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Old 08-29-2005, 02:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Angry harddrive files "corrupt and unreadable"

I had a 40gig drive as my C: system drive . I decided to replace that drive with a 160gig drive. I used Acronis TrueImage to clone the original to the new drive. Everything was working perfectly with the newer larger drive except Norton Anti-virus decided it wasn't activated anymore? No big deal I could re-activate Norton.

Now onto the problem:
One day, about two weeks after inserting the new drive, I was using the computer (not doing anything unusual) and got various messages about various files (each being on my C: drive) being "corrupt and unreadable". I hoped Windows was just temporarily confused so I decided to reboot. After shutting down, I wasn't able to get Windows to reboot.

No errors are displayed at all, it just sort of stops during the boot process. The last thing diplayed on the screen is a message about "Verifying DPMI POOL....." and things just don't progress beyond that so I never even get to the Windows logo. FYI - the BIOS still autodetects the drive properly.

I hooked the problematic drive up to a different system via an external USB enclosure. The drive shows up fine and explorer displays all the files and folders in the root directory fine. However trying to open any file or folder results in the "file is corrupt and unreadable error".

Ideally it'd be nice to get the drive working properly as my primary system drive again but I don't consider that aspect all that important. By far my primary concern is to recover the 40 to 50 gigabytes copied to it during the two weeks after it was intstalled. Much of that data was copied from another drive in the system via cut and paste in Explorer. I assume I could potentially recover a small portion of that data from the originating drive with undelete tools but some of that space would have alreadey been written over.

I'm afraid of randomly trying some revover utility and permanently losing any chance of recovery. Even if the solution is something simple, I'd like to hear about people's experience with various data recovery tools for future reference.

Any help would be appreciated.

Potentially relevent info:

Operating System: Windows XP Pro SP1.
Drives: Western Digital 7200 RPM PATA.
System drive is/was FAT32 format.
I have numerous other drives in the same system, most of which are NTFS format.
I have the original 40 gig drive and have been able to plug it back in to get the system running normally.
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Old 08-29-2005, 07:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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hmmm, I would suggest putting the 40GB drive in, restoring everything back to that drive (if you have deleted stuff/formatted) and running the 160GB as secondary storage.
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Old 08-30-2005, 12:18 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I already have the system functioning again with the 40 gig drive temporarily.

The issue is retrieving the additional 40 to 50 gigs of data that was copied/saved to the 160gig drive.
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Old 08-30-2005, 10:43 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by sinjon
I already have the system functioning again with the 40 gig drive temporarily.

The issue is retrieving the additional 40 to 50 gigs of data that was copied/saved to the 160gig drive.
Have you tried running chkdsk on the bad drive yet?
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Old 08-31-2005, 11:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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No I have not tried chkdsk. I assumed that it'd spend two days looking at and reporting problems with each of the 200,000 (estimation/guess) files on the drive.

What do you expect that chkdsk will accomplish?

I'm I correct that chkdsk won't alter anything on the drive as long as I don't specify the /f or /r option? Also do I need to boot boot into safe mode or anything like that before running chkdsk?

Thanks
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Old 09-01-2005, 08:56 AM   #6 (permalink)
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MICROSOFT.COM

Chkdsk (Chkdsk.exe) is a command-line tool that checks volumes for problems and attempts to repair any that it finds. For example, Chkdsk can repair problems related to bad sectors, lost clusters, cross-linked files, and directory errors. For NTFS formatted disks, the Windows XP Professional version of Chkdsk.exe can provide substantial performance improvements (compared to the versions in Windows 2000 Professional and Windows NT Workstation 4.0) when using the new the /i and /c parameters. These two parameters instruct Chkdsk.exe to skip certain file system checks, which might reduce the time needed to run Chkdsk. You must be logged on as an administrator or a member of the Administrators group to use Chkdsk.

In addition to using the command-line version of Chkdsk, you can run Chkdsk from My Computer or Windows Explorer.

To run Chkdsk from the command prompt

* At the command prompt, type chkdsk.

To run Chkdsk from My Computer or Windows Explorer

1. In My Computer or Windows Explorer, right-click the volume you want to check, and then click Properties.
2. On the Tools tab, click Check Now.
3. Do one of the following:
* To run Chkdsk in read-only mode, click Start.
* To repair errors without scanning the volume for bad sectors, select the Automatically fix file system errors check box, and then click Start.
* To repair errors, locate bad sectors, and recover readable information, select the Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors check box, and then click Start.

Before running Chkdsk, be aware of the following:

* Chkdsk requires exclusive access to a volume while it is running. Chkdsk might display a prompt asking if you want to check the drive the next time you restart your computer.
* Chkdsk might take a long time to run, depending on the number of files and folders, the size of the volume, disk performance, and available system resources (such as processor and memory).
* Chkdsk might not accurately report information in read-only mode.

For more information about using Chkdsk, see "Troubleshooting Disks and File Systems" in this book.
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Old 09-01-2005, 09:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
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doubt it would help but i'd try looking at the drive with a live-cd mini distro of linux that supports FAT file sytems. two that i have used a lot in the past are Damn Small Linux (DSL) and Puppy. these are each about a 50mb download. ultimately it sounds like that hdd will at least need a reformat, and if you choose a clean install of windows
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