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Corrupt partition & CHKDSK

Posted on 2014-03-20
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Last Modified: 2014-03-22
I have a Win7 HardDrive that is sick, laptop will not recognize it upon boot.  I tried SpinRite, but the machine would not let SpinRite get past initialization.  I pulled the drive, mounted as an external drive to a working machine.  I could see 2 partitions, Main & Recovery, folders, etc.   To correct the sick drive, I ran CHKDSK.  During the CHKDSK procedure I lose power.  GREAT....

Now when looking at the drive, I see two partitions: EMPTY main and F:Recovery.

Can I do anything to restore the damage/erased partition?

I am now running EASUS MiniTool Partition Recovery Wizard...for 14 hrs & 25% done on a 600MB drive...

Assuming the EASUS tool will not yield great results,  any other thoughts on how to recover the damaged/lost partition?

Many thanks in advance....
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Question by:coldspringsolutions
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by:arekkusu82
arekkusu82 earned 71 total points
ID: 39944251
You could check try to do a Deep Scan with Recuva. Recuva allows to recover the folder structure. If that doesn't work, you could try using TestDisk. TestDisk can recover files even if the OS doesn't recognize the partition but it may give you random file names and won't recover the folder structure. Both of the applications are free.
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ScottRockstad earned 214 total points
ID: 39944269
You did one thing right. "I pulled the drive, mounted as an external drive to a working machine." However, "To correct the sick drive, I ran CHKDSK." is absolutely the wrong thing to do, given the scenario you've laid out. By using CHKDSK, you my have lost data. Every action you perform on the problematic hard drive will cause data loss. Even attempting to boot to the drive, or to access the drive with normal Windows tools will cause damage.

However, if you use Kroll Ontrack (, you will be able to recover all data that isn't completely toasted. You may even get fragments of non-damaged data.

I've used Kroll Ontrack many times and have been able to recover data that was thought to be totally lost. You've got to pay for Ontrack, but I've found that it is well worth it.
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by:web_tracker
web_tracker earned 71 total points
ID: 39944349
I agree with Scott, the more you use the drive, the greater are the chances of losing more data, or the drive will totally fail. The drive is dying, and if you do not have a back up of your data then it most likely is going to cost money to retrieve your data. I have used applications such as spinrite and HDD Regenerator to attempt to repair bad sectors, but these application work fine on drives that are starting to fail. I find HDD regenerator works a little better than the spinrite application (which may be slightly outdated). HDD regenerator seems to boot easier and recognize the drive better to run the application. If that does not help, then if the data is valuable I would take the drive to a data recovery place such as Kroll Ontrack as Scott mentioned. Note the more you use the failing drive the more damage that will occur making data more difficult even for the data recovery places. Hense you will have to fork out more money to recover the data.
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Author Comment

by:coldspringsolutions
ID: 39944357
Thanks all, Kroll is running now.  More to come...
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by:ScottRockstad
ScottRockstad earned 214 total points
ID: 39944420
web_tracker, thanks for the "back-up". It's always great to have other experts confirm what's been stated.

Now, as a follow-on, it is always best to immediately remove a failing hard drive from it's primary system. In an ideal situation, one would have an external "caddy" or "docking station" into which the suspect hard drive may be plugged. An external caddy, such as a Thermaltake Docking Station (or similar) is optimal. I've had great success with Thermaltake Docking Stations. Usually, the caddies connect to your diagnostic system via USB or e-SATA. Either interface will work, but e-SATA is usually much faster.

An up-to-date computer (with up-to-date antivirus software) that has both an external hard drive docking station attached and the Kroll Ontrack software installed, is a fantastic resource for data recovery (from failing HDDs).

