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Thread: I've just lost all my data, is there any hope?




  1. #11
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    Nov 2003
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    Default Re: I've just lost all my data, is there any hope?

    You know, you can probably get the drive replaced, assuming it's still under warranty...

    For some more information on RAID, go here. RAID 1 would probably be best, although RAID 5 is great if you can afford more drives. If your motherboard doesn't support onboard RAID, you would need a PCI card that did.

  2. #12
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    Feb 2004
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    Default Re: I've just lost all my data, is there any hope?

    See, now that's something interesting and might open up a whole new can of worms, albeit a small one.

    I too thought about a possible warranty (I still have the bill for the HDD and I think the store said something about a 1 year warranty) and the possibility of getting it replaced.

    But tell me. Is there anything wrong with the drive?

    I mean, all I'm really worried about is getting my data back. The health of the drive itself hasn't really occured to me much. Granted, it said it was corrupted after a series of power failures, and "chkdsk F: /f /r /v" attributed approximately 20 gigs of space to the Bad Clusters File, but that was before I lost my data and the drive reset itself and showed as empty.

    I know the golden rule of; Bad HDD sectors indicates a bad HDD, but is it possible the warnings were a fluke? I'm pretty sure if I were to plug my F: drive back into my rig and check its disk size in Windows, it would say the full capacity was available.(divided into used/un-used sections of course) In fact, I'll probably confirm that in a few hours as I plan to run the GetDataBack trial download on the drive and see just what it can recover.

    So given all that has happened, if/when I get my data off of it and reformat the damn thing just to cleanse it, should I consider the drive bad and toss it/try to get a replacement? Or would it be safe to keep it and use it as intended? (after I make a permanent backup of the data on another drive of course)

    Thanks for the URL to the RAID guide. Very informative.

  3. #13
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    Default Re: I've just lost all my data, is there any hope?

    I'd probably just try to get the drive replaced if it had any failures. But download some checking utilities from the manufacturer to see if anything is actually wrong with it.

  4. #14
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    Default Re: I've just lost all my data, is there any hope?

    Ok, I plugged in the F: Drive after having downloaded a number of Demo versions of data recovery programs and am testing them out on it now.

    The F: Drive reads as being completely "empty" with no files or folders present on it. Regardless, the drive properties read as it having 25.2 GB of space used. I have to assume that this is the space that "chkdsk" attributed to the Bad Clusters File and isn't allowing me to use. With this, and my new knowledge about RAID in mind, I have a number of questions:

    1. Is it somehow possible to make the "used space" on my F: drive (which I assume to be the space Windows attributed to the Bad Clusters File) no longer a part of the Bad Clusters File and available for my use? When this is over, I want to try using the drive to its fullest to test whether or not the drive really does have bad clusters, which will help me decide whether to continue using it or to seek a replacement. Unfortunately, money is an issue and I really can't afford to buy a second HDD (in addition to the one I intend to transfer the recovered data onto) to replace the F: drive unless its absolutely necessary.

    2. I've never used HDD manufacturer utilities before. Will a manufacturer utility be able to tell if my HDD truly has bad clusters on it without needing Windows detection/access to them, making the above question irrelavent?

    3. I'm concerned that even though I have my F: Drive attached as a slave to my C: drive, some random incident will write a file to the F: Drive and overwrite data yet to be saved. Is there any way I can tell my F: Drive to allow only reads and not writes? Or maybe a way to have Windows attribute my F: Drive to read-only access? This may be part paranoia, but since something like this happened to me I've learned never to take chances with my data ever again.

    4. While wading through the demo versions of several data recovery programs, I've come to the conclusion that chkdsk did indeed rewrite the Master File Table (MFT) and that all the data I can recover will be without any structure whatsoever. The organized directory tree structure, the folder names and the file names of the files within the folders I had seem to be lost forever without the MFT that existed before the drive got reset by chkdsk. Is there any way I can recover previous MFTs and hopefully use it to provide MFT entries and folder/file names to any data recovery programs so I can retrieve an organized data recovery rather then just thousands of files of data with generic "Recovered File 001" names and no folder organizations? As it stands now I can get the majority of my data back, which I'm grateful for, but all of the files will have to be renamed and reorganized into hundreds of new folders - a process that would undoubtedly have me contemplating suicide.

    5. My motherboard doesn't have onboard RAID capability and at this point, I can't even imagine finding the money to go out and buy one that does. However, I will have the 2 harddrives necessary to attempt a RAID 1 array soon enough. Is there a handy guide out there I can be referred to that explains how to set up a RAID 1 array on a computer that previously had no RAID capability? I'm especially interested in this PCI card that supposedly will manage my RAID configuration. Wonder how that would work...

    Thanks in advance for your replies.
    Wow, I'm such a needy S.O.B. aren't I?

  5. #15
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    Default Re: I've just lost all my data, is there any hope?

    Must have missed this, but I was wandering around this section and saw this...

    2. They probably would. The major manufacturers should have some form of utility to go on a bootable floppy.

    3. Don't think so, and I doubt it will be a major probelm. Writing to the drive just makes it harder, not impossible to recover files, but I don't see why it would randomly write to it.

    4. My concern exactly. I'm not really sure if there is a way around this, and that's what I was referring to earlier.

    5. When you think you're ready, just post a new thread. I can help you out there with more materials and advice based on your situation.

    BTW, I'm having some less severe recovery problems of my own. Basically, the computer froze in the middle of saving a game on a FAT32 disk. If I had put the game on an NTFS partition like I generally do with games that have important files to write, this wouldn't be a problem. But now, I'm looking to recover the necessary files on a partition that is otherwise working normally. I'll post if I find out anything relevant to your situation.

  6. #16
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    Placitas, New Mexico
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    Default Re: I've just lost all my data, is there any hope?

    Good luck with that! This is why I always have 2 hard drives, they may not be on a RAID array, but i can still backup all my files.
    Intel Pentium 4 2.53GHZ 533FSB
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    POWTEC Demon 480W PSU
    Dell UltraSharp 18001FP 18" LCD Monitor
    Windows XP Professional SP2

  7. #17
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    Default Re: I've just lost all my data, is there any hope?

    I managed to find the files with GetDataBack for FAT32, but the program doesn't let you recover without paying...

  8. #18
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    Jan 2005
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    NYC
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    Default Re: I've just lost all my data, is there any hope?

    Any luck recovering the file structure?
    Like Zaphod, He's just this guy, ya Know?

  9. #19
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    Default Re: I've just lost all my data, is there any hope?

    Kind of... Back when I was still attempting to get everything recovered, I ended up discovering that my drive had bad sectors and I simply couldn't recover certain files off of the partition in question. It actually was an NTFS partition that had the files, and I think I ended up using GetBackData for NTFS, but maybe not. In any case, I couldn't get enough back so I basically gave up.

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