Lot of HDD activity and now the drive is empty!!!

  johndrew 11:08 09 Mar 2007

I have a problem with OE that I have been attempting to resolve, but on boot up this morning the screen froze an the HDD light was on constantly for a substantial period. Eventually, right or wrong, I did a hard re-boot to get back in. Now my F: drive (a separate HDD from the boot drive) shows up as empty, is not accessible through `My Computer` but shows up as a `Healthy` drive in `Disk Management` but with no file system showing.

Have I lost the data that was on it? Can anyone advise of a method to recover both the data and the use of the disk or must I format the disk and try again?

Thanks in anticipation.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 11:30 09 Mar 2007

Testdisc click here
Drive Rescue click here

  johndrew 13:53 09 Mar 2007

Thanks for coming back.

I have looked at your links, the second one - Drive rescue - is for FAT files and this drive was originally NTFS. The information says it is `incomplete` for NTFS so I`m not certain if it will work.

TestDisk is way beyond me. I have downloaded the file and looked at the documentation and can make neither head or tail. Can you provide any further help please?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 14:25 09 Mar 2007

Have not used Test disk personally but it is well recommended on the forum,

You need to recover the master boot record (MBR) of the HDD otherwise you will lose everything. click here

If you can afford to lose all data on the drive then the easiest option is format in diskmanagement.

  johndrew 14:30 09 Mar 2007

I should have said I did open the folder and read the notes in the `Win` folder. I then clicked on `testdisk_win` and identified my second drive but when I selected `Analyse` (for lost partitions) it told me `no partition is bootable` (which I know because it is my second disk) it then asked me to change the partition characteristics - which is where I really got lost as it allowed *, P or D but not L or E. * & P were outlined in Green and D in white (I have no idea why). I think it is either here or at the start I need help.

  johndrew 14:35 09 Mar 2007

I would rather not lose all the data on the disk. Some would take a lot of replacing.

  johndrew 10:02 10 Mar 2007

I have decided to Format the disk.

Thanks for your help anyway.

  villageidiot 19:06 10 Mar 2007


I'm worried that there is no mention of RAID and Backup in your final message. Have you not learned your lesson??????

From one who has been through it, so now uses RAID AND off-site backup. About £50 instead of the mind-numbing stress and hours of wasted time caused by lost data and programs. I have averaged about one failed HDD per year.

  johndrew 14:00 12 Mar 2007

Yes, I use Acronis to backup my primary (250GB) drive, but the second drive (also 250GB) used for storage is not backed up as the content is mainly held on the primary drive also - but, unfortunately, not everything.

My backups are held on an external (also 250GB) drive which doesn`t have room for everything. When I become rich I shall be able to afford a very large external drive which will contain everything. If I become even richer I will be able to afford lots of drives and have a RAID setup.

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