Note that the caddy, though physically connected to the diag computer, should remain powered-off until the diagnostic computer is fully booted and fully updated. Once there is no doubt that the diagnostic computer (with Kroll Ontrack installed) is completely clean, and fully updated; then the Kroll Ontrack software should be launched, and then the external hard drive caddy can be powered-on.
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by:nobus
nobus earned 144 total points
ID: 39944710
the best recovery software i know is Get DataBack : http://www.runtime.org/      

alternatively - you can also try HDDRegenerator : http://www.dposoft.net/hdd.html      
after you have a backup...
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Expert Comment

by:Santosh Gupta
ID: 39944713
try a 3rd party tool name "recovermyfiles" to recover files and partitions.
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Author Comment

by:coldspringsolutions
ID: 39945068
9hrs later, Kroll still running, less than 1% done...over 1,000,000 errors found (lower left corner)....no file names listed in the main window...  estimated time to complete 211 days! I'll let it run.... but not that long!
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by:ScottRockstad
ScottRockstad earned 214 total points
ID: 39945168
coldspringsolutions, with what interface is the hard drive connected to the diagnostic computer? If it is USB 1.x/2.0, then I can understand the very long timeline. If it is USB 3.0 or e-SATA, then I would suspect that the extremely long timeline indicates a severe problem with the hardware of the disk drive. I'd let it run its course. The indicated "estimated time to complete" may not be accurate (somewhat like the timeline that the Windows progress bar presents when copying files.)

I will say this...9 hours and only 1% done does not bode well. What is the storage capacity of the problematic drive, and what type of drive is it (IDE, SATA, SCSI, SSD, etc.)?

In what manner is the drive connected to the host/diagnostic computer (USB 1/2/3, e-SATA)? How are you connecting this drive to the diag computer?
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Author Comment

by:coldspringsolutions
ID: 39945251
Connected via USB to host computer
600mb sata drive
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Expert Comment

by:ScottRockstad
ID: 39945501
600MB? That's a really small drive by today's standards. It would make more sense if it were a 600GB (gigabyte) SATA drive.

Is this an IDE or SCSI drive? 600MB would make more sense with IDE/SCSI. (And this would be a very old hard drive.)

Also, what is the USB connection speed? And, is it via a drive caddy?
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by:nobus
ID: 39945506
i would NEVER use usb for problem disk drives - since this protocol does not handle errors well.
best connect the drive to a sata cable for diags and repairs!!  10x faster

i also suggest then to run GDB  - and see what it says
you only have to buy it to save the data
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by:ScottRockstad
ID: 39945546
nobus, I have to disagree with you in regards to "NEVER" using USB. While I agree that e-SATA is massively faster, I've never encountered any recovery problems with USB. e-SATA is best (fastest), but USB works just fine.
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by:nobus
ID: 39945557
on disk that are ok - yes, but not with problem drives
anyway  -i only posted what I do, and why i do so.
he decides if he wants to spend more time - and maybe forced to do it later as i suggested
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by:ScottRockstad
ID: 39945619
I'll leave it to each individual to decide if nobus makes any sense. I have no desire to get into a flame war, so I'll not comment any further with regard to nobus.

I stand by my previous statement 39945546.
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by:nobus
ID: 39945848
hey scott- i don't mind that everybody has it's own opinion, that's why i posted what i would do
thats all- no flames anywhere
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Author Comment

by:coldspringsolutions
ID: 39946823
downward spiral....Kroll was less than 2% after 16hrs...no found files... aborted... HDD Regenerator (remounted as SATA 640GB internal ) was crashing...

Active Partition Recovery is actually doing something ... I will let it sit and run....folder names are gibberish, but hoping I can salvage something...more tomorrow...
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Assisted Solution

by:nobus
nobus earned 144 total points
ID: 39947089
all these programs crashing indicate severe problems with the drive.
Meaning : no software will be able to help here.
if you want your data - pay a recovery service :
http://www.lowcostrecovery.com/index.html                        data recovery Company
http://www.gillware.com/                                 "           "                   "
http://www.drivesavers.com/services/estimates.html                     "           "                   "
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Author Closing Comment

by:coldspringsolutions
ID: 39947409
Thanks all.  Next stop: DriveSavers.  I appreciate the ideas and will have a better approach next time.
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by:nobus
ID: 39947545
i want to put in a good word on gillware also  -it has a good name
check both out for recovery policy, and fee
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