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Everything on my hard drive got destroyed
May 28 2004

Posted on 05/28/2004 9:58:21 AM PDT by dennisw

60 gigabytes. Never had problems with it. Yesterday Windows XP froze a few times. Then the computer refused to boot up again. Boot sector wiped out? I can deal with that! I then installed this drive as a slave and it wasn't recognized... was invisible.

With Partition Magic this hard drive shows up as 60 gig of (exact words) unallocated space. It had 3 partitions which are now all gone.

I used the Western Digital Utilities and the hard drive checks out as being in good shape. No errors.

I was using Norton Anti Virus. Using a firewall on a cable connection.

I don't see any references on internet to hard drives being killed all at once.

The hard drive was 50% backed up.I will consider a data recovery company if the price is reasonable.


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1 posted on 05/28/2004 9:58:21 AM PDT by dennisw
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To: dennisw
Try OnTrack Data, I have had good luck with them in the past with work-related data recovery.

http://www.ontrack.com/ I believe is the URL

NFP

2 posted on 05/28/2004 10:00:07 AM PDT by Notforprophet ("You can have a nanny state if you prefer. But not for long." - Mark Steyn)
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To: dennisw

Do you have a hammer?


3 posted on 05/28/2004 10:00:15 AM PDT by Mister Baredog ((The French can"t even build an airport))
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To: dennisw
Download and burn a copy of Knoppix and boot up with it. It will probably mount and see the drive. If you are on a network you can copy important files to a network share. Knoppix is a fabulous rescue disk.
4 posted on 05/28/2004 10:00:48 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Drug prohibition laws help fund terrorism.)
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To: dennisw; Ernest_at_the_Beach; *tech_index
Don't do anything until you hear from the guys I just pinged. They know a lot.

One time at work something similar happened to a mac drive. We shipped it to symantec and they were able to recover the data. That was 4 years ago and I think it cost $2-300.

5 posted on 05/28/2004 10:02:29 AM PDT by LibKill (There's nobody more peaceful and less troubling than a dead trouble-maker.)
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To: dennisw; Owl_Eagle

$250 cookie recipe:

(Recipe may be halved.):

2 cups butter
4 cups flour
2 tsp. soda
2 cups sugar
5 cups blended oatmeal**
24 oz. chocolate chips
2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 8 oz. Hershey Bar (grated)
4 eggs
2 tsp. baking powder
3 cups chopped nuts
2 tsp. vanilla (your choice)

Cream the butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla; mix
together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and soda. Add
chocolate chips, Hershey Bar and nuts.
Roll into balls and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Makes 112 cookies.

** measure oatmeal and blend in a blender to a fine powder.


6 posted on 05/28/2004 10:02:49 AM PDT by martin_fierro (</pith>)
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To: dennisw
The hard drive was 50% backed up.I will consider a data recovery company if the price is reasonable.

Best Buy did mine for $60.00 last year. I don't know if that's a good price, but it was well worth it to me. Good luck!

7 posted on 05/28/2004 10:02:55 AM PDT by dansangel (*PROUD to be a knuckle-dragging, toothless, inbred, right-wing, Southern, gun-toting Neanderthal *)
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To: dennisw

Data recovery will cost about $600. I have seen widespread hard drive crashes on laptops in recent years. Usual symptoms: runs fine, then a couple of lockups, then ocassional blue screen crashes, then failue. Usually occurs over several days time.


8 posted on 05/28/2004 10:03:25 AM PDT by bobsatwork
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

I'll try Knoppix but I think since Partition Magic shows nothing but unallocated space, Knoppix won't see anything more. Won't see the 3 partitions the drive had.


9 posted on 05/28/2004 10:03:36 AM PDT by dennisw ("Allah FUBAR!")
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To: dennisw
I'll try Knoppix but I think since Partition Magic shows nothing but unallocated space, Knoppix won't see anything more. Won't see the 3 partitions the drive had.

You might be pleasantly surprised.

10 posted on 05/28/2004 10:04:56 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Drug prohibition laws help fund terrorism.)
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To: dennisw
Your 'NoDrives' registry key probably got set.

