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Discussion Starter #1
I am running Windows XP Pro. My original setup was:

Primary Master: 200 GB Magnetic Data Technologies (C:)
Primary Slave: 120 GB Western Digital hard drive in a removeable caddy (E:)

Secondary Master: Memorex DVD Burner (D:)
Secondary Slave: Pioneer DVD Burner (F:)

The 200 GB Magnetic Data Technologies had my operating system and files on it. The 120 GB WD was a backup drive that has about 115 GB of MP3 files and some back up data on it.

The 200 Gig drive took a dump and I replaced it with a Seagate 80 GB drive and reinstalled Windows XP Pro with SP2 and all the necessary updates and hotfixes.

Before I did the format/install on the Seagate I removed the WD 120 GB and set it aside. I got Windows up and running then I put the 120 back in the caddy so that I could retrieve some of my backed up data.

The drive is a removable drive that goes into a caddy and the caddy slides into a bay that is plugged into the PC as though it were a Primary Slave. To put the drive in I have to power down then install the drive and reboot. When the system rebooted I opened the Windows Explorer and I could see my drive. The volume label was MP3 Jukebox (E:). I started to navigate to where my backup data was when the computer 'found new hardware' and the Explorer closed down. The system installed the 'new hardware' and told me so. I reopened the explorer and my MP3 Jukebox (E:) was no longer there. All I had was an Local Disk (F:) drive (as well as the two DVD burners). When I clicked on the F: drive in the tree in the left pane of the explorer, I was told that 'The disk in drive F is not formated. Do you want to format it now?' I clicked no. Now I can't get into the drive. I went to Start/Settings/Control Panel/Administrative Tools/Computer Management and changed the drive letter to E: but I still can't access the drive. Windows wants me to format. I DO NOT want to format this drive.

Is there any way to get to my files. The drive has NOT been formated. All the files should be there... right? What can I do?

Thanks,

-Lydokane-
 

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I feel your pain. I recently did a format, I left my d: drive installed, it had
some backup data, some mp3's not alot of stuff but some things I wanted
to keep. Xp decided to format that drive as well. Lesson learned. Good thing
you yanked your drive out. You may try control panel, add new hardware,
when and if it does find the drive go to disk management and set the
drive to active. If that doenst work you may try to remove the dvd drives
and hook the shuttle drive to secondary ide, if it shows in control panel
set the drive to active in disk management, dump data to your c: drive.
I know that is a long way around, but its all I can think of right now. If
the drive is fat 32 you could install the drive on a win98 machine and get
your data that way. good luck,
 

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Couple questions,
On the original failed drive, did you have to log onto the computer when you boot it up?
Did you have multiple users on this machine?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
crazijoe said:
Couple questions,
On the original failed drive, did you have to log onto the computer when you boot it up?
Did you have multiple users on this machine?
Crazijoe,

Thanks for the reply. When the drive was used in the original (pre-crash) setup there was no logging on and there were two other user accounts created (besides mine). When I re-installed Win XP Pro I added user accounts. One for my girlfriend and one each for her two kids. I made my account the administrator and all the other accounts are limited. I put a password on my account. I got tired of the kids installing any piece of software they could find.

Does this have anything to do with my problems? Is there any way I can fix this?

I have found a program that can extract the data. The only problem is I need another hard drive to restore the data to (cost prohibitive at this point). I can't seem to fix the partition and keep the data. Can anybody tell me what Windoze did to my hard drive so that I can avoid this catastrophic error again?

I would also like to add that I have installed several partition programs on the main hard drive. Since these are all demo versions they have not done anything to the backup drive. They have scanned the drive and it appears that the drive is currently partitioned as FAT16. It was originally partitioned as NTFS.

I will be more than willing to provide any more information if it will help my cause.

Thanks,

-Lydokane-
 

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This would probably explain a lot.
Because the drive was formatted under NTFS there are security rights to the data on the drive associated to the original owner. Log on as local administrator and see if you can see the data. If so, then you will need to give each user rights to the files on the drive.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
crazijoe said:
This would probably explain a lot.
Because the drive was formatted under NTFS there are security rights to the data on the drive associated to the original owner. Log on as local administrator and see if you can see the data. If so, then you will need to give each user rights to the files on the drive.
Crazijoe,

Thanks again for your attention on this matter. Is it safe to assume that Windows hasn't actually done anything to this drive?

