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hkBattousai

Master Boot Record (MBR) and Partition Lost After Power Failure

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I have a 1TB Maxtor Basics external hard drive. After a power cut, I lost access to the entire data in it; I couldn't see the drive in my computer but the system was slowing down and getting stuck about every 10 seconds periodically. First I tried running CHKDSK.EXE, but it didn't work, it gave the error message "Cannot open volume for direct access.". This message is given when you try to fix a non-existing drive. Soon I came to a conclusion that the partition table and/or master boot record could be damaged. I installed one of those partition recovery software, "Active@ Partition Recovery 5.3". After a little analysis I saw that I was right. The master boot record was damaged. I read the documentation and FAQ of that program which suggest to fix master boot record first in this kind of situations. I did so, and fixed the MBR. After that, I saw that the previously existing partition was gone, and it is said to be "Unallocated Partition", (i.e; there is no partition apparent). Unfortunately that software had no partition recovery feature, so I had to do something else. Next I installed "Paragon Partition Manager 10.0". It gave the exact same report as the previous tool did (the MBR was okay (since I recovered it by the previous tool) and the partition was "unallocated"). But, there happened to be a bigger problem. When the program tries to access this damaged harddisk, it gives a read-write error message every 5 seconds. A popup dialog box appears and informs about the R/W failure. There are three buttons on this dialog: Retry, Ignore and Cancel. If you click retry, popups appear forever, so I clicked "Ignore" for 30 or 40 times (it takes 40 x (5 sec) = 3 minutes of tedious work) before doing any harddisk operation (getting harddisk report, etc; even while starting the software). I tried recovering the partition, so it started to scan the harddisk. The bad thing is that there wasn't any end to those popups during the scan, I clicked them for half an hour and the progress-bar didn't even color up! So I gave up using this software too. Now I need some advice and instructions from you to recover my harddisk. 1) Do I lose my harddisk contents if I create a new partition (and then use an unerase/file-recovery tool)? Or should I find and install another partition recovery software? Which one is the best solution for my problem? 2) What software do you suggest for such a situation? I will purchase a UPS soon... Any help or suggestion will be super greatly appreciated.

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First I thing I would try would be to swap out a new ide/sata cable just to be safe.

Then I would try another program if have access to one and see if it has the same problems.

Usually when I've gotten Read/Write errors like that in the past, it is usually some kind of hardware failure and the damage may be more extensive than you think. The MBR corruption was just the part that stood out the most at first. Have you heard any kind of clicking noise coming from the hard drive while it's trying to read the data?

[edit]
http://www.datadoctor.org/partition-recovery/windows-ntfs.html

I've had some luck with this company in the past with their USB recovery stuff. They usually have demos that will at least tell you if your data is still there or not, but wont recover it without the full version.

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