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Old 03-01-2006, 12:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Mar 2006
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Angry Hard Disk Mystery

Any thoughts or advice would be much appreciated. My 2002 Dell desktop runs on WinXP Pro with 2 internal hard drives - both Western Digital, one 40 GB, one 120 GB. I was working on the computer and it locked up. I rebooted, but boot failures kept it from coming up. I used a resuce disk to get it to an A: but couldn't see anything else through MSDOS. I put in the WinXP Pro disk to reinstall the OS and it said there were no hard disks to put the OS on. I replaced the IDE cable and made sure the drives were getting power, still no luck.

I took out both disks, tried putting them first in an external enclosure and then internal into another computer (actually 2 computers, variously). When the jumpers were set on Cable Select in the external and on Slave when internal, the Device Manager saw the disks, but My Computer did not. I ran Disk Manager and it shows the mystery disk, but no drive letter. I tried to assign a drive letter but the option in Disk Manager does not come up.

Also, if it makes a difference, the Disk Manager shows the 40 GB drive as having two partitions - a small FAT32 with Eisa Configuration and a large NFTS with my data. I could reformat the NFTS (and lose my data), but am not given that option with regard to the FAT32. I didn't check the 120GB Drive in Disk manager yet.

Any thoughts about what is going on or more importantly how to fix the problem without losing my data? I'm not sure if this EISA configuration has anything to do with it or not ...

Anyway, thanks ...

z-mo is offline  
Old 03-02-2006, 12:18 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Join Date: Feb 2006
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Sounds to me like your partition tables have been damaged. Very strange that it happened to both drives at once. Might have been from a virus. I have had success with a program called “Recover My Files” It will let you search through drives that don’t even show up or do but you can’t get into them. It’s about $70, kind of pricy but in my opinion it’s the consumer app out there.

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Old 03-02-2006, 09:58 AM   #3 (permalink)
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You are right - it was a partition error, but following up on a post in the archives here, I think the problem can be traced back to the Symantec Go Back program (which I had installed maybe two weeks ago). As it turns out, that program makes some changes to the boot partition and in effect locked down both drives when my computer froze up. They have a utility or two on the website that I tried to fix the problem, but so far no luck. I'm working with their tech support to find a solution. I'll post the links to the utilities later, with an update.

I'll keep the data recovery route in the back of my mind in case we can't find a solution through Symantec. Thanks for the reply...
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