any suggestions. I am thinking of taking out the 2TB drive and putting the computer back as it was but I am worried that doing the System Restore has messed everything up.
I'm going to start again in the morning as it is nearly 1 am here in London
Many thanks
Matthew
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Hi Matthew,

The system profiles error message should not have anything to do with this dynamic drive in case you are not booting from this drive. But thats easy to check if you disconnect the dynamic drive, does it behave the same with original OS?
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medcomputersAuthor Commented:
Hi noxcho
I have removed the 2TB dynamic disk and put my PC back as it was. I can get into Safe Mode but still receive the message User Profile cannot be loaded. Do you have any idea how I can fix this?
Many thanks
Matthew
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rindiCommented:
Logon using another account, or create another account and then try logging on with that new one.
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medcomputersAuthor Commented:
Hi rindi
I'm not sure how to create a new account. My research indicates that it is quite complex and all my old settings need to be moved to the new account. Is that correct?
Thanks
Matthew
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rindiCommented:
No, it's very easy. Just open the control panel and then open User Accounts. Then create a new user account (actually create 2, one with administrator rights, and the other main account which is for day to day use without adminsitrator rights.

As your current account seems to be corrupt you'd have to create new settings anyway, provided you decide to keep on using the old PC.
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nobusCommented:
i would use a KNOWN GOOD working PC to do the recovery - not one that throws errors everywhere..
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Which account are you logging in at the moment? Administrator or your own specific one?
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medcomputersAuthor Commented:
Hi noxcho
I have my PC back. I applied an earlier System Restore point and I can now access all my hard drives and files as before
I think I need to build a new up to date PC which hopefully will be easier to maintain. My current motherboard is very old and has given good service over many years.
Your point about installing the 2TB dynamic disk internally is well received. I did not realise it would make such a difference as installing it externally via USB. Thanks.
I will allocate points shortly and close the question.
Matthew
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medcomputersAuthor Commented:
Thanks guys for all your help especially noxcho and nobus. I should really have know that I needed to install the 2TB dynamic disk internally. I have learns a lot.  
Matthew
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nobusCommented:
medcomputers, i keep learning here each day; that's one of  the reasons i keep answering problems
tx for feeback
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