Inaccessible Hard Disk

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Rob Landolfi, Jan 6, 2006.

  1. Rob Landolfi

    Rob Landolfi Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm having trouble helping my dad get a hard drive up and running after his attempt to uninstall Norton Ghost 10 (as part of the System Works 2006 Premier package).

    He installed NSW 2006 on his one and only hard drive and I gave him an external drive to hold his backups. He couldn't get Ghost to work properly, and went down the road of trying all the Symantec troubleshooting steps to uninstall it. By the time he called me to try and help, his computer would no longer boot... it would crash and freeze in error. Thankfully, all his data and pictures, with the exception of his e-mail and (probably IE favorites) was copied to the external drive prior to installing NSW 2006.

    The disk is taken over by some NSW process that he can't get to stop, and when the right program elements are not found, it just hangs. The disk is locked somehow as we can't even do a windows reinstall over it... the routines start, but then come up against whatever error NSW introduces. Safe Boot and the Recovery Console haven't solved our problem.

    Via phone, I talked him through swapping the internal drive from his external enclosure with the one in his PC, and we have a good XP install. However, the original disk doesn't show up in "My computer" when plugged in externally. By going into Disk Management, we can see the drive (still marked "Active"), but the only option available is to "Delete Partition". We're close to just doing that so we can start over with this drive, but I was hoping there was a way to stop/change the "Active" label so we can access it once more or so to pull off any stray files that we would like to keep for his new XP installation.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Harold Wazzu

    Harold Wazzu Supporting Actor

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    Isn't there an option in fdisk to make a hard drive active/inactive?

    You would have to reinstall the hard drive internally to access it, since fdisk is a dos program, but I think that's the way you will have to go.

    Unless you have Partition Magic, which might allow you to do the same thing.
     
  3. Rob Landolfi

    Rob Landolfi Stunt Coordinator

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    GREATLY appreciate the thoughts. I have Partition Magic on my machine and will get my father's hard drive to try it out.

    Did not think of fdisk... I'll try everything out soon and report back.
    Rob
     
  4. Rob Landolfi

    Rob Landolfi Stunt Coordinator

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    I wanted to provide an update to my dad’s hard drive problem now that I have solved it.

    A botched Norton SystemWorks 2006 Premier uninstall left his hard drive locked and inaccessible. While reformatting the drive was an option, there was data that we wanted to save, so reformatting was only going to be a last resort. With both Windows Disk Management Services and Partition Magic, I could see the hard drive, but couldn’t access it in any way.

    I have NSW Premier 2006, but had uninstalled it as I wasn’t happy with its performance. I use Acronis True Image 9.0 (works great), and made a backup of my system before reinstalling NSW again. Once NSW was up and running, I found that the drive had been locked by Norton GoBack. I was able to make the drive accessible and grab everything that we needed from his disk.

    I then uninstalled NSW and used True Image to reset my PC to before my NSW installation as NSW seems to stay everywhere even after it’s uninstalled.

    My dad’s disk is now fully functional and all the data was saved. A lot of work, but worth it for both the data and the experience. I have since gotten him to use Acronis to back up his system and had felt bad because he only upgraded to NSW Premier after I mentioned my past success with Ghost. At least NSW Premier was free after rebates.

    Since I had difficulties with NSW 2006 Premier after years of problem-free NSW use, I canned everything Norton (with the exception of Partition Magic) and went to AVG for my anti-virus and True Image for my backup/recovery method.
     

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