How to fix corruption of bootsector on external HDD

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by magicbird, Mar 19, 2009.

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  1. magicbird

    magicbird Registered Member

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    Hello forum,

    This is my first post here, i'm dutch please forgive my english typo's

    Yesterday we had 2 new pc's delivered 'DELL VOSTRO 220' with Win XP Pro on it. These machines are new (Intel Core 2 Duo) hardware is sata (dvd-ram en internal hdd)

    The first thing I normaly do is make an full disk image with Acronis True Image 9.1 Workstation [don't know build, but not the latest] so i can restore to the factory default at any point.
    After doing the windows updates i make another image.
    In the past 2 years i made dozen of images for different systems.

    At this point i don't have any images of the system(s) and this is my first (and worst) attempt. The target drive is an USB External HDD WD Essentials 500G (with lots of data)
    Used the CD to start Acronis (in safe mode), it sees the both disks (the internal i want to backup, and the external target hdd)

    Starting Backup c-partition to file (entering all the requierd data including filename) When the progress bar is in screen it reports to do the 300G in 58 minutes. After 5 seconds the computer begins to beep loud.
    No more keyboard and mouse activity -> computer hangs.
    I reset the computer and restarts the above. Now it reports it can see the disks but i can not get the directories to put in the filename [external hdd].
    Exited the program, turn computer off.

    Mounted the external hdd to other computer and this one reports the following error:"disk not formated, do you want to format?"

    >>> I do not want the 450Gigs of data to be lost, otherwise my little world collapses <<<

    Now after several hours of scanning with recovery software (only viewing) it is clear to me that all the data is still on the disk.

    No SMART errors, No USB controller errors, No surface problems ...
    The Partition reports a correct NTFS partition and when selected it does see the files.
    The Bootsector reports an unknown Partition

    So it looks like the write attempt of acronis was not in the file (on the disk) but starting on the first sector of the disk.

    Need help to be sure what te correct repair attempt should be.
    Do I want to restore the bootsector o_O What program?

    Edit: only sata components found
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2009
  2. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    What you want to do before you do anything else is get all of the data off the USB disk by whatever means is necessary before you start making modifications to any part of it. The disk itself may have developed a fault and any write attempt to it could end up in the wrong place.

    It sounds like you have everything on this one USB drive which essentially means you don't have a backup of your "little world". IMO, a USB drive seems to give a sense of security to a lot of people when in fact they have the same HD inside, use an additional level of interface and cabling, and are subjected to handling abuses by virtue of being portable.
     
  3. magicbird

    magicbird Registered Member

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    -> SeekForEver

    I'm too scared to use FixBoot or FixMBR from an Windows XP CD

    2 months ago i had put on that much data to sort it out to import it back into a new infrastucture on the network.

    Normaly this was an almost empty disk for work on images and restoring pc's
    Now i depend on it...

    I know it's my fault to assume acronis works always as it should. This is the 1% out of the 100 times it goes well.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2009
  4. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    If you can get your data off the disk and safely stored away then you can use Fixmbr or whatever in an attempt to fix the disk. If it totally screws it up, you have the backup. I wouldn't do it without the backup unless there is absolutely no other option because you don't really know what caused the problem.

    While I would be suspicious about TI doing the deed, it isn't certain. You could have had a failure in the USB drive itself, in the PC's USB interface, cable, or some other PC related hardware fault. Coincidences do happen.
     
  5. magicbird

    magicbird Registered Member

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    -> SeekForEver

    I like acronis, i trust the software.
    But in this case (all usb or sata connected items) with posibly a new type of usb controler i can imagine it's not fully compatible.

    It doesn't see the disk in full version, only in safe mode (posibly legacy usb support) and all usb connected items like the mouse freezes in the main screen, only keyboard works.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2009
  6. magicbird

    magicbird Registered Member

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    -> SeekForEver

    Do you sugest making an image (with acronis or ghost) of this disk (to file) or a disk2disk solution?
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2009
  7. magicbird

    magicbird Registered Member

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    To test of there was any USB corruption i had the hdd removed out of its case. It's a sata disk.
    When i'm going to try to repair i'll have it directly attached with sata cables on my mainboard, so no usb inteferance can occur.
     
  8. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

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    A simple chkdsk x: /f from the command line (or scandisk "with boxes to fix errors checked" from within windows) will fix any corruption on that external hard drive.

    If that doesn't fix it, you can try the free "testdisk" it specializes in fixing corrupt bootsectors.

    Though fixmbr/fixboots or any type of mbr repair won't damage your data or hard drive (it won't make your situation worst) , you can image your external using the "sector by sector" method which works best on corrupted or unrecognize drives. But making a backup is not really required (only if you will be reformatting, which is a procedure that will overwrite the data).

