FREE NTFS Partition Repair Data Recovery Software

NOTE FROM MICHAEL: Hey Everyone! Thanks for all the positive emails and phone calls. One email from Jim L in Dallas Texas asks: “you talk about partition repair, but the software doesn’t actually repair the partition, it recovers files from it. Is there anything out there that does repair partitions?” Well Jim while most people are happy to just get their data back from a damaged partition, we do have a tool for those brave souls that want to actually REPAIR a partition.

Dick Correa our chief programmer was kind enough to release a tool he created that does in fact REPAIR NTFS partitions. This software is free to our readers and can be gotten off of our website. The link is at the bottom of this post. Keep in mind that DTI is not responsible for any data lost from misuse of this tool. It is extremely powerful. Now that the lawers are happy, here is Dick’s post:

NTFS Partition Recovery with Free Partition Recovery All things must start somewhere, when it comes to operating systems’; the partition sector is the single most important component in the boot sequence. When the partition sector is missing, corrupt, or set up improperly it can wreak havoc with the booting of your operating system. The partition sector is vulnerable to virus attacks, operating system anomalies, bad sector reads, and an ever increasing set of tools, fdisk included, that when used incorrectly can and will totally destroy an operating systems boot sequence.

In order to more clearly understand how the partition sector fits into the boot sequence, the following is a standard garden variety boot up.

When you turn on your computer several things happen. The first of which is the BIOS (Basic Input Output System) is executed by the CPU (Central Processing Unit). The CPU knows to load the BIOS on power up as there is a flag set at power on. The BIOS then jumps to a set of routines that will execute the POST (Power On Self Test). The POST will look at memory, some peripheral devices, and do some other house keeping procedures. The most important of these is determining the boot device. The boot device is stored in non-volatile read/write memory. If the boot device is set to a hard drive, then an industry standard interrupt 0×19 is called. This routine loads the first 512 bytes of the boot device, which in this case the hard drive, into memory location 0x7C00. The 512 bytes is a standard sector size. It then jumps to that address (0x7C00) and executes whatever it finds there.

If all goes well, the set of instructions executed will look at the partition entry data. The partition entry data is used to determine which partition is the boot partition. If it finds a boot partition in the partition entry list the instructions will then load a secondary set of instructions which the partition entry has pointed to. In the case of Windows the OS (Operating System) pre loader is now loading itself into memory. This type of OS loader is called a two phase loader and is very common. Take a look at the table below to help better understand the role of the partition sector entry data.

The format of a partition sector entry is as follows:
1.) Byte 1 Boot Partition Indicator (0×80 is bootable, 0×00 is not)

2.) Byte 2 Starting Head of the partition (255 or less)

3.) Byte 3-4 Starting Sector and Cylinder of the partition
This is set up as 10 bits for the Cylinder and
6 bits for the Sector (Sector Max 63, Cylinders Max 1024)

4.) Byte 5 File System Type (NTFS, FAT32 etc)

5.) Byte 6 Ending Head of the partition (255 or less)

6.) Byte 7-8 Ending Sector and Cylinder of the partition
This is set up as 10 bits for the Cylinder and
6 bits for the Sector (Sector Max 63, Cylinders Max 1024)

7.) Bytes 9 -12 Relative Sector to the partition sector. In other
words, where the actual partition starts.

8.) Bytes 13-16 Total sectors for this partition.

If any of this data is outside the stated parameters the partition will fail and consequently the boot sequence will stop. In order to clearly understand what happens when the partition sector is corrupt or damaged, the following is a list of scenarios.1. Boot Failure: System Halted
An error message that comes from the BIOS. Certain BIOS versions, especially the most recent revisions, take a look at the partition sector. The BIOS will perform some preliminary tests and one of the tests is the Partition Identifier. At the end of every partition sector is the value 0xAA55. If this indicator is missing then the BIOS assumes that this is not a partition sector and the aforementioned error message will be issued.

2. System reboots over and over
Although this is not an error message, it can happen if the relative sectors point to an invalid OS pre loader. A trap is set and if the data that is loaded is not executable machine most BIOS’s will reboot.

3. Invalid Partition Table
This error message comes from the partition boot code. If there are no boot devices then the boot code will enter an infinite loop after this message is displayed.

4. Error Loading Operating System
After a valid partition is found the LBA sector pointed to by the partition entry table will be loaded using INT 13. This is the operating system loader. If the code cannot be loaded into memory then the above message is normally displayed.