Unfortunately, I am at work now and the drive is at home. I will try your suggestion when I get home tonight.

Thanks,

-Lydokane-
 

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Discussion Starter #9
crazijoe said:
This would probably explain a lot.
Because the drive was formatted under NTFS there are security rights to the data on the drive associated to the original owner. Log on as local administrator and see if you can see the data. If so, then you will need to give each user rights to the files on the drive.

Crazijoe,

I logged on as administrator by going into safe mode and choosing administrator at the welcome screen. The drive showed up in Windows Explorer but I still couldn't access it. Every time I try to open it, Windows keeps asking if I want to format.

There has got to be a way to get into this drive. I welcome any more suggestions. I really need this data back.

Thanks for all your help.

-Lydokane-
 

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Sorry,
Our Exchange server went down yesterday. It was a long night.

I have ran into this only a couple times where you could access the data or set rights on the drive as local admin. My end result was extracting the data with a recovery program. This is probably not what you wanted to hear.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
crazijoe said:
Sorry,
Our Exchange server went down yesterday. It was a long night.

I have ran into this only a couple times where you could access the data or set rights on the drive as local admin. My end result was extracting the data with a recovery program. This is probably not what you wanted to hear.
Crazijoe,

You are a mind reader! That is not what I wanted to hear. I have however, resigned myself to just that. Somebody in the MIS department where I work has loaned me a 300 GB drive to use so that I would have something to restore/extract my data to.

Now my only question is: What happened in the first place? I have been using these removable drives for years. To my knowledge, I didn't do anything different than I normally do. I just want to prevent this from EVER happening again. If I use (used) a partition program to back up the MFT could I restore (have restored) the drive to its original condition?

Once again; many, many thanks for all your help.

-Lydokane-
 

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I have actually resorted myself to building a file server to make backups and keep data on, because of situations like this. I also bought a data recovery program that has paid for itself 3 fold using it to recover data off other peoples computers. I have also quit creating separate users on a single computer.
Normally this is cause because the drive was created by a user (whether it is an admin or a certain user on the local machine). If the drive gets moved to another computer or the compters OS gets restored, the only person that can access the drive is the owner that created it. Since the owner of the drive is no longer there (different profile) the drive is inaccessable.
You might try and restore the MFT. It's worth a shot.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
crazijoe said:
I have actually resorted myself to building a file server to make backups and keep data on, because of situations like this. I also bought a data recovery program that has paid for itself 3 fold using it to recover data off other peoples computers. I have also quit creating separate users on a single computer.
Normally this is cause because the drive was created by a user (whether it is an admin or a certain user on the local machine). If the drive gets moved to another computer or the compters OS gets restored, the only person that can access the drive is the owner that created it. Since the owner of the drive is no longer there (different profile) the drive is inaccessable.
You might try and restore the MFT. It's worth a shot.
OK, I hate to continue to beat this dead horse but, how do I restore the MFT? I've done some research and I now have a slightly better understanding of what the MFT is and what it does. It has been difficult to find out a clear-cut procedure for backing up and/or restoring the MFT. Is there a program that I can download/buy to do this? Can I do it with a Windows application?

Also, It seems to me that when I first installed this drive, (the first time after the reinstall of Win XP), Win XP for some reason thought it was a new drive and (maybe) wrote a new MFT. I think it may have been precipitated by the fact that in my original config (pre-crash) of Win XP, the removable drive was assigned E:. When I reinstalled Win XP E: was taken by one of the DVD burners and Win XP had a brain fart and goofed up the MFT. So does this mean that the original pre-crash MFT and the MFT mirror have both been destroyed by XP? OR, did Win XP only over-write one copy of the MFT leaving the original mirror MFT intact. Obviously I'm still grossly uneducated in the ways of NTFS file systems.

I guess my biggest question is how do I test my theory? What does one have to do to try to restore a MFT?

Thanks once again,

-Lydokane-
 

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The only way, I can think of, you could restore the MFT is with the program you backed it up with. If indeed you may have accidentally reformatted the drive during the install, your only recourse would be a third party recovery program. At this point, I probably think it might be easier to extract your data with a recovery program.
 
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