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Hard drive woes - please help!

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Hard drive woes - please help!

Old 07-21-03, 11:13 AM
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Hard drive woes - please help!

It always happens two weeks before you're gonna do a full-system backup, doesn't it?

I booted up my XP Pro system this morning to find it complaining about a hard drive. Not my 40gb boot/apps drive; not my 60gb backup-important-files-from-notebook drive... but the 120gb huge-archive-of-all-files-I'll-ever-want drive. Of course.

The directories appear to be there, and several appear to contain files, but others just error whenever I'm trying to access them. Others provide access to at least some of the files, but when I copy them, I get an error during the copy or the file contains CRC errors.

I tried Windows XP's Scandisk, but it just hangs for a while and then says: "The operation could not complete." I also tried Norton Disk Doctor from SystemWorks 2003; unhelpfully, it claims to fix a few errors and then tells me it's fine, but clearly problems remain. Finally, Windows XP's chkdsk utility tells me, quite oddly, that the drive is a RAW file system and it won't fix it. (I think it just means it's not NTFS, but I could be wrong.)

I think the drive is hosed, but I have some ideas - need your input:

1) I know that FAT32 contains a backup file allocation table, and I'd like to restore it. But I can't find any instructions on this - how do you do it? Any way to rebuild the FAT?

2) Any specific utilities that I should try for saving the drive? Utilities bundled with WinXP Pro would be great, but if I have to buy something (and it's affordable), that's fine too.

3) My top priority is saving as much data as possible. I'd like to copy all non-corrupted data to another drive, but the Windows copy utilities are naturally crappy (they don't verify files, and they abort the copy when they hit an error.) I'd like to find a utility for copying data off of a defective drive - something that ignores errors and just keeps trying. Recommendations?

- David Stein

Last edited by sfsdfd; 07-21-03 at 11:22 AM.
Old 07-21-03, 11:44 AM
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YGM
Old 07-21-03, 11:52 AM
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I've done some searching and can't find anything on restoring/rebuilding the FAT.. I recently had this happen to a harddrive on my file server(NTFS).

I used a TON of different utilities but the only one I had any luck with was Zero Assumption Recovery(http://www.z-a-recovery.com/).. it tried to fix the MFTs, and was partially successful. I was able to copy most of my data, but half of the data copied was corrupted.
Old 07-21-03, 12:14 PM
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I had a similar issue, and you need to be careful, I had a corrupt drive which would not boot from my dad's pc, so I added it in as a slave in my system and started copying data.

The drive would freeze the whole system at some of the corrupt files.

So I would need to hard boot to get back, after about 10 attempts of this it somehow wiped my good drive clean. I then used software to recover my good drive.. pain in the arse
Old 07-21-03, 03:24 PM
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Hard drives are always the first part of the computer that fails. Damn things are like light bulbs.
Old 07-22-03, 02:59 PM
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Well, I've gone with Zero Assumption Recovery ($100 package! - but unconditional money-back guarantee, in case it doesn't work.) It's been grinding away on the drive for about 18 hours now, and it's still on Stage II of the analysis process. Not very encouraging.

I'll try some other software packages (e.g., OnTrack - thx DBD), but I think the drive is toast.

- David Stein
Old 07-22-03, 03:26 PM
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Sux.

You have to backup religiously. This should only have been a minor annoyance.
Old 07-23-03, 09:05 PM
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There's a utility called Drive Rescue that worked well for me in the past, and I think it's freeware too.
If all else fails, and this may sound odd...put the drive in a ziploc bag and stick it in the freezer for an hour! Have a spare drive ready to copy all your data onto...

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