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




  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    Exclamation I've just lost all my data, is there any hope?

    Hello everyone.

    Today is a sad day for me. I've recently had some electricity issues in my room where power became unreliable to the point that lights were dimming and my computer restarted (accompanied by a complaining spark from an electrical outlet on the opposite side of my room) within 10-30 seconds of my turning it on.

    That being said, I disconnected my computer and moved it downstairs to a more suitable power supplying environment. Upon bootup and attempted access of my F: Drive however, I got a message somewhere along the lines of "F: Drive disk structure is corrupted and cannot be accessed." Scared out of my mind, I hastily ran "chkdsk F: /f /r /v" from a "cmd" Command Prompt, since my F: Drive had everything on it, literally over 120 gigabytes of MP3's, animation backups and College homework on it.

    After chkdsk completed and made a bunch of reseted security attributes adjustments, added what looked like 20 gigabytes (the F: Drive is a 160 GB drive) to the Bad Clusters File and corrections to the MFT bitmap and volume files however, I was grief-stricken to find that my F: drive was now reporting it had 123 gigabytes free and was now completely empty. Over a half decade of collected music, video, pictures and personal work gone. This happened less then 15 minutes from my typing this post and I'm still holding back tears.

    Now I've read a few articles about true file deletion, both in newspapers and in articles right here on TweakTown, such as the recent "Spyware and Adware Removal Guide – Speed Up and Free your PC" Guide, from which I quote from Page 4:

    ".....which properly removes files from your system by using the US Department of Defense recommendations for secure file destruction. You might think when you delete a file from your PC it is gone but it isn’t really – if someone wanted to find it bad enough, they could."

    So I have to ask. Is all hope truly lost? Is there a way I can possibly recover the 120+ Gigabytes of data I'd accumulated throughout more then 6 years of my life that my computer told me I lost today?

    My harddrive is a Western Digital 160GB w/ 8MB cache. Since running the "chkdsk F: /f /r /v," I've disconnected it from my computer and have refused to even look at it in fear of ruining any chance I might have at data recovery. I'm willing to try absolutely anything at all to get it back. Anyone and everyone, please respond with any idea you may have at all. I don't care how low a chance of recovery it has or how crazy it sounds. Truly, this is my S.O.S. for any help at all.

    .....and the greatest part of this tragedy is, I bought this harddrive less then a month ago and transferred the 120+ gigs of data to it from 2 other seperate harddrives in the hopes of creating a secure backup to guard against exactly this kind of situation. If I weren't so sombered and sullen by my loss, I might be amused enough by the irony to crack a half-smile.

    Please....any help at all....thank you.
    Last edited by Fiercest; 10-31-2004 at 03:48 AM.

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

    NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER USE SCANDISK OR FDISK ON ANYTHING... get some software from u HDD manufactors homepage or get a ultimat boot CD with all the tools on.... its something microsoft have made and are around 100% worthless.....

    TRY this one it have em all....

    http://tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=287.. har are all the tools u need....

    But it sounds like its gone now and u need to recall u NTFS system... therea are a few programs to do that thsi is one of the best i think GetDataBack - Data Recovery for NTFS V2.31. its made in a FAT32 also...

    but its not free but there are a few others out there... that u could try Google is u friend mate..

    And dont worry some of thies programs will get all u data back even when that have been formatted 10 times and over written 5 times.. so it should be NP at all.... but if its so importend i whould buy getdataback.... and it takes a month to get the money back from it if u tell peps and u friends u can help em if they lose all there data....

    but another thing BACK UP........ my friend or just burn things out on a cd every now and then... helps alot and save u alot of troble.

    Last edited by Smoelf; 10-31-2004 at 04:00 AM.
    P4 3,2Northwood @ 3678
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: I've just lost all my data, is there any hope?

    With CDR's so cheap I can't understand why people just can't backup their important data.

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

    Don't despair; you can get back everything. It may be painstaking, difficult, and even costly (hopefully not), but it can be done.

    To start with, don't use the drive again until you've recovered everything. Don't install anyting or put any files on it. This will make things much harder.

    Now read this thread in its entirety. Your problem is slightly different in that you've completely lost your file system, but using a file recovery program, you sohuld be able to get everything back, though it could take a while. You should also be putting the files on a different hard drive as putting anything on the one with lost files could mean you write over older files, which again, will make things harder for you. You may also have to find a different program than everythinh we listed back then for recovering file on an NTFS partition since that person had a FAT32 partition.

    To stop you from going crazy in the process, which could take a while, I suggest you only look for things which you truly need and get back easily. Start by looking for your homework.

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

    BIG BOYS DONT TAKE BACKUP WE CRY LIKE BABIES WHEN WE LOOS OURE DATA
    P4 3,2Northwood @ 3678
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  6. #6
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    Thumbs up Re: I've just lost all my data, is there any hope?

    Thank you Smoelf and Yawgm0th for your helpful replies. Especially you Yawgm0th. I've been on and off the TT forums for almost a year now and everytime I've had an issue, your replies were among the first ones I see and they always had helpful information. I still have upstairs in my desk drawer a printout of your reply regarding a multi-partition WinXP installation with differing file systems process you suggested would be the best way to go. Cheers brother. You give me hope for the future of tech forums.