5. Missing Operating System
Once the operating system boot code is loaded it is checked for the 0xAA55 identifier in the same manner that the partition sector is tested. If this test fails, then the above message will be displayed.

Over the years the BIOS writers have gotten smarter, personal computer as well as operating system standards have been set and are normally followed. So many of the messages, as well as error checking is now handled by the BIOS. The messages I have mentioned are just a few, but, are very common; however, from BIOS to BIOS the messages as well as the error handling can differ greatly.

As you can clearly see the partition sector is of primary importance in the boot sequence. Without it nothing happens. In the future there may be ways to overcome the use of a partition sector, one would be to store the partition entry data in the BIOS, this would eliminate boot sector viruses as well as the possibility that the boot sector goes bad and becomes unreadable. However for now, we will work with what we have. The next segment will discuss how to do partition recovery using a simple piece of software.

How To Use The Software

Free Partition Recovery is an extremely powerful tool for anyone to use but this statement must be caveated with the fact that with power comes a degree of responsibility. In other words, use this tool with extreme caution as it can destroy your file system to the point of massive and possibly permanent data loss. That being said lets take a look at how we can put this tool to good use.

First, the software should be run from a master drive. There should be two drives in the system, your boot drive from where the software is executed, and the damaged drive. The damaged drive being the one with the corrupt or missing partition. Free Partition Recovery is designed to work on Windows XP type operating systems, so make sure that you have unzipped the file onto that type of operating system.

Once the Free Partition Recovery has been executed you will see in Figure 1.

Figure 1

The top row displays all the physical drives currently active in your system. This will also include any external devices that can be mounted as a physical block device. An example of this would be the 80 GB Maxtor USB device. Once you choose a physical drive all partition entry data will be displayed as in Figure 2.

Figure 2

The partition entry data for this particular drive gives us a clear example of a drive that has been configured with one NTFS logical drive with the standard offset of 63 sectors, start head and sector of 1 and ending cylinder of 1023. These are classic values for a normal single logical drive setup.
The other three entries are clear and not in use. These entries will be ignored by the OS loader. There is one other important item in this configuration. On the far left of Figure 2 of the first partition entry is the boot flag “No”. This indicates that this partition is ‘Not Bootable’. You can change that value buy using the drop down list (Figure 3)

Figure 3

Once you have configured all of the partition entries to reflect the correct values all you need do is press the “Write” button. You will be presented with the following message box in Figure 4. A word of caution, once you write the data down to the partition sector, you must live with it. Please exhibit extreme caution.

Figure 4

Hopefully this information as well as the software will help you recover your data. If you have any questions email or call 727-345-9665 Ext 236. For additional help visit our hard drive recovery page.

You can download the free NTFS partition repair software here. For more info about freeware data recovery visit our free data recovery software page.

We have also just released a FREEWARE solution that will save your NTFS master file table to our secure servers for possible data recovery. It acts as a remote restore point and MFT backup.


  1. L. Santhosh Kumar says:

    Have a 400 GB External harddrive stopped working suddenly , and display unformatted harddrivewhile connecting. So try to recover data using this tool

  2. let’s try it out

  3. good software in use all problem

  4. good soft ware in usre some tine and test it

  5. adeniran akintunde adesola adom says:

    pls i need a data recovery software downlodable for toshiba pc A20 series.. i’ll gladly appreciate it if my request can be granted

  6. dear author,
    HI, i quite fresh for those recovery things. But i like to ask a question with my full hope, hope authors can answer my question.
    Few week ago when i want to format my disk, because of crash of software and i ensure and purposely only format the C drive which is the window file system. What i did is, i configure the HDD in BIOS and i set the sequence of booting. But when i run the window xp booting the window shown my HDD only content no partition. In addition, it cannot boot up the window whatever i had never format the HDD before.
    So can i know that your product can help me recover my lost partition and can show me how-to use this genius product?
    Finally I hope my question can be answered by the authors soon. Thank you.


  7. I read your direction on using your software, am I correct in saying
    that I need to have another hard drive with a bootable OS to boot up the PC and use your software on the dead or almost dead hard drive? If thats so can I make abootable usb hard drive?

  8. Derek Veens says:

    I read your direction on using your software, am I correct in saying
    that I need to have another hard drive with a bootable OS to boot up the PC and use your software on the dead or almost dead hard drive? If thats so can I use it with a Live cd win xp or Bart pe disc?

