“Don’t play with matches while sitting on an open barrel of powder”

We have a saying in Poland like the one in the title of this post. Well… seems I forgot about it today (well… now it’s already tomorrow, so today means yesterday).

What happened? I bought myself a new shiny harddisk for my laptop and an external USB drive to put the old disk into use. That’s nothing bad of course. At least not on its own… But while preparing a working environment on the new disk I had the old disk hot-plugged to access its data. At some moment one of the volumes became inaccessible. The NTFS filesystem seems to be invalid and despite my tries to salvage the disk I was unsuccessful and it looks like I’ll have to say good bye to the data stored on that partition.

As it was a Windows installation and I rarely work on Windows there wasn’t much precious data there… Actually there was only one piece of valuable data there – one that wasn’t copied anywhere else… And now for the best part – what was that data? Well… not my bank passwords (thank God!) and not my PhD thesis (the risk of it being lost was minimal as the thesis doesn’t exist yet, but never underestimate the power of quantum fluctuations!). But unfortunately it was a final project of the diploma for the Qt Centre Programming Contest… What a shame… if I don’t find a way to access my data, I’ll have to make the diploma again and last time it took three months to do it :)

So… if anyone knows how to validate an invalid ntfs filesystem (standard Windows tools said it was unrepairable) without buying expensive software, I’d be grateful for any help in that matter.

Memo for today – Uncle Bill doesn’t like me.

6 Responses to ““Don’t play with matches while sitting on an open barrel of powder””

  1. marcel says:

    Try with Acronis Disk Director or Paragon Hard Disk Manager. They both have unerase/partition recovery abilities.

  2. wysota says:

    I’ll try that, thanks. Although the master file table seems damaged (don’t ask me how it happened, I wasn’t writing anything to the disk), I don’t know if any of the tools can do anything about it.

  3. marcel says:

    Although I never used them for that purpose, I believe that when they say “partition recovery” they mean recovering damaged partition tables(that’s what their docs say). Unerase is only for recovering deleted files on healthy partitions.

    So they both can do the job, although it can take some time to rebuild the tables.

  4. wysota says:

    Ok, it didn’t work. Furthermore either one of the programs or Windows itself decided to write a new master block record on the disk without asking me first. Thus I lost all my partitions (some sensitive data included) on that disk and am currently trying to salvage them (this time using Linux). This sucks…

  5. marcel says:

    Sorry about that.
    Indeed, that sucks. Good luck with Linux then :).

  6. wysota says:

    Sorry about that.
    Indeed, that sucks. Good luck with Linux then :).

    Thx. I now have access to all data excluding my encrypted partition (as it is encrypted, it’s hard to find its boundaries, because it doesn’t look like a partition). I still can’t boot the computer, but it is a success anyway.

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