    While waiting for replies, I've come across promising data recovery software from OnTrack called EasyRecovery Professional. Apparently, this company recovered 99% of the data from the HDDs of the Spaceshuttle Columbia. Far from shabby work.

    http://www.ontrack.com/easyrecoveryp...Special_Nov_04

    I'll go ahead and read that thread you pointed out Yawgm0th as well as chase down a copy of this software from every computer software vendor I can find. I can only hope this software actually does what it claims to do so assuringly. I do have a question regarding your post though.

    You said the process (of data recovery) might take awhile and I should limit my search to the important stuff first, like my homework. This may sound stupid but why exactly would the data recovery take a long time? Is it just because recovering 120+ Gigs of data is no small feat for any recovery program out there? Or did you mean it would take a while to figure out what to do, get the software, and then do it?

    Maybe my questions will be answered when I read through your suggested thread. Regardless, thanks once again for your insight.

    And in my defense, I'd just like to point out that in my original post I stated two things:

    1) That the data lost was over 120 Gigabytes in quantity, all of which I consider important. Seeing as how a typical CD-R can contain 650 MB of data (and also seeing as how its not always possible to get exactly 650 MB of data onto a CD image about to be burned, but usually as close to 650 MB as one can get without exceeding it) I would have to burn over 189 (call it 190+) CDs in order to "just back up my important data." Yes I know CD-R's can be overburnt and et cetera, but anyway you slice it, that's a helluva lot of CDs. Knowing this was the primary reason I chose to do a HDD backup in the first place, not to mention the dynamic nature of data making CD-R backups less then adequate (add an MP3 here, change a filename there, and suddenly my 190+ CD backup is out of date.) Which brings me to the second thing:

    2) The creation of a HDD backup was the reason all of my data was being kept on the harddrive that failed. Having the data there was the Step 1 in the 2 step process of backing up my data. Having the HDD fail and losing all the data I was in the process of backing up for the sole purpose of safeguarding against a rare HDD failure is, to put it bluntly, just really ****ty luck.

    So yes, CD-Rs are really cheap but they don't suit my situation. And yes, I do realise the importance of backing up, which is why I was trying to do it when this happened and ruined my weekend.

    And I didn't cry, like a baby or otherwise. I did come close though.

    If there are anymore ideas, please don't not post them. I'm continuing to look at all of my options. Thanks again repliers!
    Last edited by Fiercest; 10-31-2004 at 05:24 AM.

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

    Happy to help.
    I've learned a lot from forums such as this, and I feel supporting them in any way possible is a good thing.

    DVD backup or something such as a RAID array or just a ghosted copy of the partition would be more reasonable then CD-Rs, in this case. No matter what way you did it, it would be expensive, and most methods would be tedious. It's understandable that you don't have a backup of the entire drive, but I presonally tend to backup thins like homework or other very important files to CD-RWs. I know you may consider everything on the drive important, but I'd say certain things are irreplacable, while other are just important. Those types of files are what I would go for, personally.

    Data recovery may take a long time because you may have to do it file by file, depending on how the program works. The programs I've used show you clusters and let you recovery file and/or folders that were onces there, but there may good programs that are able to recover things in easier ways than what I've seen. That program you found looks pretty good and very simple in its use by the description. The only thing I can tell you for sure is that you can recover everything. You aren't totally screwed.

    To prevent future problems like this, I'd suggest you get a UPS and possibly another 160GB to run in a RAID 1 array, on top of backing up irreplacable files on CD-RW.

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

    Just to clarify Yawgm0th, what program exactly did you use that showed you clusters...etc.?

    Also, when you used it, was it on an NTFS partition/drive? And how much did it cost?
    Right now, I'm getting a whole list of possible program options (from that thread you refered me too as well as replies I've received on another forum) and have to pretty much wade through them all, filtering out the crap ones and choosing the best one for my situation with regard to price/file types recovered/and so on.

    Oh, that's another point. Did the program you used have any special file type recovery restrictions? For example, let's say I wanted to recover a file with an extension of literally .xyz. Since not even operating systems recognize that file type and have to be manually configured in order to recognize and attribute it to a program that can run it, does the program you used have those limitations as well? Can it only recover well known and recognized file types? Can it "see" lost files with weird file types such as .xyz? Can it be configured to recover weird file types with weird extensions?

    Didn't I type a lot of questions?

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

    It was a while ago, and I can't remember what program it was. It was freeware, but it made file recovery vert tedious. It didn't show you file names, it showed you files and folders and what clusters they were located in.

    You should try the program you were looking at before, or maybe this (it's freeware).

  10. #10
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    Default Re: I've just lost all my data, is there any hope?

    Beautiful. From the combined answers I've received from this and other forums, I seem to have found the program that's the right mix of file type restrictions, price, and simultaneous multiple file recovery.

    The program I chose, just to keep you all abreast , is GetDataBack at http://www.runtime.org/ Seems like a solid program with multiple simultaneous file recovery, no restriction on file types (in fact, it doesn't seem to care what you're trying to recover, just looks for the beginning and ending of a file and says "ok, I can recover this"), and costs half the price of OnTracks software. Sounds like an all-around sweet deal to me. And yes, props to Smoelf for suggesting it to me.

    So I'm going to save up the cash, fight my MP3 addiction *hands shaking while typing* and post on the results when I get the software, a fourth harddrive and some time to try it all out. Thanks alot to everyone who responded.

    P.S. Oh, is there a Newbie Guide out there to RAID arrays? Might as well learn something about data storage after all of this grief. Also, if anyone can throw me a link to a good and simple to use Ghost program, I'd appreciate that very much. Thanks thanks and more thanks to everyone!
    Last edited by Fiercest; 11-02-2004 at 11:54 AM.

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