Windows won't start after Partitioning

  old china 15:55 17 May 2006

My 13-yr son came crying to me last night. He installed Partition Magic and tried to partition his Maxtor 80gig hard disk into 2 drives. Unfortunately, he had not really taken my advice : patience and research, record-what-he-did, back up! Now I have to pick up the pieces -- PLEASE HELP.

This is what he said he did.

His drive was 76gb plus 7mb unused partitioned space (presumably what Windows always keeps?). He installed Partition Magic 8.0 and used the program to resized the original 76gb to about 65gb and the remaining space to a new drive of about 13gb.

Then he clicked Apply Changes and the screen asked him to restart the computer.

He restarted the PC. After the Windows logo came up on the screen, saying Applying Changes, I waited and it said (error -- 1518, he thinks!). It then said 'Press any key to restart the PC'.

He did the restart, got to the Windows logo, and restarted again. Loop continues...

He tried a Windows recovery disc (a universal CD that I had bought sometime ago, just in case) but it didn't work.

Please, any ideas.

I thought I might tried Windows Repair using my XP Pro original CD, when I get home from work tonight. Would that be any good? (He doesn't want to lose all his data, which he DIDN'T back up.)

  wee eddie 18:25 17 May 2006

Do you think that you could install the Maxtor as a slave drive in another PC?

Has he tried opening in "Safe Mode"?

  old china 01:24 18 May 2006

Thanks, wee eddie.

I don't have much computer skills. I have patience and learn from this forum. My son's got more, but hasty.

He tried 'Safe Mode' but it didn't work. I am reluctant to let him use his Maxtor as a slave drive in my PC which is the only other PC in the house, in case things go wrong.

Windows Repair didn't work either. It got to the stage where we should have been able to select 'OS XP pro' and then 'R' for the option to repair, but instead, it showed the partitioned drive and asked to be formatted.

With great reluctance, he decided to reformat the drive. Now Windows is working and he is going to start all over again.

I've read that reformatting a disk does not erase the data on the disk, only the address tables, and that most of the data on the disk are recoverable.

Can any one tell me how we could recover the data after reformatting? (Perhaps this should be a new thread...)


  wee eddie 08:05 18 May 2006

Are you prepared to spend a £30 or so.

Just an idea:- Buy an USB External Hard Drive Caddy > put the Maxtor drive in it > Plug the Caddy into your PC where it will appear as 1 or more probably 2 extra drives >

There are others, far better qualified, to guide you through the removal of his new partition or recovery of his files, so I shall leave that up to those that follow.

  TonyM 08:34 18 May 2006

Re-installing windows will have overwritten some files , but you are right - they may be lots you can recover ....

I have used this free file recovery software and found it very effective and easy to use.

click here

The important thing is not to install anything else until you have tried to recover stuff, because every time you write to the disk you will be destroying the old data

  old china 13:58 18 May 2006

Too late, already reformatted. Only option is to try to recover as much as poss.

  old china 14:14 18 May 2006

Many thanks for the link. I had downloaded two others: Lost&Found by PowerQuest, GetDataBack by Runtime. But they are both demo versions so I SUSPECT runnng them would tell me if/which files could be recovered, and I would probably have to pay if we actually want to recover them. I haven't tried them yet - still at work.

So your link to PCInspector File Recovery is most appreciated as it is freeware. I've downloaded the installation files and saved them on a usb pen-drive.

Could you point me in the right direction? The Maxtor drive is the only hard drive in the PC. Do we have to put another hard drive in the PC and set it to Master, and set the Maxtor to Slave? I am hoping we don't have to do that and leave the Maxtor where it is, put the usb in the PC, run the File Recovery Programme and save any recovered files to CDs, DVDs and usb-drives. The most needed data are really his homework files...

Your help is much appreciated!

  rodriguez 15:54 18 May 2006

You need a hard drive that can start into Windows so that you can install PCInspector File Recovery, so you should set the Maxtor drive as slave and put it in your working PC. This won't damage your working PC because it will just recognise it as a second drive and think nothing of it. When you load PCInspector, just get it to scan the Maxtor drive which will be the hard drive with the highest letter (probably E: or F: if you have 1 or 2 CD or DVD drives as well). It will then scan the drive and report what can be recovered. This scan will take some time, but PCInspector is quite effective. TonyM is right about not installing anything on the Maxtor until you have recovered the data because when files are deleted or formatted, the space is just registered as blank and can be overwritten at any time so just keep that in mind.

  Diemmess 16:33 18 May 2006

Emphasising what rodriguez has said.

If you are able to use PCInspector on your own computer with yous son's

  Diemmess 16:34 18 May 2006

sorry pressed the send instaed of cancel button ...... no time left

  Diemmess 19:39 18 May 2006

If you can recover some DATA (son's homework and other picture files or word docs), save them to your HD or a CD.

At last, when you have extracted all you need/can then they can be copied to your son's HD

But..... don't try to copy system files or applications as such, The odds are not only they won't work, but will almost certainly screw up the drive again.
You already have the new system running, applications can be reinstalled as normally and the precious data copied back again at the end.

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