Please allow me to get a few of the obligatory things out of the way immediately. 1) Yes, I know that I should have backed up this data elsewhere. 2) Yes, it is extremely important data. 3) I am sincerely grateful to anyone who can take a moment of their time to offer some insight into this problem.
So, without further ado...
I had a Dell notebook running Windows 7. The motherboard died, so I popped out the hard disk, which was fine, and had been using it without issue as an external storage device via an Apricorn USB To SATA Cable Adapter. The disk actually contained two partitions: one smaller one that I believe was boot and recovery for the original Dell and a larger one that I accessed and that contained programs, music, documents, photos and the like. The drive held about 600 gigs. The other day, while moving some files off of that drive and onto the new laptop I have been using (which is actually back to running XP), it appeared to freeze up and then subsequently was accidentally disconnected from the cable.
That is where the issue began.
Since that time, I have been met with various failures in trying to access the drive. It will show up (both partitions appearing as usual as separate drives) in "My Computer", but neither can be accessed nor can properties be right-clicked to. It will say it cannot access the drive due to an I/O error and when right-clicking it just hourglasses for a while before failing.
After looking online for potential solutions, I eventually tried ChkDisk and also peeking at it in Ubuntu. Neither helped. So, again after reading about people in similar situations. I downloaded and ran TestDisk, basically going through something similar - though not identical - to the process described here
. I got to a point after recovering the boot sector that it said both versions are identical and then gave me an option to dump, list or quit. (I have screenshots of this if they help to clarify the situation.). I chose "list."
This is where I started to have hope.
The list does indeed show programs, documents and other files right where I left them, and for the first time in a while I allowed myself to believe that my entire life had not been destroyed. So, I don't want to screw this up. As such, I left things right there and began typing this message. I have used this forum once before and the person who helped was amazing. I can only hope that someone out there can help me get through this process and recover my data. Of course, I am willing to provide whatever further information you may need.
Thank you very much to whoever out there has taken the time to read over this post and extra big thanks to anyone willing to take some time to point me in the right direction. I hope to hear from you soon.