  9. In answer to your question Jeff, you are absolutely correct in your assumption that you may format and install an NT type OS onto a USB device. That device in turn may be used to boot from if the BIOS of the particular motherboard supports that type of functionality.

    A word of caution however when installing. In order to avoid device confusion during the install it is prudent to only have the USB device plugged in. That way the data on any other hard drives cannot be “accidentally” compromised. I myself have sometimes mistaken one device for another and fdisked, formatted, and installed the OS on the wrong drive.

    Hopefully, your solution will be able to bring your compromised file system back to life. If you have any more questions, please feel free to contact me.

    One last note, I am finding that your situation is not unique. There are many technicians such as yourself who are in need of a software solution that can be used on any 80×86 based machine that may not be bootable. In addition the damaged machine may not have an operating system readily available that will support a particular data recovery tool. Mores the pity.

    In answer to that, I have always been an enthusiastic advocate of stand alone DOS tools. I cut my PC programming teeth on DOS 3.3 and have loved it ever since. At this point in time I am in the design phase of some tools that will be standalone, bootable from a CD, or floppy, and have comparable functionality as many popular windows tools. Using FreeDOS, DJGPP, GRX and 25 years or programming experience I believe such a wonderful suite of tools can be developed that will run on any 80×86 machine. What a wonderful legacy for such a fine operating system. Hopefully I can find the time to develop these tools.

    Prior to that however, I will try and write something similar the the free partition recovery tool using the above mentioned format. I do not have a time frame for release of such a tool, however, it is in my personal schedule.


    Dick Correa

  10. Derek,

    In answer to your question, you may most certainly use the Free Partition Recovery software on a Bart PE disk.. Jacqui Best has written a wonderful article on how to do this very thing. The link is below.

    This article refers to our Recover It All Pro software but the Free Partition Recovery will work just as well as the software is based on the same design and implementation standards.

    I hope this helps you. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

    Dick Correa

  11. Hi, I just got a 2.5″ sata WD 120 GB 5400rpm hdd that I plan to use as an internal in my notebook. The drive makes a click x4 after powering up as external, but it’s not listed in “my computer”.
    When I’m trying it as internal, I’m getting this message: “hard drive not recognized”.
    I tried WD Data Lifeguard tools and the drive appears as “Generic External” when plugged in on usb post; also, Everest recognizes it.
    What can I do to initialize the hard drive? Any tool to make it visible& format it?

  12. Bill Brown says:

    How refreshing to have someone so knowledgable speak in plain english for all us ‘others’. Please, don’t ever stop.

  13. Hello outthere!
    Im a bit confused.. :-) I want to recover some datas in a non destructive way from a physical crashed drive, I just want to find these datas and transfer them to another drive. The crashed drive doesnt boot and I cant see anything on it except if I use some demo recovery tools. The drive contains bad sectors in some places and it seems to be physical damaged. Now here is why Im confused: Should I use the “Free NTFS Partition Repair Data Recovery Sofware” of yours on it or should I look somewhere else?

    Thanks for your help!

  14. The instructions under Fig 3 say “Once you have configured all of the partition entries to reflect the correct values all you need do is press the “Write” button”. How do I know what are the correct values to enter?

  15. did a windows update. when the computer rebooted, i got an error mesage to hit the ctl-alt-del keys. did this over and over, same result. the drive seems to be fine, all files are able to be read. can your utility help me fix this so i can boot from this drive into windows again??

  16. Will the NTFS Repair feature handle this error ‘Inserting an indeix entry into index $o of file 25.’? I believe my C: drive NTFS suffered partial NTFS corruption following NDIS.SYS blue screen of death.
    Symptom: Every time I cold boot the notebook, chkdsk will commence repair process. The screen displays ‘Inserting an indeix entry into index $o of file 25′ line after line until it said ‘Insufficient disk space to correct error in the index $o of file 25′. The Windows XP then allow me to logon but popup error message saying such and such folders is corrupted and unreadable. Some applications work fine but I noticed that while you can create/save file on C: drive, you can no longer delete nor change it. C: drive file system seems like being completely locked.

    Any help is appreciated.

  17. Well repairing the partition is not going to help because the partition is intact. If the partition was not the drive would not boot. It sounds as if you may have some bad sectors on the drive. It was also interesting when chkdsk indicated that there was not enough disk space on the drive to reallocate index allocations. Sometimes it is best to get your data off of the drive to another media before it goes bad. So, that said, I would back up whatever important data you have to another drive ( external usb, DVD, CD etc ) Then I would check the amount of space used on the drive. If you disk is totally full I would delete whatever you can live without and uninstall any programs you don’t use. The run chkdsk again. If chkdsk can not resolve you problem then I would suggest starting from scratch. Get all your data off of the drive, format the drive or even get a new one. Reinstall Windows and all of your programs, I do this once a year.

