HDD with damaged FAT?

  xania 15:38 23 Jul 2006

A friend has an old system with a Hard Drive with everything on C:\. The operating system has failed so I have attached the HDD to my PC and attempted to load up using my Operating System and seeing his HD as merely a slave drive. Trouble is that my PC has SATA and this is an IDE drive, so my PC immediately tries to load his operating system.

I have tried to overcome this by installing his HHD as slave and a spare HDD of my own as master. My IDE master works fine but, the moment I attach his HDD as slave, the screen just print 3 lines of junk instead of the Windows install screen.

I don't want to be able to boot-up using his HHD, by I do want to save his Documents & Settings. Any ideas? I suspect that the FAT could be to blame as the disk went pear-shaped when Partition Magic froze up.

  DieSse 15:46 23 Jul 2006

I now use an external USB caddy for this type of troubleshooting - well worth a few £s.

You can start up your own system as normal - then plug-in the suspect drive.

If the system screws up immediately you do this, then the hard drive has very likely failed, not just with corruption - in any case you have virtually no chance of recovering information.

If it detects the drive OK but you can't get at anything, then you could try some of the many data recovery programs that are out there.

  DieSse 15:48 23 Jul 2006

What OS and file system is on the "failed" drive?

  woodchip 15:54 23 Jul 2006

If it's is a Fat32 then Use a 98se boot disc. and start with the floppy disc then at A:\ type

FDISK /MBR make sure you have the space before /MBR then press enter key. this will restore the MBR

click here

  Varig 15:59 23 Jul 2006

These are useful and cheap, I use 3 of them.
Good company too I have dealt with them many times.
click here

  xania 19:14 23 Jul 2006

Thanks to you all for your advice. Unfortunately, I'm now tied up for the rest of today, but I'll give them all a try tomorrow. I already have an external HHD, so I'll try to install the HHD into that as a starter.

  woodchip 19:17 23 Jul 2006

To use FIDSK /MBR you do not run windows it works from the floppy. The Disc should be in it's own Computer to do it

  xania 11:50 24 Jul 2006

Hi Woodchip

Thanks for that last point. I was thinking along similar lines. However, I was thinking that the most important point is to ensure that all my own HDD's are disconnected and only the damaged one installed before running the program. I was planning to use an old 98SE bootable floppy on my own PC as I did not think this was PC specific. Do you see any problems with this?

  xania 11:51 24 Jul 2006

Operating system on the failed HDD is Windows 2000, but on my PC is XP Pro.

  woodchip 13:20 24 Jul 2006

Not running a floppy from Start No. Doing it that way should work. the MBR is stored at the beginning and at the end of the drive. the front one tend to be the one that gets corrupt and the above replaces it with a copy from the end of the drive

  DieSse 13:37 24 Jul 2006

*Operating system on the failed HDD is Windows 2000*

Do you know whether it's FAT32 or NTFS - the actions to take are different in each case.

A Win98 boot disk will not work with it at all if it's NTFS.

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