It must be zero or your drives will not be recognized.


BUMP

11 posted on 05/28/2004 10:06:14 AM PDT by tm22721 (May the UN rest in peace)
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To: dennisw

OK, Don't Laugh, but this just recently happened to my daughter.
Same symptoms, it was either there and empty or not there at all.

Turns out to have been the hdd controller, which was surface mounted to the motherboard (HP laptop)

I suggested she put the entire laptop in the fridge, get all the components very cold (she almost froze the LCD liquid!) then give it a try.

In a word - WORKED!!

for about 30 minutes, which was long enough.

Good Luck


12 posted on 05/28/2004 10:06:38 AM PDT by Big Otto
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To: dennisw

I'm am pretty sure that the technical reason this happened to your drive is -- IT'S GEORGE W. BUSH'S FAULT!!!


13 posted on 05/28/2004 10:06:55 AM PDT by You Dirty Rats (WE WILL WIN WITH W - Isara)
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To: dennisw

That reminds me. I better back up my drive.


14 posted on 05/28/2004 10:07:13 AM PDT by beckett
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To: dennisw
I'll try Knoppix but I think since Partition Magic shows nothing but unallocated space, Knoppix won't see anything more. Won't see the 3 partitions the drive had.

"Unallocated space" means only that the file allocation table has been hosed. The actual data are still on the disk -- and in fact, most of your FAT is probably there as well.

15 posted on 05/28/2004 10:07:58 AM PDT by r9etb
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To: dennisw
We use OnTrack, the cost is between $400 and $1000. They will tell you up front that they guaranty nothing, but so far they always seem to recover most of the data.

We've only had to use them twice in the last six years.

Good luck.
16 posted on 05/28/2004 10:08:58 AM PDT by HEY4QDEMS
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To: r9etb

"Unallocated space" means only that the file allocation table has been hosed............

Are viruses etc. known to do this? Kill the file allocation table?


17 posted on 05/28/2004 10:09:48 AM PDT by dennisw ("Allah FUBAR!")
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To: dennisw

I remember one time my hard drive crashed and it wouldn't even reboot. I took it to some computer guru - he tried to boot it a few times, while stroking his long beard.

He then banged the computer a few times and it booted right up. He then said that will be fifty bucks. He said my hard drive is about to crash for good so I better back up.

Try banging on the hard drive a few times. It has worked for me twice after that throughout the years.


P.S. Let me know if it works.


18 posted on 05/28/2004 10:11:31 AM PDT by M. Peach (eschew obfuscation)
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To: dennisw

You may be able to recover all or most of the data if it was formatted NTFS originally. I've done so a half a dozen times whea a drive's $MFT went pffsst! A small inexpensive application called File Scavenger will do the trick. As a matter of fact, it will even recover data from a reformatted drive. Let me know if you need more info or help in finding or using the program. When I lose a drive these days, my blood pressure actually drops. I get to have some fun.


19 posted on 05/28/2004 10:12:22 AM PDT by kylaka (The Clintons are the democRATS crack cocaine. They know they're bad for them, they just can't stop.)
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To: dennisw

Next time Ghost your machine. Cheap insurance for about $30.00....and send the image to a second HD.


20 posted on 05/28/2004 10:15:15 AM PDT by TomServo ("D'oh!...I filled my pants, sir...In fact, I think I filled yours too.")
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To: dennisw

OnTrack is going to be your best bet...

I'm running IDE RAID1 (Mirrored) drives. Drives are cheap and it is worth the few extra dollars for the peace of mind.

Many system boards support IDE RAID out of the box.

I also have a personal practice of backing my wife's and my documents to a CD every 6 months.


21 posted on 05/28/2004 10:15:16 AM PDT by TSgt (What have you done for your country today?)
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To: dennisw

BTW. Once you have your data back, consider using a hard drive to back up your hard drive. I do this and once you get past the initial expense of a second hard drive, removable drive bay or USB case, there is nothing better. You set it to back up before you go to bed. No disk flipping, no fuss. I back up a lot more frequently now that I have this in place.