  18. King,

    After reading your message your problem exists with the file system itself and not the Master Boot record, or OS boot record. The Master File Table is corrupt and chkdsk is trying to repair. The situation with chkdsk is that it will destroy inodes and file pointers to the point where data cannot be recovered.

    You sound like you may have one of two general problems. First, you may have bad sectors on the drive, and because they cannot be read it will show as a corrupt file system and chkdsk will try to run. Second, data was written to the MFT area of the file system and has corrupted the table. This can happen for so many reasons that it would not be prudent to list them here.

    In order to solve this problem, I would pull the drive from the machine, place it in a USB sleeve and try to recover the data using DART for XP . If DART hangs then that usually means there are bad sectors on the drive, then you may want to use Speed Clone To image the drive to another drive and then recover the data.

    Hopefully these suggestions will help you. Good luck with your recovery, and as we always say “Don’t get eliminated!”


  19. Thanks Dave and Dick Correa for your advice.
    I am currently backing up all the data from the corrupted drive C: whilst I still have access to the system.
    I did noticed disk space on C: slowly decreases from 600Mb to 300Mb as a result of inability to delete/create any file/folder nor flush the IE or Firefox cache. Evidence of disk lock being in play.
    Strange is that chkdsk did not reported any bad sector nor hard error, so the disk seems to be still in good shape. But I will take your advice to offload all my data and rebuild the hard disk anew.
    Before I rebuild the disk I shall give DART and Speed Clone a go and report back the finding.
    Stay tune.

  20. Stephen says:

    I have just had an unusual problem when inserting memory – and yes, i grounded myself the whole time – where the HDD boots then, it displays the WindowsXP start page – the one with the progress bar – and then reboots.

    I can even call up the start menu, using F8 but it won’y any further

    When i try run a repair using the XP Cd it says the HDD is unformatted, the partition is corrupted etc.,

    Will this software help fix the HDD partition and boot XP correctly ?

    I understand you can’t make any promises – a generalisation would be appreciative, and stop me going hysterical and insane.

  21. Stephen,

    I understand what you are going through. We will help in every way that we can! What type of computer is it? Is it a laptop or desktop? What type of hard drive is it – SATA, IDE, etc?

    Do you have another computer available for recovery?

    Please answer these questions and I can help you come up with a recovery game plan. The fact that your drive is recognized is a real good sign. Do not run any type of re-install or chkdisk or that could erase your existing data.

  22. Stephen says:

    The Pc is a desktop and the HDD is an 80Gb IDE drive.

    I have a couple of spare HDDs that I can install XP on

    Unfortunately I’ve only got the one PC.

    Re the chkdsk – don’t worry I haven’t done a thing as far as that’s concerned – my first concern is to see if there is a solution out there before i totally screw things up (laughing).

  23. Mark Tuson says:

    When do we get Linux version? I’m trying to find software to repair my ruined NTFS disk, that runs on Ubuntu, which is what my spare hard disk has on it. I’m not particularly wanting to repartition and reinstall just to recover some files, then just to repartition the spare disk back to ext2 and put Linux back on it…

    So, Linux version? :)

  24. I have/had a 400 Go external HDD with 2 Partition.I tried to create an other partition from one of the free disk space of one of the existing partition, with Partition Magic. I remember that I got an Error Massage, so I just Canceled the process, and shut down my external USB-HDD . 3 Weeks late I wanted some data from that HDD, but I get the following Massage “The disk in Drive J is not formatted…etc…”
    I tried this free NTFS partition repair software, but the software only showed me 1 Partition Boot “yes” SH “0″ SS “1″ SC “0″ FS Type “FAT 16″ EH “85″ ES “15″ EC “1023″ rel Sectors “0″ Total Sectors “268435455″ the Rest is empty. I was afraid to continue so I just Pressed Exit.

    Should I continue and Try it out??? but where is the second partition and both partition were ntfs Format?????

  25. Nizar,
    It looks like Partition Magic may have set up a FAT16 temporary partition, or your partition has been corrupted. The partition is 130 GB but shows as FAT16 which is not possible. In order to recreate the partition the EXACT size of both drives must be known at the sector boundary.