    Worst case scenario all the data on a corrupt hard drive is recoverable (as long as it wasn't reformatted and the drive doesn't have any physical damage). A few corrupted MB's of data will make a 500gb hard drive seem damage beyond repair, but all the data is still there. The software "testdisk" has an addon "photorec" which can recover data from a corrupted drive.

    The "warning" you got that the "drive is not recognize do you want to format?" that's the classic error you get when you have corruption on the hard drive. The times I've seen that a simple chkdsk has fixed the problem.
     
  9. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Magicbird,
    Sounds like the not unusual Linux environment not having proper drivers for new hardware so you have to use the Safe which is a form of DOS. The amount of USB support you get with Safe mode, if any, depends on the system.

    I would copy the files by any method that gives the desired result. I would prefer a straight file copy rather than dumping them into a big container file that a program like TI would do.

    jonyjoe81 is likely correct about the low risk of further damage but if that large amount of data on the drive is your "whole world" then, I would always err on the side of caution and backup the data first. This is always a good idea when you don't really know what caused the problem.
     
  10. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    My first thought when I read your first post was that TI Workstation 9.1 is too old to work with a brand new PC with SATA drives. I expected that you would report that you couldn't see the internal hard drive when booted from the TI 9.1 Rescue CD.

    Do your drives all have names so you are not depending on drive letters to identify the drives? For example, C: Boot, D: Data, E: USB, etc. This is very important since Lunux (the Rescue CD) often gives the drives different letters than Windows.
     
  11. magicbird

    magicbird Registered Member

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    Tried ScanDisk [before posting to this forum] in Windows XP, after start button program exits without any error or notice.
     
  12. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    ScanDisk was part of Win98 and wasn't inclulded in XP.

    You can do disk error checking by opening My Computer and Right clicking on a drive. Select properties and then the Tools tab. Check both the boxes in Error Checking and click Start. You will be informed that the check will run the next time Windows restarts. Reboot and let the error check (which is CHKDSK) run.
     
  13. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello magicbird,

    Thank you for your interesting in Acronis True Image

    I would recommend you create BartPE bootable disc using Acronis BartPE plug-in, you can download plugin from your account. If some drivers are not recognized by Acronis True Image Home 2009 you may use BartPE bootable disc. It is possible to add any storage drivers at startup in the same manner as when installing Windows on the hard drive (by pressing F6 and inserting diskette with drivers). Boot from the created disc and see if the issue persists.

    To create BartPE bootable disc with the Acronis True Image plug-in you should download PE builder from the following link

    See also this article “Creating BartPE Media with Acronis Disk Director Suite 10.0”, use this link.

    For additional information about BartPE, please click the following link


    Best regards,
    --
    Dmitry Nikolaev
     
  14. magicbird

    magicbird Registered Member

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    This is exactly the way i did this. But after the start button nothing. Looks like application crash without notice or error screen.
     
  15. magicbird

    magicbird Registered Member

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    Thanks Acronis for this reply.
    I know i'm not using the latest version of your software.
    For future updates on new hardware computers i will use your advise.

    My main concern is the harddrive that failed, how to repair it.
    That is the reason i opened this thread on the forum.
    So others with similar problem can check when same problem occurs.
     
  16. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    That's odd, but sometimes USB drives act in unusual ways with CHKDSK.

    Now that you have the drive out of the external drive case, you can attach it via a SATA cable and try CHKDSK d: /R on the drive while it is connected internally.
     
  17. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello all,

    Thank you for using Acronis True Image

    magicbird, do you have Acronis Disk Director license? You can try to use Acronis Recovery Expert. If you don't have it, please let me know about it via PM.

    Thank you.

    --
    Oleg Lee
     
  18. magicbird

    magicbird Registered Member

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    -> All : Are there tools which can read only the boot/fs/partitioninfo/backup_partitioninfo so i can send this for examination o_O
    That would help without making fatal repair desicions ...

    The disk is reconized in software of acronis and others, it reports a complete partition on the disk. it can not access the partition because the data in de FS is wrong/overwritten/otherwise. i need to be sure it wil fix only the beginning of the disk, partitions are alright.

    -> jmk94903 : What wil hapen when i use this command.
    In the past i had a harddisk with a problem which automaticly after booting os started to repair lost clusters on the disk (not stopable).
    After that is lost 90% of the data, the structure was there but the data was garbage.
    I need to be sure it fixes only the boot/fs because the backup partitiontable (halfway the disk?) reports the correct files, including the last maps created just before the fatal error.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2009
  19. magicbird

    magicbird Registered Member

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    Problem ain't fixed yet! Why doesn't anyone respond to the latest message :(
    There is info on the disc i need, problem needs to be recovered soon ...
     
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