22 posted on 05/28/2004 10:16:58 AM PDT by LibKill (There's nobody more peaceful and less troubling than a dead trouble-maker.)
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To: dennisw; All

"Hello.... my name is Steven Thrasher...."

http://stretta.com/~matthew/other/angry/mp3/helpdesk.mp3

(Warning: naughty language)


23 posted on 05/28/2004 10:18:54 AM PDT by Peter J. Huss
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To: Notforprophet

If it's a NTFS drive you might try the File Scavenger product from this company:

http://www.quetek.com/prod02.htm

No relationship to the company or anything, just a user. I've used it with great success but I suspect there are some situations that it can't handle but you never know....


24 posted on 05/28/2004 10:19:27 AM PDT by Proud_texan
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To: dennisw

it could have been simply a defective surface area probably somewhere in the FAT area.

The hard drives are so low cost they are NOT providing any QC - people cost money!

We have our choices - cheap or good - good being defined as tested through a good QC program and backed with PRIDE by the manufacturer.


25 posted on 05/28/2004 10:21:08 AM PDT by steplock (http://www.gohotsprings.com)
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To: dennisw

I hate when that happens.


26 posted on 05/28/2004 10:21:50 AM PDT by SeeRushToldU_So (We step on pissants in Georgia.)
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To: Peter J. Huss

LOL! Utterly classic....


27 posted on 05/28/2004 10:22:50 AM PDT by r9etb
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To: kylaka; Proud_texan

THanks... I will try file scavenger.


28 posted on 05/28/2004 10:24:36 AM PDT by dennisw ("Allah FUBAR!")
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To: dennisw

Ontrack has a program named Easy Recovery Professional.....you have to buy it but if it doesn't recover the data for you then the price of the program is subtracted from the data recovery costs if you send it to them.

Also, a local tech may be able to recover the data for you for $50 if he knows what he is doing.


29 posted on 05/28/2004 10:28:28 AM PDT by El Gran Salseron (It translates as the Great, Big Salsa Dancer, nothing more. :-))
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To: M. Peach

I had the same experience with an old Gateway computer running Windows 3.11. Every once in a while it would say it couldn't find the C drive. I would give it a sharp slap or two on the right side of the case, reboot, and it would come up fine.

I assume it was a mechanical problem, something loose somewhere, but I couldn't find where the problem was, and the computer at that point was too old to be worth upgrading.


30 posted on 05/28/2004 10:32:13 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: dennisw
"The hard drive was 50% backed up."

I bet your next one will be 100% backed up.

--Boris

31 posted on 05/28/2004 10:35:02 AM PDT by boris (The deadliest weapon of mass destruction in history is a Leftist with a word processor)
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To: Notforprophet
Try OnTrack Data, I have had good luck with them

Me too.

32 posted on 05/28/2004 10:35:15 AM PDT by iconoclast
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To: dennisw

back up and save, back up and saveback up and saveback up and saveback up and saveback up and saveback up and saveback up and saveback up and saveback up and saveback up and saveback up and saveback up and saveback up and saveback up and saveback up and saveback up and saveback up and saveback up and saveback up and saveback up and save


33 posted on 05/28/2004 10:37:50 AM PDT by Porterville (oOOOo USA against the World in this summer Olympics oOOOo)
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To: dennisw

When you try to restart do you see any message at all?


34 posted on 05/28/2004 10:38:19 AM PDT by e_castillo
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To: dennisw

sorry to hear that, Dennis. Good luck.