    The Free Partition Recovery Tool only writes the data to the partition, it does not scan for valid partitions. You will need a piece of data recovery software to do that. Recover It All Professional on our website will help you recover your lost partitions.

    We also offer a service where a technician will remotely login to your computer and fix the partition for you. The price for that recovery is $100.00.

    I hope I have answered your questions. If you find the EXACT sector boundary for each valid partition then you can use the Free Partition Recovery tool to recover your lost partitions.

    Dick Correa

  26. Barry Kaiser says:


    I’ve been trying to recover a Friends laptop (VIAO A170P). He was installing XP sp2 online (ouch!). Now every boot says hit Ctrl+Alt+Del. I’ve managed to get a install CD running with USB floppy and DVD. Windows see’s all 3 partitions p1 (EISA, think it has a Viao recovery image) p2 and p3. I know p2 is OS and p3 is data but all show as being free space and file system is “Unknown”. It looks like the file system got wiped out. I also am unable to Ghost an image because of bad blocks and un-flushed cache/memory? Can your utility help recover it?

  27. Barry,

    If Windows is seeing the partitions then the Free Partition Recovery tool will not be able to help as your problem is not the partition.

    You are getting bad sectors on the drive and that can cause a great deal of havoc with file systems as well as the data. My advice to you is to clone the drive, pull off the data and reload your friends box.

    Bad sectors is nothing to play with as all hard drives have an area on the drive to remap bad sectors. If you are getting bad sectors then that mean the bad sector remap area is full. Thats very bad.

    I hope this helps you.

    Dick Correa

  28. My Gateway desktop not boot and nothing shows on the monitor at all. I was told my HDD was corrupted or damaged , so I bought another wetern digital drive and installed. Still nothing is happening. I don’t care about recovering anything from the old drive. Any sugestion as what is wrong and what to do ?

  29. Hi,

    I got this error when I tried to click on an External USB hard disk (80GB) and got this error. “The file or directory is corrupted and unrecoverable”.
    It would seem the hard disk is physical okay, it’s just that I cant get at the data.
    Tried running the NTFS Partition Recovery program you have made available. Still couldn’t get it to work. Would you be able to help me here.

    Much appreciated…

    Aibo Bebes
    Papua New Guinea

  30. I am replacing a hard disc (slave) with a larger one. I put in the 160gb disc and it shows and formats as a 3`1.4gb. How can I make the OS see the additional real estate?

  31. Korey,

    What OS are you using. Do you know what type of BIOS you have? How old is the computer?

  32. Rudy Laffoley says:

    Hi Dick!!
    Very interesting stuff,great imfo. I’ve got an older 30gb Maxtor HD,that crashed ,it still spins up,but won’t boot into Windows.It asks for the system disk.It has theFat32 file system installed.i’m wondering if your PartitionRepair/Recovery Software,would work on this drive? Any or all imfo would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank You In Advance Rudy L

  33. narinder sehgal says:


  34. Hi. My problem is I did a registry cleaner and it pretty much forced me to do a system recovery with widows xp afterwards then it no longer recognized the information I have on my wd 500 gb external hard drive. It tells me to reformat the hard drive and I have about 450 gb of info stored on there. I don’t believe the hard drive is damaged but some files or something definitely is that wants me to reformat the drive. Which tool should I use and how should I use it to attempt to fix this situation so I can use the external hard drive as I previously have without having to reformat and delete the information?


  35. Corey,

    It sounds like there is an issue with the MBR of the drive now, which is common after a Windows reload. I Have not yet figured out the correlation of reinstalling Windows on one drive and losing the partition on an external drive but it happen A LOT. I could come in to your machine with LogMeIn Rescue and more then likely fix the drive back to the way it was before this happened. It is a situation where you need eyes on the raw sectors of the drive. If you like you can give me a call at 727-345-9665 ext 236 and we can discuss it further.

  36. My scenario: I have one 1TB External HDD (Seagate – Freeagent, USB), partitioned with only one partition (NTFS). By mistake, trying to format one memory stick (using “HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool”, v 2.06, FAT32 option), I selected the HDD. After few seconds, I received an error message. Immediately, the HDD was unmounted and remounted (Win XP sp2). Obviously, appeared as “not formatted”.
    The data from “FREE NTFS Partition Repair”:
    Seagate| FreeAgent | Not Available| 102C| USB | 931.51 GB
    Boot SH SS SC FS Type EH ES EC Rel Sectors Total Sectors
    Yes 1 1 0 FAT 32 254 63 763 63 1953525105

    Question: If I will change the above data to:
    Boot SH SS SC FS Type EH ES EC Rel Sectors Total Sectors
    No 1 1 0 NTFS 254 63 1023 63 1953525105
    is possible to recover my data (about 600 GB) back?!

