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Vista damaged file system and read errors


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#1 NickWUK

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 06:13 PM

I have an old Acer Aspire PC with Windows Vista, turned it on the other day to fine a blinking cursor. So I removed the hard drive and put it in a USB caddy and connected it to a Windows7 PC. In computer management I see 3 partitions:
1) 9.76 GB Health (Recovery Partition)
2) 69.77 GB RAW (Active, Primary Partition)
3) 69.52 GB NTFS (Primary Partition)

I can read the files on partition 3 but partition 2 which used to have the Vista OS now reads zero bytes and Windows7 says it needs formatting. I had a second hard drive connected that was a clone, and when I put that in the USB caddy it's the same result, which I thought was strange.

I ran a MiniTool Surface test which showed many blocks with read errors:

Attached File  MiniTool-Surface-test.jpg   113.5KB   1 downloads

Also ran a MiniTool Partition recovery test which said it couldn't find the lost partition.

Attached File  MiniTool-Partition-Recovery-Wizard.jpg   53.96KB   0 downloads

I also tested with GSmartControl and HDDScan.

Can I use TestDisk to rewrite the partition table, or is it beyond hope. Otherwise can I reformat partition 2 and use the recovery partition to re-install Vista on partition 2? Can any one advise please?



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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 06:43 PM

Did Gsmartcontrol pass the drive? Testdisk may be able to recover the partition table. The chances are good because the entire disk is not RAW, only one partition. Do you need data off the RAW partition? If not I would back up the 69GB Primary partition to an external drive then use the Acer Recovery manager to do a factory reset. Did you add the 69GB partition as a normal OEM setup would be one primary partition on the entire drive.

 

Hold the Alt key and tap F10 during boot. This should be up the Acer Recovery.

 

Note: If Testdisk finds your Partition and pressing "P" shows your files I would recover any files you need before attempting to write a new partition table. If Testdisk does not get your data back you can scan the partition with PhotoRec. Be careful as files are recovered in real time so the recovery device would need the required free space. Photorec gives you the option to select what file extensions you want to be recovered. All files recovered will have generic names.



#3 Platypus

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 08:09 PM

I agree with JohnC's advice to copy any significant contents from the Data partition, and it's important to do it immediately. Read errors are a hardware fault, that HDD is in a bad way. I've had good results with Testdisk and also second the advice to quickly try to recover any important files found on the missing partition - the more you do with the drive the more likely it is to suffer further failure.

It's unlikely the drive will be of any further use.
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#4 NickWUK

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 04:32 AM

Thank you both for taking time to comment.

 

GSmart Control short self test passed and gave the following results:

Attached File  GSmartControl-Short-Self-Test.jpg   61.18KB   1 downloadsAttached File  GSmartControl-Attributes.jpg   129.5KB   0 downloadsAttached File  GSmartControl-Error-Log.jpg   69.48KB   0 downloadsAttached File  GSmartControl-Short-Self-Test-Logs.jpg   59.08KB   0 downloads

 

Partition 2 was the old C-drive with the Vista OS, partition 3 was the D-data-drive. There's no critical data that needs retrieving, it's just the inconvenience of losing the application setups both on the main drive and apparently also on the clone.

 

TestDisk gave the following results:

Attached File  disk-partitions.jpg   42.06KB   0 downloadsAttached File  boot-disk-files.jpg   58.83KB   0 downloadsAttached File  damaged-partition.jpg   25.84KB   0 downloads

TestDisk listed the files in the recovery partition and in the data partition but could not read the OS partition. Since it could not read the OS partition does that mean that it has not data to rebuild the partition table?

 

Yes I added the D-drive 3rd partition for data (this event seems to prove it's a good policy!). I will google PhotoRec and may try for interest only. Assuming TestDisk can't help, is the recovery system likely to work, do I need to reformat the partition first; I appreciate there may well be issues with the disk due to age and it cannot be relied upon, and recovery will not bring back the applications, but the setup might be useful as a test environment.

 

Your advice is much appreciated, thank you.



#5 JohnC_21

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 07:01 AM

I would be hesitant to keep using that HDD. You have 8 sectors that were reallocated but the big concern is 13 sectors that are pending meaning these sectors cannot be read and are waiting to be reallocated. If you do decide to use the drive, make sure your data is backed up on a regular basis. It may be possible to clone or image the drive then do a restoration using the Recovery partition. 

 

Note: I am assuming you already know that Vista is no longer being provided with Security Updates.

 

There is no chance to write a new partition table if the OS file system is damaged. This may be do to some file corruption outside of a bad drive but as I said, I believe a new drive should be purchased.


Edited by JohnC_21, 18 May 2017 - 07:14 AM.


#6 NickWUK

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 07:52 AM

I shall scrap the main disk. Yes I realise Vista is EOL.

 

I have what I thought was a cloned drive, the recorvery and data partitions are readable but the c-drive partition appears as unformatted. I felt sure it was a complete clone but it was some years ago so I can't be 100% sure. The surface test of the clone disk is 100% ok. The TeskDisk result has an 'Invalid FAT boot sector' message and lists partition 2 twice in the first partition structure screen. Then after the Quick Search it lists just the recovery and data partitions.

 

Attached File  disk-partitions.jpg   40.3KB   0 downloadsAttached File  disk-partitions-2.jpg   40.73KB   0 downloads

 

 



#7 JohnC_21

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 09:58 AM

Does it find the other partition on a deeper search. When you first run TestDisk select Advanced instead of Analyze. Use the arrow keys to select Boot. Does Testdisk show a valid boot sector?



#8 NickWUK

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 03:33 AM

Does it find the other partition on a deeper search. When you first run TestDisk select Advanced instead of Analyze. Use the arrow keys to select Boot. Does Testdisk show a valid boot sector?

 

Ah I wish I had tried that, but instead I ploughed on and installed the 'clone disk' and recovered Vista from the recovery partition. Many thanks for your help!






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