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Old 05-02-2004, 11:10 PM   #1
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Default I'm devastated (Now just mildly perplexed)

I went to install Windows XP on my spare hard drive today. I unplugged my main HD and left my secondary plugged in, and put my spare in the primary spot. I let Win XP installer do its thing.

When it was done, I check out my secondary that had 24 GB of music, games, and pictures. It is gone. All gone. Days of music, a dozen or so games, and all my pictures (Bonneville, fiance, friends, etc.), all wiped clean. I've been collecting those items for years. I've still got some pics of my car on Cardomain, but only a fraction of what I had. Several cd'* of burnt music in wav form, so several dozen songs (lost tousands of songs). Luckily I had my documents on my other drive.
I don't know why it did that. The drive is still in FAT 32, so it didn't do it to convert it to NTFS.

I am heartbroken.

There was one small file left. About 450k. It'* titled restoreblahblahblah.blah.1

I doubt it holds enough information to restore 24 GB of data.
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Old 05-02-2004, 11:10 PM   #2
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that sux yo!
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Old 05-02-2004, 11:18 PM   #3
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I hate when that happens. Sorry!
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Old 05-02-2004, 11:24 PM   #4
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Damnit....sorry bud...time to rebuild!
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Old 05-02-2004, 11:28 PM   #5
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Getting the music back now would probably get me arrested. That would be a lot of songs to download. The time required to even remember all that I had alone is mindboggling. The games I'm not a upset about. Didn't play them much anymore since I got an Xbox.

My pictures makes me want to cry, though.
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Old 05-02-2004, 11:41 PM   #6
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sorry to hear that man. Just so you know in the future, whenever you re-install windows XP it wipes everything clean and does a fresh install. You can't reinstall windows now without re-formatting the hard drive, it does it automatically.
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Old 05-02-2004, 11:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Custom88
sorry to hear that man. Just so you know in the future, whenever you re-install windows XP it wipes everything clean and does a fresh install. You can't reinstall windows now without re-formatting the hard drive, it does it automatically.
But it wasn't even the drive I was installing it to. So I was definatetly not expecting it.
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Old 05-03-2004, 12:02 AM   #8
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Default Re: I'm devastated

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwikoff99
I doubt it holds enough information to restore 24 GB of data.
Actually, that 24GB of data might still be there. Unless the Windows installer actually took the time to erase the drive bit-by-bit (unlikely, but possible), it might be possible to recover the data. Generally speaking, when a file gets deleted, all that'* really removed is its entry in the file allocation table (the FAT in FAT32). The most likely possibility is that the Windows installer recreated the partition on your second hard drive -- i.e., it removed its entry from the partition table, then made a new one. New partition, new (and empty) file allocation table. But the bits might still be there.

There are hundreds of "undelete" tools available, some free, some not, but a free one is certainly worth a try. Make sure you don't put anything on that drive until after you've tried the undelete, though, as you don't want to overwrite those "ghost" bits. One caveat, though -- most of the time, filenames are lost when you undelete something, so you may end up with thousands of unlabeled files -- but that'* better than not having any at all, right? (I've got a few hundred TV episodes, mp3s, old documents, etc, that all have filenames like FUQHD_142.* because I had a similar thing happen to me )

Here'* a link to a freeware undelete tool I found:

ftp://ftp2.convar.com/pcinspector/pci_filerecovery.exe

Good luck, let us know if anything shows up

-b
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Old 05-03-2004, 01:14 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Custom88
sorry to hear that man. Just so you know in the future, whenever you re-install windows XP it wipes everything clean and does a fresh install. You can't reinstall windows now without re-formatting the hard drive, it does it automatically.
This is a false statement. The installer will always do a search for OS already installed and ask if you wish to repair it if found. If one wasnt found it will still ask you if you want to format the partion your installing too. If you want to keep stuff you would say no here.
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Old 05-03-2004, 01:16 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Custom88
sorry to hear that man. Just so you know in the future, whenever you re-install windows XP it wipes everything clean and does a fresh install. You can't reinstall windows now without re-formatting the hard drive, it does it automatically.
That'* not entirely true. Windows will do what'* called a "Repair Install" where it only fixes what'* stopping the version of Windows that'* there to not work properly. The catch is, you have to install the same version on top of itself, and it doesn't guarantee that all programs will continue to work if the registry was your problem.

As far as a new install completely wiping a drive, I've never seen that, and I've installed Windows hundreds of times. XP dozens. Sounds like you may have missed a switch somewhere during the install, or just had another one of those lovely computer hiccups.

If it was a different drive than the install drive, I have seen on rare occasions where an ew install of Windows will not see the data on another drive. The bad part is, I can't remember if or how I fixed that....
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