  37. My scenario: I have one 1TB External HDD (Seagate – Freeagent, USB), partitioned with only one partition (NTFS). By mistake, trying to format one memory stick (using “HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool”, v 2.06, FAT32 option), I selected the HDD. After few seconds, I received an error message. Immediately, the HDD was unmounted and remounted (Win XP sp2). Obviously, appeared as “not formatted”.
    The data from “FREE NTFS Partition Repair”:
    Seagate| FreeAgent | Not Available| 102C| USB | 931.51 GB
    Boot SH SS SC FS Type EH ES EC Rel Sectors Total Sectors
    Yes 1 1 0 FAT 32 254 63 763 63 1953525105

    Question: If I will change the above data to:
    Boot SH SS SC FS Type EH ES EC Rel Sectors Total Sectors
    No 1 1 0 NTFS 254 63 1023 63 1953525105
    is possible to recover my data (about 600 GB) back?!

    Thank you!

  38. Dick Correa says:

    If life were as simple as your suggestion we would all be in an eternal state of bliss! However, we live in the Microsoft world and therefore there will be no joy in Muddville today.

    Part of the process when you format a drive for FAT32 is that it reserves an area to store the FAT, actually two copies of the FAT. This FAT is stored at the very beginning of the drive.

    When creating the FAT the area reserved is zeroed out. In other words, with a device the size of yours the first 200 to 300 MB of the drive was totally wiped clean. Thats not good. It destroys major system components as well as a possibility of the MFT being corrupted.

    There is a possibility of getting your data back but it will take a trained file system recovery expert to rebuild the file system and possibly give you access to your files.

    I’m sorry the partition recovery software couldn’t help you, however there is a high possibility we can recover the data remotely.


    Dick Correa

  39. Thank you for the answer.
    Fortunately, I succeeded to restore my hdd (fast: 10 min), using the information from CG Security Wiki
    I don’t know if the above information is allowed on your site, but I know you’ll moderate the post. So, it’s up to you.
    Anyway, thank you again for your quick and sincerely answer.

  40. Intol,

    Sure we are here to help people out and appreciate the info. Hopefully it will help out someone else who has this problem.

  41. Monodeep Bhattacharjee says:

    I To Recover my Windows From Some sevier Problems So I wanna use your Recovery Disk

  42. Monodeep,

    What operating system are you using? What kind of problems are you having?

  43. Debesh Choudhury says:

    My USB hard disk (120 GB NTFS) got corrupted by two power failures! Now, it cannot be mounted either in Linux or Windows. By checking with “testdisk” the disk is found, it shows:

    Disk /dev/sda – 2199 GB / 2048 GiB – CHS 2097152 64 32, sector size=512 –

    Partition table type (auto): Intel
    Disk /dev/sda – 2199 GB / 2048 GiB –
    Partition table type: Intel

    It shows 2199 GB instead of 120 GB and checks for hours but could not find any partition, only gives “input/output” errors.

    Can you help?

  44. Debesh,

    Yes we can help you. I have forwarded this to the engineer that creates all of our software Dick Correa, and am sure he will answer your questions on Monday. In the meantime you could run the demo of Recover It All and post the results of the scan here so he has as much information as he can get to help you.

  45. When I fished recording my first mini-dvd I start the second.
    But at home when I was trying to finalise the first DVD it say NO DATA
    I tried several times, but still says NO DATA and cont perfor nay other operation,
    Where is my 30 minues of DATA gone?
    OR how to recover?
    Pl help.

    I tried one or two online rescue software it recongnises as audioCD with no data at all.

  46. First Things First… DAMN!! I’ve never seen such a direct and clear cut answers/suggestions forum so far… GREAT WORK Dick and all others contributing to it… May God Bless you’ll and may your tribe increase!!! ; )

    Okay now this post is gonna be quite long based on the issues I’ve seen and noticed over a period of time working with computers (No computer expert, just a guy who happens to face all sorts of issues with his computer and learned from trial and error and well reading days and nights on end (Im not exagerrating I’ve been 7 days/nights continuously reading and working installations (of course with the food and bath breaks included) sometimes from sites regarding issues that don’t give or get direct answers/solutions rather than only have so called experts rant about stuff that doesn’t pertain to the question and no solution to the issue I mean literally!!!) Most of the stuff may seem a little out of context, but then I decided to speak my mind literally on what issues I found so that this page can be seen by all sorts of people with errors of sorts and get them worked out..