35 posted on 05/28/2004 10:39:02 AM PDT by Semaphore Heathcliffe
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To: Peter J. Huss

Steven Thrasher (a.k.a. Al Gore)


36 posted on 05/28/2004 10:39:36 AM PDT by Trust but Verify (Charter member Broken Glass Republicans (2000))
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To: M. Peach
OhhHHhh the computer Guru used the 'ol calibrated SMACK ..! Do not try this at home. You have to be a trained professional to use the Smack or the Calibrated DROP technique!! *ducking*
37 posted on 05/28/2004 10:39:50 AM PDT by txguy426 (** Happy Freedom in Texas **)
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To: dennisw

I bought a Western Digital hard drive last June. I mainly use it to store files and pictures, but don't put many programs on it. A few weeks ago, while trying to open a file, I received an error message. When I rebooted my computer, it showed the drive was completely blank and unformatted. I think it's a physical problem with the drive, and not virus or software related.


38 posted on 05/28/2004 10:42:45 AM PDT by LanPB01
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To: centurion316

Very timely thread - next time, backup - you moron


39 posted on 05/28/2004 10:44:16 AM PDT by centurion316 (Infantry, Queen of Battle)
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To: M. Peach
Banging works great for a stuck spindle.

I have rescued data with that approach, though I generally will knock it with the butt of the screw driver.
40 posted on 05/28/2004 10:44:47 AM PDT by CyberCowboy777 (Veritas vos liberabit)
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To: dennisw

If the computer BIOS recognizes the drive then it very likley is not a hardware failure.

Try GetDataBack to recover the data.
http://www.runtime.org/gdb.htm


41 posted on 05/28/2004 10:45:14 AM PDT by Grig
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To: Porterville

Who backs up anymore? I know we are supposed to but we don't. I like the idea of a second hard drive. They are so cheap nowadays anyway.


42 posted on 05/28/2004 10:46:53 AM PDT by RichardW
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To: LanPB01

In other words the exact same thing happened to you? You lost everything and for no logical reason. Please note my drive is Western Digital too.


43 posted on 05/28/2004 10:47:39 AM PDT by dennisw ("Allah FUBAR!")
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To: dennisw

Try Knoppix, PQ is not a great recovery tool unless you are using the PTEDIT.EXE (partition table and boot record
editor) to recreate the table.

Never settle for one tool. Where PQ failed, GWSCAN worked or PTEDIT or Knoppix.


44 posted on 05/28/2004 10:47:46 AM PDT by CyberCowboy777 (Veritas vos liberabit)
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To: dennisw

I've used this product. It's $49.95 for either NTFS or FAT

There's a free demo that will absolutely tell you whether it will work in your situation and whether you have the knowledge and understanding to use it. The demo is full featured, but will only recover small files.

http://www.data-recovery-software.net/

It's a pain in the butt because once the file allocation table is gone there are multiple ways to interpret the remaining data. However this product and a lot of patience will recover everything that can be recovered.


45 posted on 05/28/2004 10:47:46 AM PDT by js1138 (In a minute there is time, for decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse. J Forbes Kerry)
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To: kylaka

Second that for File Scavenger. OnTrack wouldn't work on a 120GB drive I had, especially since it also had compressed folders on it. File Scavenger gave me everything back.


46 posted on 05/28/2004 10:48:28 AM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: Big Otto
I have recovered three drive over the years with the "freeze" approach. Works both for bad electronics and platter/head issues.
47 posted on 05/28/2004 10:49:49 AM PDT by CyberCowboy777 (Veritas vos liberabit)
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To: dennisw

could be the romulans testing a new weapon?


48 posted on 05/28/2004 10:50:27 AM PDT by isom35
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To: dennisw

ERD Commander


49 posted on 05/28/2004 10:50:46 AM PDT by j_tull ("I may make you feel, but I can't make you think.")
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To: dennisw

When mine went down, I contacted a couple of the computer gurus at the university where I work. Neither of them had ever heard of one suddenly saying it was unformatted, and all the material suddenly vanishing. I reformatted it, and now it sometimes makes a funny clicking sound when I start up the computer; one time the computer said it wasn't there, but upon reboot, it found it. I suspect it's shoddy workmanship and a physical problem with Western Digital.

I'm waiting to see what kind of Memorial Day sales are going on this weekend at Best Buy and CompUSA. I'll be looking to pick up a new drive (NOT Western Digital) then.


50 posted on 05/28/2004 10:53:43 AM PDT by LanPB01
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