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Beginners Guides: Hard Drive Data Recovery

Beginners Guides: Hard Drive Data Recovery - PCSTATS
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Abstract: Hard drives, being the dynamic storage devices that they are, are extremely easy to erase in any number of amusing and simple to achieve ways. This Guide also deals with recovering deleted formatted information. UPDATED - How to fix a 1TB hard drive that suddenly changes to 0.0GB, or 32MB in size.
Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCSTATS Dec 27 2010   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > PCSTATS

Beginners Guides: Hard Drive Data Recovery
Killed a hard drive without backing up? Deleted your babies first photo and already emptied the recycling bin? Not to worry, you can probably recover your data with the help of this guide from PCSTATS. - Version 3.6.3

If you've been using computers for a decent amount of time there is a good chance someone has told you that data stored on a hard drive is not exactly safe. I'm here to assure you that this is indeed true.

Never mind the fact that unlike tapes or CDs or other methods of storage, hard drives are mechanical, active devices and are thus subject to comparatively rapid breakdown.

No, the real threat to hard drives are the people that use them, by which I mean you and me. Hard drives, being the dynamic storage devices that they are, are extremely easy to erase in any number of amusing and simple to achieve ways... as are USB hard drives and flash memory cards (recovery tips for that media is detailed here). Also recently added; How to fix a 1TB hard drive that suddenly changes to 0.0GB, or 32MB in size.

Working as a computer tech during the glory days of Windows XP, you get rather used to using FDISK and other hard drive utilities to prepare and repair customer's drives, which leads to a certain over confidence. That attitude can lead straight to disaster, sort of like giving a 12 year old boy the keys to an ATV.

Picture this if you will; there I was, two or three sentences and a screen shot away from finishing a 5000+ word article on computer upgrades. All I had to do was fire up FDISK on a dual boot Windows PC system and grab a few screen shots. PCSTATS I figured I'd write a little blurb on how to partition a drive, making sure to tell the readers not to mess with FDISK if they were not sure what they were doing…

Yes, there's going to be some irony here.

So anyway, I wanted to get some more screen shots of the actual partitioning screen, but I did not have a blank hard drive handy. I figured I could use my NTFS formatted XP drive (which FDISK perceived as a blank drive) to start the "process," grab the screen shots and then cancel the partitioning.

No problem. Except for one little thing…

I had forgotten that FDISK, in the process of checking the disk before it prompts you for the size of the partition, writes information to certain areas of the hard drive. This data writes over whatever might have been there before. Meanwhile, there I was, watching the '%complete' counter and wondering why a little red warning flag kept going off in my brain? I restarted WinXP and waited for it to boot, and waited... and waited... Oops.

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Contents of Article: PCSTATS
 Pg 1.  — Beginners Guides: Hard Drive Data Recovery
 Pg 2.  Primary Partition Gone?
 Pg 3.  Fixing NTFS Partitions
 Pg 4.  Steps to Data Recovery
 Pg 5.  File recovery programs
 Pg 6.  FINDNTFS Freeware
 Pg 7.  NTFS reader for DOS
 Pg 8.  TESTDISK, The Holy Grail
 Pg 9.  Testdisk Backs up Lost Data
 Pg 10.  Undeleting Files in Windows XP
 Pg 11.  Commercial Data Recovery Utilities
 Pg 12.  Restore factory Hard Drive Capacity When HDD Shows up as 32MB

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