February 27, 2007

error.... error... error... error...

Well it's been an eventful week (yes I realize the leaves out the last... oh... 3 weeks previous to the last week but you know what? That's my life nowadays, scattered and insane.) Last Sunday night I set up my computer to do a defrag on the C drive before I went to bed, common thing to do, very common in fact. Monday morning I went downstairs because my wife had called up to me saying "What's this and why is it at 25%, can I close it?" . I go down, knowing full well I was not approaching a happy or healthy hard drive. Sure enough I close down defrag, try to do other things and nothing responds. I hard shutdown the computer, boot it back up and then was greeted with ""Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: ntkrnl32.exe".

I was not amused.

My heart was pounding as I fumbled for my XP install disk..I popped it in, rebooted, booted off cd. I dropped myself into the oh-so-beautiful repair and recovery dos command world, typed in DIR and got slapped with this error: "error occurred during directory enumeration". My heart sank... that just is not a good thing, not even close to a good thing.

I ran CHKDSK /R hoping and praying my fears were not valid but it was all in vain, 50% of the way through the check it stopped, giving me a pleasant "the volume appears to contain one or more unrecoverable problems". Oh No. Here's where I did something stupid, I ran it again and it got 57% of the way through before dropping the same error again.

The worst part of all of this was that I had backups but they were OLD backups, missing a shitload of pictures etc., all of them irreplaceable. This seemed an apt time for me to hang up my punching bag in the basement, it was suggested by my wife and after the first 10 or so as-hard-as-I-could-punch punches I actually did feel a little better.

The next day I talked to a hardware guy I know and he recommended (and leant me)Spinrite for a day or two, so I tried that and it restored a crapload of sectors on the surface scan. Unfortunately the drive was still seen as unformatted in Windows. I tried running a deeper data recover but it was going to take 6600 hrs so I stopped that business and left the drive for a few days while I reinstalled other things to Windows and killed some people in Eve.

Sat. night I decided to go back at it, I first tried a program called PC Inspector Recovery which sort of worked but it was forcing me to click Ignore 1000s of times on the ntfs read errors that were popping up. I knew there had to be a better solution so I talked to my buddy Dan and he suggested I image the drive then run the utility. I found a plethora of image programs, but only one of them would actually image the drive whole, ignoring the read errors, and that was free, was ADRC Recovery Tools. Great little program which also includes Undelete ... very handy. Anyways I tried running PCInspector after that on the image of the drive but it crashed and crashed. I was stuck.

I was stuck until I found another program called ZAR (Zero Assumption Recovery) which actually does both: images and recovers files from unmountable drives. So I tested it first, it allows 4 folders for the unregistered version, I ran it overnight and recovered a good amount of usable files the next morning. I immediately forked out the $24.08 CDN (after tax) for the registration key (apparently there was a weekend sale going on it's regularly something like $79.95 USD). I then proceeded to run it again and recover 30,000+ files from my previously thought DEAD drive. I'm very relieved and happy.

The lesson from all this? Well that's obvious, but repeat with me: backup backup backup backup backup (repeated until blue in the face)

Posted by Oorgo - Permalink - Category: Things | Comments (3) | TrackBack