All I want is my music back.
January 28, 2006 5:50 PM   Subscribe

Partition Magic Tragic destroyed a partition on my hard drive, is there anyway to get the data off of it?

Months ago, I migrated from Windows XP to Linux. Using Partition Magic, I created separate partitions to dual boot my computer. I fell in love with Linux and have been using it ever since. Unfortunately, my large MP3 collection was still on the Windows NTFS partition and new music I added was in a separate directory on my Linux partition, it was time to consolidate. I had been accessing the NTFS partition as read-only through Linux to play the music as to not foul the NTFS partition.

Today I decided to "clean house" on my computer and make a separate partition for my music. While resizing my Windows partition to have a 35GB partition (The total amount of free space available), Partition Magic threw up an error stating that a file size was too large (I don't have any files over 1GB as far as I know). The computer rebooted and when I try to get back into Windows XP it throws up a brief blue screen and reboots. My Linux partition is fine (I'm using it to type this), but it will not mount the NTFS drive. It gives me this error:

mount: wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock on /dev/hda1,
missing codepage or other error

All I want to do is grab the music off of the partition, I don't care about anything else on it. Any suggestions?
posted by Mijo Bijo to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
I too have had problems with partition magic before, not saying they have a bad program, just that it doesn't fail gracefully. Having said that, i was able to recover 100% of my data by basically just running plain windows chkdsk. I believe i had to use the windows boot cd and go to "repair" or "emergencey console" or something like that and then run chkdsk /r on the drive. Hopefully a combination of partition magic (to reenable the old partition) and chkdsk can at least get the data back for you.

If all else fails, maybe try looking into the Acronis set of utilities, although I've never used it.
posted by bigdave at 6:05 PM on January 28, 2006

Or, perform an autopsy.
posted by Bucket o' Heads at 6:07 PM on January 28, 2006

I've had a roughly 99% success rate with Sleuthkit and Autopsy. Even better if you can dd the dead partition to a file somewhere.
posted by Bucket o' Heads at 6:08 PM on January 28, 2006

R-Studio NTFS helped me when Partition Magic decided that it would eat my partition tables.

For the really bad cases where even R-Studio cannot help, DiskPatch is able to do some frightening recovery concepts.

Email me if you need some help with "acquiring" these tools, since I own both of them. Note that R-Studio I think only works on Windows... You might need to install the drive in another XP-based machine, if possible.

Good luck.
posted by disillusioned at 6:09 PM on January 28, 2006

I agree with the suggestions above. If you have spare storage lying around, use dd to create an image of the disk and work off that copy. If sleuthkit/autopsy/helix doesn't work with the NTFS, you can always try the demo version of AccessData FTK.
posted by gaelenh at 7:42 PM on January 28, 2006

Thanks for the comments so far.

In Sleuth/Autopsy I can see some of the data, but not all of it, in the directory that I want. Is there a way to copy it onto another partition?

I don't have any extra storage, that's why I was using Partition Magic. I actually deleted 35GB of junk off of the Windows partition to make room for a separate partition. There is about 5GB's of files that I absolutely want back and have room for it on the Linux partition, and the rest I can recreate.
posted by Mijo Bijo at 8:49 PM on January 28, 2006

Although I'm not familiar with Sleuth Kit specifically, it probably automatically write protects all disks during use. Remember to unlock the linux partition you want to copy to before trying to copy. I think you just right click on the files you want to recover and click save, but that might just undelete the files from the partition (which you don't have access to).

Also, Partition Table Doctor may be the tool you are looking for if you have further problems. I saw an extended demo of it on popular distribution websites.
posted by gaelenh at 10:34 PM on January 28, 2006

This may be a dumb suggestion, but have you tried booting from the XP installation CD and using the "repair windows" option?
The only reason i suggest that is because you said you get a blue screen before getting booted back so it seems like Windows itself can still access the partition but not load itself - possibly due to some corrupted system files.

If it works you could try either doing repair install (which will simply reinstall your XP leaving your data intact) (but might mess up your dual boot configuration) OR going to the "repair console" and try to access the data from there.

As i said, be gentle if this is a silly suggestion..
Good luck.
posted by sierra13 at 10:31 AM on January 29, 2006

I concur with sierra13's assessment - It sounds like it's just Windows that's been hosed, not necessarily the entire partition. Just because Linux can't deal doesn't mean much, I think.
My first step in your shoes would be to remove the drive and slave it to another Win XP/2K PC (if available) and attempt to copy the critical files off of it. Only run chkdsk on the drive if that effort fails, and then only as a last resort.
Good luck, and thanks for the object lesson on why you should take seriously those warning messages PQ/Partition Magic gives you about backing up data before making changes.
posted by BigLankyBastard at 11:32 AM on January 30, 2006

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