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  1. #1
    Senior Member hyperair's Avatar
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    I have a computer with 3 hard disks installed.
    40GB: Windows XP installation (NTFS) /dev/hda1
    20GB: Data drive (used to store all my documents, music and whatnot) (FAT32) /dev/hdb1
    40GB: Ubuntu Edgy-Eft installation (EXT3) /dev/hdc1 + Swap partition (SWAP) /dev/hdc2

    Recently, I booted up my system, and left to eat breakfast. When I came back (30 minutes later) it was scanning a FAT32 partition, finding some invalid records or something of that sort. Black screen running fsck, you know.. It kept finding files that apprently had invalid names on the FAT32 partition and was renaming it to FSCK0000.REN to FSCK9999.REN

    Now, I let it do its scanning thing, and it never seemed to stop, so I rebooted and accessed my WIndows XP installation instead. The drive was apparently fine, mounted onto D:

    Then, I went on to explore the drive. In the root of the D: drive, everything looked as it should. But when I looked into some other directoy.. (such as D:\nautilus-scripts\) it had a lot of weird entries. Upon closer inspection it seemed like the file names were paths of files that used to be in that drive, from any directory in particular. When i double click on any file or directory, it gives some error message regarding read error. After trying various utilities to attempt to rescue my data, and failing miserably, I decided to just format the hard disk and move on.

    I used the Windows XP Disk Manager utility to attempt to format. It didn't work. I tried to delete the partition so I may re-create the partition. It didn't work. I restarted and booted using my Ubuntu LiveCD. GParted wouldn't even start. It just said scanning for devices and wouldn't start. Then I used my Windows XP SP2cd to boot up, and attempted to format it.
    Code:
    format D: /fs:FAT32
    It seemed to work. It reached 100% and stopped. Then I ran a "dir" command to make sure that it really worked. All the directories that were there previously showed up again. FORMAT had done nothing

    I'm running out of options here, so can anyone please provide some suggestions? I've given up recovering the data, although that would be an added benefit.
    Hyperair

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  3. #2
    Senior Member rosland's Avatar
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    Sounds strange.

    If you have a floppy drive, you can always try to use the disk tools that came with Win 98. They seem to always work even though they are more primitive than the tools that follow XP. (As long as you want a FAT32 partition anyway. You can always convert that to NTFS later with the help of the XP tools.)

    The boot from floppy method has always worked for me if all else has failed.
    There are plenty of places to download an image from. (here as an example.)

    That is of course if you have a floppy.
    In case you don't, I guess you could make a boot CD from the same files.

    Have you tried any of the "scandsk" tools or similar, to check the integrity of the drive itself?
    S. Rosland

  4. #3
    Senior Member hyperair's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice. I've tried the "fsck" utility that comes with linux, but it didn't work. Perhaps I'll try the scandsk and chkdsk utilities. I'll post again about the results
    Hyperair

  5. #4
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    Try running some sort of SMART tool to read the self-testing health of your drive. Modern drives usually do health self-tests that should be able to tell you what, if anything, is wrong. What did the fsck tool fail with?

  6. #5
    Senior Member hyperair's Avatar
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    To tell you the truth I never gave fsck a chance to finish. I just rebooted my computer. I let fsck scan for approximately 6 hours, and that was what actually really gave my computer the problem I think. It is possible that Linux read the FAT table wrongly and then found all sorts of invalid file names and proceeded to rename it. After that when I decided to try booting into Windows, the hard disk basically showed up but didn't have any readable data.

    I don't know why I didn't try to use chkdsk first. That utility was the one that actually saved my hard disk in the end. At least it allowed Ubuntu to boot without running fsck again. After which I ran photorec, which scans that hard disk raw data and recovers what it can from different patterns it sees there. So I basically have most of my images recovered, but my mp3s are all split into one or more files.. I suppose that's what you call fragmentation.

    I'd like to thank anyone who posted for helping me out, and especially rosland. It was his post that reminded me of the chkdsk utility in the Windows CD.

    By the way, Shadowfiend, what is a SMART tool anyway?
    Hyperair

  7. #6
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    SMART stands for Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology -- basically, it's a hard drive's self-maintenance tool. Hard drives that have SMART usually check themselves every so often to see if anything is physically wrong with the drive. SMART tools let you see what the hard drive found while doing its self-monitoring. It'll tell you age, whether your drive is close to failing (or has already failed), and other useful information like that.

  8. #7
    Senior Member hyperair's Avatar
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    So... where would I get one of these tools?
    Hyperair

  9. #8
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    Poke around online. A google search should probably get you something. Maybe search for `SMART monitoring tool'. For Linux, there's a package called smartmon or smart-tools or something along those lines, which is what I use, but you're probably not on Linux for that computer :-)

  10. #9
    Member Arkantos's Avatar
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    there is a collection of hard disk tools called hiren's boot cd. i dont know where you can get it.

    search for it on the net.

    it is a serious kickass collection. if you havent formatted you disk yet, dont.
    try recovery with that cd. i think it will work.

    from what you say, i think you have a corrupted FAT1 and FAT2.
    try ontrack data recovery - it is in the collection.
    No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country, he won it by making the other poor dumb bastard dying for his country.
    General George S. Patton (US Army)


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