    First my opinion is that the BASICS of computers being the same over the years and only COMPONENTS SOFTWARE etc being developed and created without keeping the Basics in mind hasn’t really helped us computer users really rather than torturing our souls with the numerous incompatibility issues etc and lack of information on the specified devices or workarounds for overcoming them being mentioned either in manuals etc. being a problem…

    I hope the following info I put up is useful for many who search for them…

    THE FIRST and most important step that is partitioning a system though supposed to be a simple task rather looks more complicated especially when doing dual/multiple OS boots and when you find after installing and partitioning that there is overlapping of sectors and partition size errors being displayed at the end of them all… (Does the free partition software rectify the geometries and change them according to the correct cluster/sector size etc and make the disks and partitions visible?) or does changing the BIOS settings to LBA sort them out?

    Many a time we come to know very late in partitioning that there is a 137 gb limit for Windows OS and that there is an option in the BIOS where in when changed from Native to LBA mode will display the disk sizes in its entirety(or well up to what can be used)… that too after everything has been partitioned and done with and all our data also mounted (And sometimes simple issues like a firmware detecting a CMOS battery failure and on replacement can sometimes reset and not let one of the disks be seen again as partitioned before.) What would be interesting is that if there was a way in which we could calculate appropriate partition sizes according to cluster/sector size in a way so that it does not cause errors or confusion on the hard drive and also in utilizing the space to the fullest…(Say 160 GB disk or 500 GB disk) based on size… I am yet to see a site that gives DIRECT information to that question. Or if LBA mode does not care about what size partition we enter and whether the partition sizes then have no issues… Please let me know if there is a way because I’m planning to do a reformat from scratch based on your inputs… I actually want to have a quad boot!!!
    DISK 1 (160 GB)Seagate SATA
    C: win 2000 SP4 16GB
    D: win XPSP3 50 GB
    E: Win Vista Ultimate SP1 45 GB
    F: LINUX 30 GB (Whichever version of Linux they finally claim as the most user friendly and best and for someone who wants to take a peep at how Linux is…looks like by the time they (forums/Linux users) decide I’ll be DEAD!!!)
    G: OS testing partition 8/9 GB(whatever space is left)
    Is there a possibility wherein I can Have the last drive where all my programs can be installed in one partition like the 8GB) and they can commonly be used by the OS’ instead of having to Install them repeatedly on each OS…
    If someone could device something like this they would certainly be great!! PROGRAMMERS are you’ll listening??!!!
    Many Dual boot/Multiple boot users might even start worshiping them!! ; )

    DISK 2 (500 GB) Seagate SATA
    H: Movies 200 GB
    I: Music(Videos/Songs) 200 GB
    J: Setups/Docs 65 GB

    RAM issues… People brag about stuff like I’ve got 4 gb RAM, 6 gb RAM or 8 gb etc… Little Did I know/or they may not be knowing that though motherboards can support that memory(mine being DG965RY with 4 RAM slots ) that THEY CANNOT BE USED by the OS or the applications because of the 3.2 gb limit where in they claim 2gb/2gb split for kernel and blah de blah blah(doesnt make sense since(3.2) but makes sense availability of only 2 gb sticks 2×2 =4) so whatever put above is not going to be utilized by the system (not everyone has 64 bit systems Im sure… More importantly physical memory above that limit is found more in server environments… Even on using the PAE \3gb switch no use seeing the RAM when it cant be USED!!! I have 4 GB… sadly…
    Note: Vista does not install when u have more than 2 gb on your computer…

    AUDIO/VIDEO drivers issues… Most manufacturers literally don’t have proper drivers… Microsoft LIKES the signed ones whereas the unsigned ones work on an alternative basis… So most of your devices decide to work or not work when they feel like it… Another thing I would like to mention Viewsonic Monitor drivers sometimes work on the first install later they dont display the resolution and go back to 1240×768 (1440×900 being the correct)
    Intel Audio drivers kill one and all… Computers here in India have Front Panel Audio dongles of AC97 type connectors where as the motherboard has HD headers and support… and Intel removed the one working driver 5.10.5208_XP32_XP64_MCE_2K_AC97_STACGUI.EXE from its site… beats me what they were thinking or may be they dont have that info…
    ASUS needs a BIOS change from Advanced\Chipset\South Bridge Configuration\Front Panel Support Type [HD] to [AC97] so that front audio panels can work (mostly the mic issues)
    Webcam drivers too are seldom a problem… TV tuner cards come with its screen flickering issues…

