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Curious Des

External Hard drive - "Unable to read boot sector"

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Hi, somehow while attempting to make a bootable 'flash' drive, I have inadvertantly reformatted my Western Digital 320Gb external hard drive. Whilst trying with "Recuva" to get the 37Gb of files back, I select my "E:\" and I get the message that it is unable to read the boot sector. From memory I think it formatted it in a FAT32 format.

 

Please any help would be appreciated.

Des

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I have read and tried the suggestions on this same issue on page 2. I downloaded the 'Paragon Rescue Kit 10', but all I get is an .iso file, which I have burn to a CD, but which I do not have a clue what to do with.

 

My system runs XP Professional with Service pack 3, Version 2002. Pentium 4 - 3.20GHz and 2Gb RAM

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Please tell me you didn't burn the ISO file as a file?? ISO files should be burnt as images.

In any case it wouldn't had mattered "Paragon Rescue Kit 10" doesn't appear to have USB flash drive support.

 

Did you abort formatting??

 

Did you have "quick" format enabled??

 

What kind of files are you trying to recover??

 

As you've noticed Recuva cannot read your hard drive because it doesn't handle RAW drives, however there are a few other programs that do.

 

Richard S.

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Please tell me you didn't burn the ISO file as a file?? ISO files should be burnt as images.

In any case it wouldn't had mattered "Paragon Rescue Kit 10" doesn't appear to have USB flash drive support.

 

Did you abort formatting??

 

Did you have "quick" format enabled??

 

What kind of files are you trying to recover??

 

As you've noticed Recuva cannot read your hard drive because it doesn't handle RAW drives, however there are a few other programs that do.

 

Richard S.

Thanks for reply. It gave me 2 options. Optical and other one. Optical put on CD. Appears that .exe files are all DOS orientated... - no instructions on what to do or access etc, or so it seems. A nasty piece of Malware...

 

Did not know that it had formatted my E: drive until I went to access my files. I had a 2Gb thumb drive in, (F:?) Must have read drive wrong that was formatting. Did not think, so took no notice, just ASSUMED' and we know what that means.

Hindsight should have safely removed before attempting. I was trying to help friend recover from a program that installed in browser looking for bank account data etc so was trying to gt to boot from usb with anti malware/virus etc on.

I have external in all time as that is where I save ALL my files to since bsod in ME. Figured if HD went down again, then data all off system.

 

Did not enable 'quick format to my knowledge.

 

All files that were on drive. As I save everything there that is not part of a program.

 

Had not noticed about "raw" files, just said it "was unable to read boot sector".

 

Used "virtual lab", it saw all that was on the drive, but could only recover 1Gb. I have 97+ Gb on drive to recover. It showed all directories and files etc as it stood, but can't get too. Friend told me about 'Recuva'. Do not have the spare 'arm and leg' to recover all files above the 1Gb limit on 'virtual lab'.

 

Hope this helps.

Des

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I was a little surprised about "Paragon Rescue Kit 10" running in DOS mode too I would have expected something more modern like Linux based.

 

Anyway I am a little puzzled about your external drive, you said you never cancelled formatting so why doesn't Windows detect this as a newly formatted??

 

I guess there's very little else you could do apart from try other tools and see if they could repair your damaged boot sector / partition table.

 

Richard S.

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I was a little surprised about "Paragon Rescue Kit 10" running in DOS mode too I would have expected something more modern like Linux based.

 

Anyway I am a little puzzled about your external drive, you said you never cancelled formatting so why doesn't Windows detect this as a newly formatted??

 

I guess there's very little else you could do apart from try other tools and see if they could repair your damaged boot sector / partition table.

 

Richard S.

 

Thanks Richard, I only assumed, that word again, that it was dos as the only .exe files that were there had the little box around that usually denotes that it is a dos file. Anyway, Windows does detect it as a drive, but it shows there is nothing on the drive. This may have been due to the fact that it is the usb that was being configured as the usb booting disk, because now when I fire up the computer I get a non valid boot error coming up and have to unplug, press the shift or any key to continue, before she will load.

 

Thanks very much for your efforts. Sorry about reply delay, had to get beauty sleep. At my age it is needed. Plus had to stop tearing out the little hair I had left.

 

Des

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Good to hear you've managed to fix your drive problems Curious Des :)

 

I must admit I've heard of TestDisk before but never actually tried it until tonight.

Yes it's a pretty amazing little tool it managed to patch up my flash drive I had deliberately corrupted for the purpose of testing recovery software.

 

Richard S.

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