Here are my instructions. They are based on the premise that a broken drive is still in the process of breaking. If you encounter any differences or problems along the way, please stop what you are doing and ask me about your next step.
Before connecting the drive to a computer, let's make sure that you can boot that computer to our recovery tool.
Download the ISO for Parted Magic from here and burn it to a CD...http://partedmagic.com/doku.php?id=downloads
If you do not know how to make a boot CD of the ISO, let me know and I will get you further instructions.
Boot the computer that you are going to be using with the Parted Magic CD that you made.
We are doing this to make sure that you can successfully boot this way before we try doing it with the 'bad' drive attached.
When it gives you the list of options at startup choose...
1. Default settings (Runs from RAM)
Once it boots, you'll see that it looks kind of like XP. Instead of a start button in the lower left it has a button with a picture of a hard drive on it. For this post we will call that the START button. The two items that we are going to be using later are the FileManager icon on the desktop (START>SYSTEM TOOLS>PCMan File Manager) and LXTerminal at START>ACCESSORIES>LXTerminal. Try opening both of these now so you are familiar with how to open them.
Now you can shutdown the computer.
The CD ROM drive will be open with the boot CD in it. Make sure to close it before shutting down so that it is in there for our next boot.
Choose "Shutdown the computer" and click OK
Now we can connect the 'bad' drive to the computer. Internal or external, it does not matter. Since we are booting to Parted Magic, it won't do the disk scan.
With the bad disk connected and a disk with at least 100GB free connected, boot the computer with the Parted Magic CD just like we did before.
Once it boots, you have to make a decision.
In your last post you said...
I am asking this because there are a few immediate files that I require and those files are on the partition which has not been lost.
Do you want to make a copy of the files on the readable partition first before we try to recover the missing partition?
If so, open the file manager using the FileManager icon on the desktop (or click START>SYSTEM TOOLS>PCMan File Manager). It opens like Windows Explorer. You should be able to navigate around and find your good partition and a recognizable place to copy the files to. If you have difficulty with this. Stop and let me know.
Now on to rescuing the 'bad' partition.
You need to find out the identity of
The 'bad' partition
The 'good' drive/partition where we are going to copy the image
Open LXTerminal, START>ACCESSORIES>LXTerminal
and look at the output to try and determine the name of your 'bad' partition which will show as a 500GB drive with 2 partitions on it. One will be the NTFS one you see and the other might show as NTFS or Unknown or some weird nonsense.
If you are confused about this stop and let me know. It would be sooooo much easier if I knew how you were set up. That is why it is what I asked you to tell me in the first post I made.
...If you'd like to try this, let me know if you have an external drive with at least 100GB of space on it (your partition is 98GB so it could be that big) or if you will be doing this by placing the drive in another machine that also has a separate disk with room on it for the image...
Since I don't know how you are doing this I'm going to provide directions for a common setup where the bad drive is in the original machine and an external drive or internal drive is added to the machine for the purpose of collecting the data from the bad drive. For the sake of making this easy to understand WE ARE GOING TO PRETEND THAT THESE ARE THE NAMES OF OUR DRIVES
Our bad partition is THIS IS JUST AN EXAMPLE NOT REAL
The good drive/partition that we are going to copy the image to is THIS IS JUST AN EXAMPLE NOT REAL
/dev/sdb1 we will be calling it /media/sdb1 for the purpose of writing to it.
In LXTerminal type THIS IS JUST AN EXAMPLE NOT REAL
ddrescue -r 3 /dev/sda1 /media/sdb1/image.dd /media/sdb1/rescuelog.log
If the drive has significant problems , this could take 20 hours to run. If it is in relatively good shape this will probably take about 4 hours to run.
When it is done, in LXTerminal typeTHIS IS JUST AN EXAMPLE NOT REAL
Choose Proceed and hit enter
Select Intel/PC partition
Select Quick Search
Say 'Y' if it asks if the disk was made in Vista/Win7 (even if it was made in XP say 'yes')
If it finds the lost NTFS partition it will be listed and green. If it does not, then try selecting DeeperSearch and see if it finds it. If it still does not find it, let me know.
If it finds it, select it and press 'P' to verify that it contains your files. If it does then press 'q'
At this point you have a good image. You can either burn this to a new disk and try to use that new disk as a boot disk for your machine or you can simply use it to get the files that were on the drive.
You can also try this at this point since you have a good image.
Run TestDisk on the bad partition and see if it repairs it the same way as you did on the image if it does then it will ask you to reboot. Remove the Parted Magic CD and reboot and see if it boots into XP now.
To do this, in LXTerminal type
It will start TestDisk. Choose to not create a log and you can navigate to the drive with the bad partition (it was /dev/sda in our example). Then proceed with detecting and fixing it just like you did with the image.
Let us know how it turns out.
Edited by NeverSayDie, 13 March 2012 - 01:07 PM.