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Old 08-06-2006, 08:16 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default HD Suddenly Unformatted

I was given an old PIII machine to work on that held all the (not backed-up) data for a business. The system was doing random reboots and occasional 'boot sectors not found'. I bought a WD 250 gig external and downloaded LaCie 1-click backup software because it was recommended in another forum.
I set the backup software to export a backup of C: to the external and walked away.

When I came back it was to find -
> the system had rebooted but now couldn't find the boot sector
> a handful of documents not in a backup format but rather just straight copied to the external.

Assuming it was just a problem booting up we bought a new system and I attached the old Maxtor as a slave. The new OS couldn't detect it.

I put it back in the old machine and used an XP disc to boot to dos which didn't show anything for C:\ dir c:
I then booted through to XP setup where it shows most of the 40 gigs as unpartioned space and wants to format it.

Is there any explanation for how a HD could suddenly become 'unformatted' and, more imporantly, is there any way to recover the data?

This will set the business back months so any help would be appreciated.

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Old 08-06-2006, 01:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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possibly coulda ben a virus, there are a few out there that do that...ya there is a way to recover the data, just google data recovery tools and there ya go, besides that, well, try different tools, and do not format it...thats why you keep a backup on dvd-r...every 3 weeks or so i do a system backup to a dvd(just my c drive) and if the pc fails i put the xp disk in one drive, and the backup in the dvd burner, and restore from the disk

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Old 08-06-2006, 04:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Active Undelete v5.1.010
Easy Recovery v6.04
Final Data Enterprise v2.0
Get Data Back v2.1
Recover My Files v3.22
Here are some good backup tools. And I think you can get a shareware copy of at least one of these.
Also There is a Bootable disk out there and I'm not sure if it's a legal program but its called SuperwinPE. It has Nero and lots of other programs built into it. You can put the drive back into your computer and hook up 1 CD or DVD burner and 1 CD player.
Use the player to run the superwinPE disk after it boots up look for the Nero program and you can search for the files you need to copy and you can burn them to the Cd or DVD. It may take you awhile to figure how to find the files and such but it is a lot like windows and you should have no problem using it.
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