    These are some issues I would like to mention as of now… All suggestions/info could also be sent to me at my email id (REMOVED BY ADMIN) with a detailed answer if you think that you’ll be elongating the forum space… Would definitely be appreciated though I don’t have any issues in coming back to this page and reading them… I for one know that most of the above stated issues are faced by many using computers today and they can rather come here to a bang on target site and get a proper answer from you’ll than wasting their time reading long lists of crap from forums that don’t know S#*T… Thanks once again and all the best…

  47. oh and HAPPY THANKSGIVING !!!

  48. Michael,

    I have forwarded this to one of our engineers and he will be answering it shortly!

  49. terrence davies says:

    HI all love your site have problem run xp on intell P/4 WAS USEING THE OTHER DAY AND SYSTEM CRASHED BLUE SCREEN when i tryed to restart keeped saying curruped patition or damaged hardrive, so i tryed boot disk same thing syestem recovery trys to load half way then stops and tells me it can not read hard drive, took hard drive out of computer and put old one i had in computer and computer started ok, so i put damaged hardrive in external hardrive case and hooked it up to now runing computer and when i go to see if i can acese hardrive in external , it say that there is 0 data on it dont know what to do next can you help
    kind regards terry davies

  50. Michael,
    I am going to try and approach this in an orderly fashion, however, most of your post does not ask a direct question. The partitioning question is no problem, however the other two comments are not my area and I cannot intelligently comment on them. This is a data recovery forum and although we have a free form type format, it is still only about data recovery and file systems.
    That being said, the criteria that Microsoft uses when partitioning a drive is as follows.
    The boot sector always resides at sector zero, this is and industry requirement and not from Microsoft. All OS boot partitions reside on a head boundary. A brief explanation is in order here. In the past there was a cylinder, head, sector layout for hard drives. This comes from before LBA addressing and when drives were extremely slow. It was always advantageous that when a drive did a seek it would do as much work as possible while it was out on the platter since seek times were horrible. So, in a single platter, dual head drive on bootup the drive would seek to Cylinder 0, Head 0, and Sector 1, read the bootstrap code at that address and execute it. The bootstrap would have a table that included where the OS boot data was located. Instead of seeking to a new area on the drive, the drive would just switch heads and read from Cylinder 0, Head 1, Sector 1. That is where the OS boot record would normally be. In other words, it is by design that you lose the first 63 sectors of a drive. In addition, every additional partition will start on a head boundary, so again you lose 63 sectors. If you are using extended partitions you will lose 126 sectors as one starts on head boundary 1 and the other starts on head boundary 0.
    There is no way to avoid this, and even after LBA addressing was instituted and drive platter and head numbers became irrelevant Microsoft, and the industry as a whole, kept this formula. I for one am glad as it makes data recovery much easier when there are a set of rules and these rules can be applied when looking for file system components.
    In reference to partition sizes all partitions end on head 254. The tools that create a partition know that and so when you type in you want your drive ‘C’ to be a 16 GB partition the following formula is used.
    There are 63 sectors per track, and 255 tracks per cylinder. There are 2048 sectors per megabyte of storage and 2097152 sectors per gigabyte of storage. Multiply 63 sectors time 255 tracks you get 16065 sectors per cylinder. You want 16 GB, so you multiply 16 time 2097152 and that equals 33554432 sectors. Now we divide 33554432 sectors by 16065 and we get 2088.666791 cylinders. Truncate the value to 2088 and then take that value and multiply that times 16065 and that value is the actual space Microsoft will allot you for your partition. In this case 15.99489212 GB of allocated partition space. Sometimes fdisk will do something weird to optimize the storage but this calculation is fairly close.
    In reference to the cluster size the smaller the cluster more of the disk is used, however, you sacrifice speed for small cluster sizes for two reasons. How the OS buffers depending on cluster size and secondly smaller clusters tend to fragment more as it is easier to use all the space when the areas you can store things in is smaller. In other words it is easier to store a mouse than an elephant.
    That’s about it, I wish I could help you with your other topics, however, I try not to comment on things I know very little about.
    Hope this helps you out.



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