Will I be able to save my data?

Discussion in 'Acronis Disk Director Suite' started by Bugged, Jul 27, 2006.

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  1. Bugged

    Bugged Registered Member

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    Hi

    I had a sudden problem with my PC which has left me puzzled and wondered if anyone could advise me on whether Acronis Recovery Expert will help in this situation.

    My PC suddenly "hung" for no reason that I could identify, so I rebooted thinking this would solve the problem, but what happened next was that it posted past the splash screen and then stopped at the point where windows would normally boot. In other words it was finding the boot record on the hard drive and reporting "ok" but not actually booting windows. As a result of this it wouldn't go beyond this point to search for the boot record from other devices such as floppy or CD/DVD drive.

    For some reason I couldn't access set up using F2 or the boot record using F11, but cutting a long story short, I eventually got a response from the F2 key and was able to get into the set up screen and from there was able to navigate to the boot record.

    I found that my C drive was being reported as unformatted!! the other partitions were normal NTFS as they should be for windows XP. I can't understand why the partition on the C drive has been corrupted, but obviously I need to reformat it, but I also realise that by doing so I will lose all my valuable data on this partition.

    I back up regularly, but not enough to be up to date with everything I need to save.
    My question is basically what would be the best way of dealing with this problem, for example would it be better to reformat the partition and then try recovering the original partition to get my data back, or could I create a boot disk with Acronis Recovery on my other PC and run it on the main PC to try and repair the partition without losing the files on it?

    The reason that I am asking this question is that I have no experience using the Acronis Recovery software and although it seems straightforward for the user, I'm not sure how I should approach the problem.

    I have Spinrite v6 which I have run twice on the partition but it reports no errors, although to be fair I think this software is designed to recover data from a failing drive and not a healthy one with a windows problem.

    I haven't yet purchased the Acronis software but realise it is my only hope of recovering the data on my drive, I just need some advice on what would be the safest way to tackle the specific problem I have because my thinking is that something has corrupted my drive and therefore I would prefer to get all the data off it and then do a clean install of windows... unless somebody more with more knowledge of this kind of problem can advise me on a better way to fix this.

    I am running windows XP Pro with XPsp2 patch, the drive is a maxtor 160GB on which I have 4 partitions all of which are fine except my now unformatted C drive which is of course where all my data lives. I don't know if any further info on the systen would be of any help but I can give this if it is necessary.
     
  2. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello Bugged,

    Thank you for using Acronis Disk Director Suite

    Actually you can recover the accidentally lost partition using Acronis Disk Director 10.0 Suite. You should make a bootable media which will consist Acronis Disk Director 10.0 Suite full/safe version, then you should boot from this bootable media and run Recover partitions wizard.
    Please also note that Acronis Disk Director 10.0 Suite recovers partitions only from unallocated space.

    We are always at your service should you have any further questions.

    Thank you
    --
    Alexander Gladkov
     
  3. Bugged

    Bugged Registered Member

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    Hi Alexander

    I have tried to boot from the full version but this didn't work so I am currently working with the safe version, but so far the software has been unable to find any deleted partitions. I was wondering if your suggestion will work since the partition is not actually deleted or even "lost", it has become unformatted.

    Due to the partition being unformatted I am wondering if Acronis will pick this up, or did you mean that I should re-partition the drive and then use Acronis to find it?
     
  4. crofttk

    crofttk Registered Member

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    I wouldn't be so quick to reformat the drive. Have you opened the box and checked that the power connections and the data connections are all right and likewise on the other end ? Power and data cables should be unseated and reseated on each end. Is the drive spinning up for sure ?
     
  5. Bugged

    Bugged Registered Member

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    Yes all my hardware is connected properly and Spinrite reports the drive as being physically perfect.

    The problem I have is a windows one, and since my last post I have discovered that not only is my drive partition format being reported as "unknown", but I have "lost" the \windows\system32\config\system file and from what I've been reading, this seems to be a common problem with nobody including Microsoft knowing for sure what causes it.

    I have attempted a repair of the system file above with no success via the repair console, in fact I have spent endless hours attempting every possible repair method suggested with no success. My file system on this partition is totally corrupt,it looks like the system hive has gone walkabout and I was actually considering removing the hard drive from my faulty PC and installing it as a second drive on my healthy PC to see if I could extract the data I want to save on to the good drive of the healthy machine.

    I'm not sure if this would work successfully, but all I really want to do is recover the data from the drive, so if I can do that, I am quite happy to wipe the drive and reinstall windows from scratch if I need to, in fact I think it would be the best thing to do if I want to get a stable system again.

    Another possible solution I thought of was using Acronis to create another partition, or move/copy the corrupt partition to another one on the drive where I might be able to recover the data (if I installed windows on it first) but I'm clutching at straws here and don't know if any of my ideas will work without the possible loss of data.

    I have tried all the suggestions here
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307545/en-us
    http://www.short-media.com/forum/showthread.php?t=24057

    and similar sites who all go about this in much the same way, but this solution looks as if it will work only on a partition where it is only the \windows\system32\config\system file that is lost, and the file directory is still ok - I have the double problem of having the missing file plus the corrupt file directory - in other words as far as my operating system is concerned the partition is unformatted.

