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Corrupt partition = Data loss?


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7 replies to this topic

#1 Neil B.

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 10:53 AM

Ive got a quick question...

If The boot partition on a hard drive becomes corrupt or missing, will it erase the entire contents of the drive that was within that partition?

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 10:59 AM

What is the exact error message?

System manufacturer and model?

If the partition is damaged...it's hard to predict what may be evident. My limited experience says that a damaged partition may be become "invisible" to Windows and users may be able to recover data files, using recovery software.

If the partition damage is caused by a faulty hard drive...more unpredictability.

Louis

#3 Neil B.

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 12:05 PM

Hard drive checks out.

Here is the story:

My sister's computer stopped booting a while ago and she took it to someone (im not sure who) to see if they can fix it. They flat out told her that there was no data on the drive... I raised an eyebrow at this and said I will get your data back.

However, I popped the hdd into a different machine to retrieve the data and the drive had apparently been whiped clean. There was a partition, but it had yet to be formatted. I then asked her what exactly happened to her computer... she told me that it would turn on, and get to the manufacturers splash screen. I then asked her if it proceeded from their, and she said it might have got to a point where it said press any key to continue. So this made me think 'advanced windows startup screen'. The guy that she had look at it said, however, that there was no data on the drive, and that it would need to be replaced. However, I tested the drive, which is a western digital 320gb drive, with the western digital lifeguard diag tool AND hitachi's drive fitness tool. I even did a chkdsk... all tests came back with a passed result... So the hdd was not bad, and I cant figure out how in the hell the data on the drive could have mysteriously disappeared (which is apparently what the guy she took it too said) on its own.. Infact it couldnt have.... She also told me that when she asked this mystery tech what happened, he couldnt give her a straight answer.

This is why I asked my original question. If the boot process got to the point where it displayed the advanced startup options... that tells me a boot file would have gotten corrupt. If it didnt get to that point at all then the partition would have gotten corrupt. However, in both scenarios the data on the drive should have been left intact right?

#4 hamluis

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 12:42 PM

I think I've explained it...as well as I can.

FWIW:

The DFT is of no value when run on anything other than a Hitachi drive, IMO. It's important to run the appropriate diagnostic on the appropriate hard drive.

The short diagnostic hard drive test is inferior to the long diagnostic offered by any hard drive manufacturer.

Chkdsk is inferior to any hard drive diagnostic when it comes to assessing hard drive functionality. But it's better at determining partition troubles, IMO...but it won't detect all such.

If a partition exists and Windows cannot read it...data-recovery software should be the next step.

If you Google...you will see that it is not uncommon for partitions to become...damaged...with subsequent inability by Windows to access or see any partition structure or files.

If you ran chkdsk on a partition that Windows cannot see...that doesn't seem possible to me.

Louis

#5 Neil B.

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 12:51 PM

Windows read the partition, when she gave it to me.

And I ran the long test using the manufacturers testing software.

If the partition was damaged, it would appear in windows, however it would have thrown a 'this disk is corrupt and unreadable' error.

Which brings me to my original question, how does data magicaly dissapear? If the tech knew what he was doing, he would have saw that the drive was infact good. He would have saw the partition, and would have ran data recovery software. However, I believe all that this guy did was pop it in a computer, saw that either the partition was bad or it just wouldnt boot to winders and said to heck with it...

I was just wondering if it was possible that data can magically dissapear from a hard drive. Whether or not winders can access it or not I do not care, that was not my question.

Edited by Neil B., 24 July 2010 - 12:52 PM.


#6 abauw

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 01:55 PM

Windows read the partition, when she gave it to me.

And I ran the long test using the manufacturers testing software.

If the partition was damaged, it would appear in windows, however it would have thrown a 'this disk is corrupt and unreadable' error.

Which brings me to my original question, how does data magicaly dissapear? If the tech knew what he was doing, he would have saw that the drive was infact good. He would have saw the partition, and would have ran data recovery software. However, I believe all that this guy did was pop it in a computer, saw that either the partition was bad or it just wouldnt boot to winders and said to heck with it...

I was just wondering if it was possible that data can magically dissapear from a hard drive. Whether or not winders can access it or not I do not care, that was not my question.


honestly...
no one knows where your hardrive partition gone...but I think some of your data still in your hardrive...
try use recovery software to get some of your data back...
but please remembering one think if you want do data recovery...never installed recovery software and try recover some data from the same hardrive that you want recover...do it with different hardrive...one hardrive for OS, recovery software and a storage for the data that you want to recover...and one hardrive (the one that you want to recover) leave it just only to scan and recover the data...

about the name of that recovery software...sorry I cant recomend you...every recovery software have their own weakness so if you try recovery software and cannot recover something....try another recovery software...and because of that I can not sugest you one recovery software...I usually use a couple recovery software just to make sure everything gets recover...

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#7 Darth sidious

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 06:40 AM

Windows read the partition, when she gave it to me.

And I ran the long test using the manufacturers testing software.

If the partition was damaged, it would appear in windows, however it would have thrown a 'this disk is corrupt and unreadable' error.

Which brings me to my original question, how does data magicaly dissapear? If the tech knew what he was doing, he would have saw that the drive was infact good. He would have saw the partition, and would have ran data recovery software. However, I believe all that this guy did was pop it in a computer, saw that either the partition was bad or it just wouldnt boot to winders and said to heck with it...

I was just wondering if it was possible that data can magically dissapear from a hard drive. Whether or not winders can access it or not I do not care, that was not my question.


You've used data lifeguard which is correct for wd drives and it has passed but using the hitachi dft not a good idea it is meant for hitachi drives not wd drives.

A boot partition record may have corrupted but will not erase the os but may be unable to see the windows installation or make it invisible as though it has been erased but may not be the case.

It is unclear what your sister did and we have no information or description of the original problem she may not have given you any information i don't know.

What you can do now is download a linux live cd and run it from the cd and see if it can see the windows installation and retrieve any important data off it, then restore the computer to factory default(state computer was shipped in) using the recovery partition if that is unusable the recovery cd/dvd's that were either supplied with the computer or should have been burnt when received the computer from new.
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#8 Platypus

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 07:26 AM

Probably the quickest answer will be from results of decent recovery software. If it is unable to find any files to recover, or if it recovers files that have no contents, then it would seem the drive has been wiped. A corruption of the partition table will not do this - the data will still exist on the drive.

If the drive has been wiped it could be deliberate (perhaps by a tech in hopes of selling a drive), or accidental - a lot of folk might not yet be aware that if you accept the option to do a full format under Vista or Windows 7 the drive or partition will be overwritten with zeros, and unrecoverable. XP and earlier did not do this, a full format could be recovered.

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