Problems began with my laptop failing to boot beyond Windows Vista splash screen. Options were presented to either load normally (something that never worked) or utilise the Startup Repair Tool. At this point the suggestion that Windows can’t boot properly because of a hardware change, unexpected shutdown/power failure is also made.
I attempted use of the repair tool but could see it would take forever and knowing Windows assumed it was a dead end anyway, possibly doing more harm than good, and shutdown. At this point I bought myself a hard drive enclosure for my hard drive: Hitachi 250GB HTS543225L9A300 SATA 3Gb/s
I have attached this to my regular comp via USB running Win7. Initially the unit was recognised with default drivers installed and the drive, with its three partitions (Boot, Secondary and System Restore), being presented within 'My Computer' as I remembered from when the laptop was functioning.
I went straight to the folder I was most concerned to save, located within the second partition, but upon double clicking the folder Explorer decided to crash on me. After spending a few mins getting my computer to calm down, namely by forcing the process to quit via Windows manager and then just removing the USB cable straight out of the Hard Drive Enclosure (not happy to do that since we are already probably dealing with corrupt data due to powerloss etc), I re-attached the drive.
This time the drive and its partitions take a lot to appear within the 'My Computer' panel and when they do finally show they have all lost their titles, defaulting to the generic G: H: I:
Clicking these folders now brings up the suggestion of formatting followed by an error message: "Drive not accessible. Data Error (Cyclic Redundancy Check)"... right-click-properties reveals no data on any of these drives/partitions.
Upon some quick research and discovering TestDisk and PhotoRec I began using both pieces of software (not simultaneously I might add) using just my intuition of how they work. Considering how complex data recovery can be however I've cancelled both those operations before proceeding any further.
As far as using TestDisk is concerned this is the following info I obtained after using the 'Analysis' option (hope I have got this right):
EDIT* I thought I would just add. I'm a little how confused how I got the Partition: Read Error shown in the image above since all other attempts to analyse the disk have to my memory been incredibly slow ie. 1 sector of 30,000 every 20secs? I gave up after a few attempts. Is this normal?
also. chkdsk shows drive as RAW
Having read this page http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/Damaged_ ... uplication it would strike me this is the situation I am in so I guess I need to be cloning from the bad drive to a brand new one (somewhat intimated by knowing exactly which drive is suitable for that task... correct byte size and headers?) before attempting any kinda of repair. Although this is one of the issues I am having; am I repairing the partition to be able to boot from it again? Repairing to at least making it explorable via USB connection to my regular computer? Or is it just a straight up attempt to recover data that hasn't been corrupted?
I am primarily interested in recovering photos you see. I am not too worried about getting the system back up and running, although I guess it would be a nice bonus.
How to use TestDisk to recover lost partition
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