Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Evil Partition

So I purchased a new desktop.  I stayed within my budget.  I only ended up spending $300.  Now, I had an old 120 GB hard drive that I installed Vista on while I attempted to sort out my data recovery situation.

I had 2 identical 250 GB drives mirrored together in a RAID that were used in my old computer.  I knew my data was intact.  So, I attempted to recover my data using methods I have used in the past.  The problem is that Vista and even XP will not boot with either of these drives attached as a secondary slave.  I've used this method many times to recover data from a dead OS (typically XP).  However, in my case it wasn't working.

I moved on to my backup plan, Knoppix!  Now this has worked for me in the past too.  Knoppix will allow read/write access to an NTFS partition and Samba allows remote access to network shares to move the files to.  Again I ran into problems.  Knoppix wouldn't mount the drives in read/write mode.  I could read the files just fine and eventually managed to recover about 80GB of the 200GB of data.  That filled up my 120GB drive that I installed Vista on.  I still have about 120 GB of data left to recover and I was basically out of space.

Not having a place to recover the data to, I decided the best option would be to format one of the 250GB drives and use that to keep the data on.  However, this proved to my much more difficult that I would have liked.

Not having a floppy drive limited some of my simpler options.  However, the partially corrupt partition caused me constant problems.  Windows was not able to destroy the partition in the OS and even a Windows Vista install choked when it attempted to read the drive.  Also, Knoppix and Ubuntu were choking when they attempted to read the drive during an attempted install.  Eventually I tried installing a server edition of Ubuntu just to erase the drive and it worked!

After canceling the install, I was able to go into Vista and delete the Linux partitions and format into NTFS.  That is where I am at now.  I expect the format to finish soon and then I will again have fun attempting to recover my data.

Over all, the computer build has been completely painless.  Even Vista itself has given me no problems.  However, getting the data off of my drives has been an absolute nightmare.

I think I have convinced myself that another copy of Carbonite would help avoid this problem in the future.


Travis said...

People ask me all the time why I keep a Floppy in my desktop.

This is why :D.

Unknown said...

Yeah... I figured out that my new mobo doesn't have a floppy controller on it. :(

However, I spent the time to find an iso image of a Windows 98 SE boot disk so I'm at least able to do what I need.

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