What to do with a poorly hard drive?

  WhiteTruckMan 01:10 06 Aug 2006

I've been presented with my brothers pc that when trying to start just comes up with ntldr is missing. Unfortunately its an antique, but it has valuable data on the drive that I've been trying to recover. The missing message is , I think, merely a symptom of the drive failing. There are numerous web pages devoted to solving this problem, accessible via google, however its the drive itself that concerns me.

Its a maxtor 10 gig drive, with xp on it, formatted to fat32. bios will correctly identify the drive. booting to dos, scandisk refuses to examine the drive. I can make the drive current, but a directory reading shows no files or folders. scanreg will examine the drive and reports all is well, but I havnt tried making any changes. Tried the drive in another xp machine and it reports no problem, identifies the drive ok, etc, but reports the drive as having no free space.

I downloaded a disc checking utility from the manufacturers site and it is running overnight, but all that will do (I think) is tell me if there is any problems. The only thing thats stopping me from doing a kill-or-cure low level format is I promised I would do whatever I could to see if I could recover any data. I might add that its a small buisness machine, but was only backed up on a monthley basis. hence, trying to recover the latest lot of data.

The symptoms lead me to believe the file allocation table has gone pear shaped, but I'm open to better offers. anyone any ideas or sensible suggestions?


  ExTrEmEbLoWoUt 01:24 06 Aug 2006

insert the windows xp disk ! make it boot !let it run past the first recovery phase when it asks to use the recovery console and let it get to 3 options i think it is install xp then r to use the recovery console then sumthing else! press r let it run through and it should find that ntldr is missing and replace it ! let me know if you have any success !! if not ive got more options xx

  lotvic 01:29 06 Aug 2006

With the 10 gig drive hooked up as a slave (change jumper) I would suggest you copy the contents of 10Gb h/d to a folder on your hard drive.
Or preferably burn to DVD.

Make a 2nd copy of the data files and work with those, leaving the 1st copy untouched so that you always have a fresh start on the files when it goes pearshaped....

This would then allow you to do the format on 10gig without losing any data files as you can copy them back after. Or put them onto a new drive if that one is kaput.

  WhiteTruckMan 02:02 06 Aug 2006

but I cannot examine the contents of the drive except as stated with fdisk. It shows as full, but no files or folders. so nothing to copy to anywhere else. likewise the recovery console doesnt work, because theres a problem with the drive itself.


  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 11:03 06 Aug 2006

Have you solved the NTDLR missing?

NTLDR Missing
If you have FAT32 partitions, it is much simpler than with NTFS. Just boot with a Win98 floppy and copy the NTLDR or NTDETECT.COM files from the i386 directory to the root of the C:\ drive.

Insert and boot from your Windows XP CD. At the first R=Repair option, press the R key Press the number that corresponds to the correct location for the installation of Windows you want to repair. Typically this will be #1 Enter in the administrator password when requested Enter in the following commands (X: is replaced by the actual drive letter that is assigned to the CD ROM drive) COPY X:\i386\NTLDR C\: COPY X:\i386\NTDETECT.COM C:\ Take out the CD ROM and type exit

to get files off the drive try:
Drive Rescue click here
Disk Investigator click here
PCInspector click here
R_Studio click here
Easyrecovery click here
Testdisc click here
Drive Rescue click here

  WhiteTruckMan 20:32 06 Aug 2006

And I shouldnt have mentioned it. that, I can cure. If only I can get access to the hdd. Likewise, the repair console is useless because at the moment there is nothing to repair, i.e. cannot find any files on the drive. I took a quick look at some of those links, thanks fruitbat, and some look promising but I have been called out. will get back with results if any in a bit.


  WhiteTruckMan 00:07 07 Aug 2006

And its all thanks to fruitbat and one of his links. Specifically, the testdisc link. That pulled the fat back together from a backup copy. That uncovered the problem of no active partition. I could read the data on another pc, but couldnt boot the drive. A quick trip into fdisk, told it to make the (only) partition active, crossed my fingers and hey presto, one machine now back running. At the moment its running a surface scan in dos, but I already have backed up the data, which was the main aim.

Fruitbat-Thanks. Just say when and there's a big wet sloppy kiss for you. I'll send my brother round with it. After all, it was his computer<g>


  keef66 09:52 07 Aug 2006

my postings

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

Alienware 17 R4 2017 review

These brilliant Lego posters show just what children's imaginations are capable of

Mac power user tips and hidden tricks

Comment réinitialiser votre PC, ordinateur portable ou tablette Windows ?