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Old 03-21-2006, 11:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Very weird HDD problem (please help!)

First off, this might be a hardware problem, and it might be a Windows problem, I'm not really sure. If I've got this in the wrong place, I'm sorry mods. :)

The drive is a Maxtor 200GB SATA150 drive, and I'm running XP Pro.

I turned on my computer yesterday morning, and got a message that overclocking has failed. This seemed odd to me, since my overclocking comes from a utility that came with my motherboard, and the processer was overclocked only from 3Ghz to about 3015Mhz (which it decided to do by itself about 10 months ago and hasn't changed). I turned off overclocking in the BIOS.

Then, when I tried to log on, I got the "NTLDR is missing, press any key to restart" message. I put in the Windows install CD, and tried to copy NTLDR and from the windows CD to C:, which didn't fix the problem. I also tried FIXBOOT and FIXMBR, which did nothing.

Then I realized a few weird things. Using DISKPART told me that I had

"131070 MD Disk 0 at ID1 on bus 0 on atapi [MBR]

C: Partition1 [FAT] 194466MB (2 MB Free)"

CHKDSK told me there were no errors, until I ran it with /R or /P, at which point it told me the Serial was 0000-0000, which seemed strange, and that there were one or more unrecoverable problems. It also told me 10344kB of total space, 2792kB free. Guess what, the NTLDR and were the only viewable files there. They're still there a few days later, so I don't think that the drive is physically broken, though I've never lost a drive before so I don't know what sort of behavior to expect.
Kind of grabbing at straws at this point. I ran LISTSVC to see what services were available to me, and there were none, though I don't know what this would give me on a healthy machine either.

I put the drive in as a slave in one of my friend's computers. We looked at the drive properties. It reported that it was a healthy drive, 187GB (which I think is about right for a 200GB drive), partitioned as FAT12 - yes 12. (!?!)

Basically, I'm at a total loss here. I didn't want to run anything on the disk from my friend's machine, because I didn't want to destroy any data before I knew what I was doing. I'd love to be able to get into it to get some of the information off this drive, even if it's a one shot deal and I have to reformat right after I get the stuff off.

The box that it's in only has a DVD-R drive, though I can easily enough put in a floppy.

If anyone has any ideas how to regain access to what I hope is still on the drive, I'd love to hear them.



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Old 03-22-2006, 06:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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very odd. I'm not sure I can offer much wisdom here but I would probably attempt to connect the drive to another computer and use an "undelete" style application to recover any data.

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Old 03-22-2006, 08:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hmmm... I've done a little more research which suggests it could actually have been FIXBOOT that caused the problem, some people seem to have that cause them the same sort of problem, making the drive look like it's a 10MB FAT12. On the plus side, they've all been able to recover most or all of the lost data using data recovery software, and I now have a brand new 250 GB drive on the way. Now I just need to figure out what to do with 450GB of storage on my personal computer....
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