    This string of commands was looking as if I might have some success:

    md tmp
    copy c:\windows\system32\config\system c:\windows\tmp\system.bak
    copy c:\windows\system32\config\software c:\windows\tmp\software.bak
    copy c:\windows\system32\config\sam c:\windows\tmp\sam.bak
    copy c:\windows\system32\config\security c:\windows\tmp\security.bak
    copy c:\windows\system32\config\default c:\windows\tmp\default.bak

    delete c:\windows\system32\config\system
    delete c:\windows\system32\config\software
    delete c:\windows\system32\config\sam
    delete c:\windows\system32\config\security
    delete c:\windows\system32\config\default

    copy c:\windows\repair\system c:\windows\system32\config\system
    copy c:\windows\repair\software c:\windows\system32\config\software
    copy c:\windows\repair\sam c:\windows\system32\config\sam
    copy c:\windows\repair\security c:\windows\system32\config\security
    copy c:\windows\repair\default c:\windows\system32\config\default

    But when I got to this string:
    copy c:\windows\repair\system c:\windows\system32\config\system

    I got a message saying it couldn't find the file, so back to the drawing board!

    I'm so fed up of this problem that moving my hard drive to my other machine and trying to get the data off it from there looks like my best hope, assuming it's possible. If anyone has any other suggestions I'm all ears!

    Thanks for your input Crofftk I appreciate it.
     
  6. Bugged

    Bugged Registered Member

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    Location:
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    Hi

    I have still not been able to access my data from the corrupted partition. I've tried everything I can find on the subject so I wondered if I installed the drive with the corrupted hive on my other working system, and set it to "slave" would I be able to recover the files that way?

    I wondered if I could move the entire partition onto the good drive of my working PC whether I would then be able to view and back up the files.

    I haven't done anything like this before and have been putting it off in case there was somebody who might have posted another option I could have tried, but it seems that Acronis won't work unless I have "lost" or deleted the partition. At the moment Acronis can see the partition and reports it as NTFS but windows says the file system is "unknown"

    I don't want to risk repartitioning the drive and reinstalling windows in the hope that Acronis will be able to find the old partition. I'm confident that it would, but I'm not sure if I would be able to get all the files retrieved after I had repartitioned.

    If anyone can advise, I would appreciate it.
     
  7. Nick57

    Nick57 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Posts:
    4
    Hi,

    First of all, don't mess around to much you make the situation more worse then it is. I don't think Uberhaupt that a reformat, repartition or any thing else on that low level will help you as it damage more then good is for you. Sit down, get a cup coffee. You are lucky to have a second PC that gives good oppertunities.

    Reading your first post, please give me a lot more of information from the last weeks, as a sudden thing is very rare there must have been a reason or warnings. for example, did you install 'buggy' software, updated drivers? updated bios or any other firmware? As always something like that is the underlaying reason for this.

    What you can do is as follow.

    1) Take HD out that PC, make it slave (Jumpers) hang in the other PC, and keep fingers crossed you didn't mess it up to much.

    2) Diagnostic, Then get the software for that HD to read out the Statistics of the HD, ( this is software from the Disk manufactur to read out the special location where information is stored about bad or corrupt sectors/clusters) mostly of the time this will tell you that for example the HD is fine or having serious problems In that case you can then decide that the HD is ok and you are able to retrieve your data and that it is reliable enough after the recovery for a good wipe and you can reuse it.
    You have to do this as its very important to have a reliable HD and we need also to find out if your hardware failed or you have software playing up for your disaster.

    3) Retrieve data,we need to make a decission now, you have the report of your HD and let's assume the HD is fine, you can try to browse with the explorer to see your files. If so, Copy all your data files to your other HD, I hope you had a special partition for your data files as you are talking about 4 partitions :-0 If not, please make for future a special partition to do so, and keep system and program files in other partition, We don't care to much about windows or programs, but DATA is very important as that is hours of work! Please use copy, to give yourself a second or more change and cut will delete the file and make it a bit more risky as any action with the FAT table is not wise!

    3b) Disaster, no access, lets say the report of the HD tells you its a buggy HD, then keep fingers crossed about your DATA, don't worry to much about windows, since you have messed up so much ( sorry ) your better of with a clean install anyway. The thing left now is to get a low level package to retrieve data. Good program to do that is Restore 2000, now once more you will need to be patient, you can install this on your PC to read the harddisk out for your files, this program is very very good, be assured you retrieve the right info, as this program is able to find many previous partitions on the HD from previous windows installations as well.

    Resume:

    Anyway, you need to find the reason for this as when your HD is fine and you are able to retrieve your Data, you need to be sure it won't happen again as its a waste of time to hang it back in an unreliable PC.

    Not sure if this will be of any good help for you, but never try to mess around to much hang it straight in another PC and retrieve data before trying out.

    What you could try ( after retrieving data ) is hang it back and do a fixmbr ( fix the master boot record ) then look in the ini file with the recover console to find out if your windows tries to boot from the right partition.

    You said 4 partitions, you have other system on it and a boot manager?

    Suc6
     
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