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[SOLVED] Repeated "drive is not accessible" problem

This is a discussion on [SOLVED] Repeated "drive is not accessible" problem within the Hard Drive Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hello all, I hope that someone will be able to help me. I have a WinXP SP2 computer with two


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Old 08-21-2008, 01:51 AM   #1
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Hello all,

I hope that someone will be able to help me.

I have a WinXP SP2 computer with two (internal) SATA hard drives and ASUS motherboard (not sure about exact model - if it's important, I can look in the afternoon). Second HDD is Seagate Barracuda 250GB that I've added recently and defined a single NTFS partition.

It worked for a short while, but suddenly it seems it has lost info about file system. Symptoms:

- Volume label has been lost (Win Explorer shows "Local Disk")
- Can't open it - it says that "G:\ is not accessible"
- File system was RAW

There wasn't much data on it, so I succeeded to save everything, run a SeaTools test (all passed), formatted it and checked for bad sectors (no problems found).

It worked for a few days, but now same thing happened again.

Non of advices that I've found on these forums and rest of the internet didn't help. It is possible to recover files, but I have several fresh multi-GB home videos that I can't copy to a first HDD (no enough space), so I was hoping that I will be able to recover the whole partition.

What I have checked:

- BIOS recognizes drive correctly
- CHKDSK refuses to work
- Switching SATA cables doesn't help - first HDD still works and second still doesn't
- Uninstalling HDD and controller drivers in Device Manager and letting Plug&Play find them again doesn't help
- Partition Recovery software didn't find any problems and thus doesn't help
- SeaTools says that drive is good
- Tried to set the partition Active, same thing

Basically, I have two questions:

1. Would it be possible to recover whole partition without copying files and reformatting?

2. What could be reason for this? I would go and buy another HDD if I'm sure that it wouldn't be the same with a new one.

Thank you in advance!

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Old 08-21-2008, 02:12 AM   #2
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Welcome to TSF.

Right click the drive in Disk management >> choose Properties, then click the security tab.
"Group or user names" should be set to "Everyone".

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Old 08-21-2008, 04:02 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eneles View Post
Right click the drive in Disk management >> choose Properties, then click the security tab.
"Group or user names" should be set to "Everyone".
Thank you for your answer. Unfortunately, no, there is no Security tab in the Properties window. I suppose that's because Windows recognize file system as RAW...
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Old 08-21-2008, 04:09 AM   #4
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Are you running XP Professional? If so, you have to disable "Use simple file sharing" first.

Windows explorer >> Tools >> View >> uncheck "Use simple file sharing".
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Old 08-21-2008, 04:24 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eneles View Post
Are you running XP Professional? If so, you have to disable "Use simple file sharing" first.
OK, thank you. I'll try this as soon as I get home and let you know how it did go.
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Old 08-21-2008, 05:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eneles View Post
Are you running XP Professional? If so, you have to disable "Use simple file sharing" first.
No, sorry. :( Security tab is now available for other HDD, but it's still missing for the troubled one. There are only three tabs:

- General (File system: RAW, Used, free space and capacity: all 0 bytes)
- Tools (Check disk doesn't work)
- Hardware (says "device is working properly")

Any other ideas?
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Old 08-21-2008, 07:23 AM   #7
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Download the Windows version of TestDisk.
Unzip the downloaded file to your C: drive.
Open C:\testdisk-6.10\win > double click the "testdisk_win" icon.

The program runs in a command window and doesn't have to be installed.

Each of the steps (A, B, C etc) below corresponds to a new TestDisk window.
Use the keyboard's arrow keys to navigate.

A. At the first window, select “No Log” and press the <Enter> key.
B. Select which drive to analyse, choose “Proceed” and <Enter>.
C. Select partition type – Intel if it’s a PC then <Enter>.
D. Choose Advanced > press <Enter>.
E. Choose Boot > press <Enter>.

New screen - please post back with a screenshot.


How to post a screenshot.
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Old 08-21-2008, 08:16 AM   #8
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Here it is.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	testdisk.JPG
Views:	434
Size:	41.4 KB
ID:	32906  
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Old 08-21-2008, 09:38 AM   #9
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Thanks.
At that screen - select "Repair MFT". Continue - reboot when TestDisk is finished.
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Old 08-21-2008, 09:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eneles View Post
At that screen - select "Repair MFT". Continue - reboot when TestDisk is finished.
Ah, now I've got something discouraging:

"MFT and MFT mirror are bad. Failed to repair them."

Is there a hope?
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Old 08-21-2008, 09:57 AM   #11
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Yes, there's hope.

Let's see if this works >> select "Rebuild BS" at that screen, continue and reboot.

If you still can't access the drive:
Select "Repair MFT" in TestDisk again.
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Old 08-21-2008, 10:20 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eneles View Post
Let's see if this works >> select "Rebuild BS" at that screen, continue and reboot.
OK, "Rebuild BS" did something (found that extrapolated and current boots are different), I chose "Write", rebooted, but same problem. Then I ran "Repair MFT", but it says that both copies are still bad... Repeating boot reparation don't report problems anymore.
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Old 08-21-2008, 10:56 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vlador View Post
OK, "Rebuild BS" did something...
I see now that maybe I wasn't clear enough: "G:\ is not accessible" problem remains.
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Old 08-21-2008, 11:18 AM   #14
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Follow the TestDisk procedure described here: http://www.techsupportforum.com/1163140-post1.html
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Old 08-21-2008, 11:38 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eneles View Post
Follow the TestDisk procedure described here:
Sadly, it doesn't help.

One possibly important warning came up, though. After choosing "Quick Search" TestDisk reported that number of heads is set to 16 while correct might be 32 and that I should change it if procedure doesn't help.

How can I find out what is the correct geometry?
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Old 08-21-2008, 11:48 AM   #16
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You can find that info in BIOS.
What's the HDD's model name/number?
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Old 08-21-2008, 11:53 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eneles View Post
You can find that info in BIOS.
What's the HDD's model name/number?
In BIOS it says 16 heads. Model is ST3250620AS and I found that it is correct.
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Old 08-21-2008, 12:00 PM   #18
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Yes, the default heads = 16 and default sectors per track = 63.
But, changing those values in TestDisk can make it very hard to retreive your data if it fails.

I think you should borrow an external HDD and use a data recovery program to get your files off the "bad" drive.
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Old 08-21-2008, 12:06 PM   #19
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Eneles, thank you for all your efforts.

Do you think that HDD is really bad and that I should replace it, despite tests went well? Is there anything else that I could try after data is retrieved, apart from simple formatting?
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Old 08-21-2008, 12:18 PM   #20
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I don't think the disk is bad, but the geometry has been "messed up".
(the HDD passed SeaTools tests)

The sectors should be 255 in TestDisk (unless I'm very confused )
Click image for larger version

Name:	testdisk2.jpg
Views:	157
Size:	67.4 KB
ID:	32921

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