Hard Drive Crash

Category: Hard-Drives , Hardware

I have a Maxtor 160GB hard drive that has crashed and won't boot up. So I figured I would put in another hard drive and load up XP on it to boot and make my old hard drive a slave. After booting up, the old drive shows in My Computer, but Windows tells me it has not been formatted yet. I don't want to formate this drive because it has data I need. How do I get this data off the old hard drive and onto my other drive or a CDROM?

If Windows says the drive is not formatted, that's generally a Bad Thing. You may be able to recover the ability to access the disk by booting up into the Recovery Console, from your Windows XP CDROM.

After starting Recovery Console, try the FIXMBR command, but be sure to read this help first, or you may affect the wrong hard drive:


Check out the info on the FIXBOOT command (also on the page referenced above), but try FIXMBR first and see if the drive will boot. If neither of those tools enables you to access the drive, there are a variety of software packages and service bureaus that may help you recover some or all of the data on the drive. Do a search for "data recovery" and you'll find a bunch to choose from.

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Most recent comments on "Hard Drive Crash"

Posted by:

23 Aug 2005

The fixmbr command can often cause more problems than it can fix, so use it at your own risk. I've had great results using SpinRite by Steve Gibson. He created this software in 1988, and is by far one of the best disk utilities around. You can get it at http://www.grc.com/sr/spinrite.htm

To recover files, another great program that I've used for years is Ontrack's EasyRecovery. Check it out at http://www.ontrack.com/easyrecoveryprofessional/ They have a trial version that you can download to view what files are recoverable, prior to spending money on the software. That way, you can assure yourself that it will work and you won't be spending money for a lost cause.

Posted by:

Kinney Baughman
24 Aug 2005

On another computer, of course, head out to http://www.knoppix.org/, download and burn a copy of Knoppix. Knoppix is a "live CD" version of Linux. You'll need to set the boot order in the Bios to boot off the CD first. When you do so, you'll boot up into a Linux environment which will be able to see your hard drive. Linux has its own GUI version of Windows Explorer which you can use to drag your data files from the corrupt drive to the other one. I even believe Knoppix has CD burning software loaded so you could burn your data as well. But it would be better to drag and drop to the hard-drive already loaded. To date, I've been able to recover the data from 2 crashed hard-drives using this method. Good luck.

Posted by:

Bill Hawkins
24 Aug 2005

Restorer 2000 available at www.restorer2000.com is a commercial product that will read the contents of a spinnable HD even if the FAT sector is unreadable. The defective drive has to be connected as a slave to the system with the program on it. Wroks well; my wife is the IT director at a 75 user CPA firm and has used the program several times. I don't know how well it works on NTFS.

Posted by:

Ken Gash
24 Aug 2005

I recently discovered a wonderful repair/recovery tool called BartPE. The following URL leads to an article in Infoweek which describes it in detail:
I had a situation where my laptop suddenly started asking for a user name and password when I started it up. I never had a logon password set, but it would not accept a blank. I then tried the Recovery Console, but it also asked for my password to start. The BartPE disk booted a separate copy of XPSP2 from the CD and I was then able to copy files to devices attached to the USB port and also to go through a recovery process and reset the laptop to an earlier good state from which it booted correctly.
Creating the BartPE disk is not a trivial task, but it is well worth it!

Posted by:

28 Jun 2007

I have 40 gig IDE harddrive and it crashed.It lost partition and now it only reads 4 gig.So how can I get back partition and make it work again?

EDITOR'S NOTE: Try the TESTDISK program mentioned here: http://askbobrankin.com/hard_drive_recovery.html

Posted by:

06 Feb 2008

I have a 40 gig slave hard drive and it crashed. It lost 9 gig and only shows now 31.5 gig in total/ How can i get back my prtition. I also lost data on the slave, more than 20 gig. My slave file system show: RAW Can u please help me. Many Thanx

EDITOR'S NOTE: Try the TESTDISK software.

Posted by:

20 Nov 2010

This man helped me so much when my computer crashed and now it runs great thanks for the comment

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