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Old 10-14-2011, 05:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Directory structure altered after installing Windows XP

Hello all,

I have a PC that I built myself a few years ago. It has two HDDs and runs Windows XPsp3. Disk #1 (the master) is a 60 GB and disk #2 (slave) is a 250GB drive that I added recently. Unfortunately, disk #1 crashed, so I was forced to install windows on disk #2.

In the original configuration, disk #2 was partitioned into 5 NTFS partitions. Here is the part I don't understand. When I boot to Windows now and look at the drives in Explorer, I only see three partitions -- one partition looks like the bootable partition (where Windows is installed), the second one looks fine, and the third one is a drive with a bunch of strange looking, inaccessible directories that take up 80 GB of storage. I didn't think that by installing windows I would be altering the original file structure.

Is there any way to be able to recover the original file structure, which I believe is still there? I'm completely perplexed. Sorry, if this question is kind of broad. I'll be happy to provide any other information that you all think is necessary. Thanks!
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Old 10-15-2011, 08:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Directory structure altered after installing Windows XP

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Originally Posted by Brown_Wizard View Post
Hello all,

I have a PC that I built myself a few years ago. It has two HDDs and runs Windows XPsp3. Disk #1 (the master) is a 60 GB and disk #2 (slave) is a 250GB drive that I added recently. Unfortunately, disk #1 crashed, so I was forced to install windows on disk #2.

In the original configuration, disk #2 was partitioned into 5 NTFS partitions. Here is the part I don't understand. When I boot to Windows now and look at the drives in Explorer, I only see three partitions -- one partition looks like the bootable partition (where Windows is installed), the second one looks fine, and the third one is a drive with a bunch of strange looking, inaccessible directories that take up 80 GB of storage. I didn't think that by installing windows I would be altering the original file structure.

Is there any way to be able to recover the original file structure, which I believe is still there? I'm completely perplexed. Sorry, if this question is kind of broad. I'll be happy to provide any other information that you all think is necessary. Thanks!
Seems a little bit odd but when you split up your hdd into partitions, you should have a c:\ for windows D:\ for backup data and I think xp sp3 does required some personal space to keep some temporary files and system cache to itself.
The most it will take up is what you allow it to, by default its 512mb to 1gb of space if you have it.
The one that has the weird characteristics, I would have windows scan that to see if something is up with that.
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Old 10-17-2011, 11:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Directory structure altered after installing Windows XP

If you didn't modify the partitions during the install then chances are that they haven't been assigned mount points, so are still there but not accessible. In Run in the start menu type diskmgmt.msc and hit enter, when this loads the disk management frontend look at the partitions listed there, if you see the missing ones right click on them and there should be a menu option to assign drive letters, follow through that dialogue and assign them a letter and you should be OK.

Also, which of the partitions were primary and which were extended? If you weren't careful and you modified a primary partition hosting extended partitions there may have been irreversible changes.
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Old 10-21-2011, 03:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Directory structure altered after installing Windows XP

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which of the partitions were primary and which were extended? If you weren't careful and you modified a primary partition hosting extended partitions there may have been irreversible changes.
I checked Windows Disk Mgmt utility and didn't see the drives except the ones I mentioned. I don't think I created a primary partition which was hosting an extended partition, but to be honest, since it was a while ago, it's a very real possibility. That would definitely explain the oddness in the file structure.

I just wonder about the inaccessible directories that were created on one of the drives. I believe that they represent the old data, but I don't know what to do with it. Any ideas?
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