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Choctaw111
12-11-2008, 06:37 PM
Edit...Sorry mods. I thought I put this in OT


Fortunately no one I know has passed away or gotten ill. It's not that bad.
I was reinstalling my OS after making CAREFUL backups on my storage drive of everything important to me. No problem.
At the given time it asked me which drive to reformat? The "C" drive right? We've all reinstalled before. Piece of cake. So I clicked on C. I came back a while later to check on the progress. It had finished and was waiting for a reboot.
When I restarted I was expecting Windows to take me through the walkthrough again. Nope. It booted right up, same Wallpaper, startup music, everything. For whatever reason, Windows switched C for D and D for C. They were backwards! I reformatted my storage drive (renamed C by Win-b!ows) and my boot drive was untouched.
Man did I lose a lot of stuff on that drive. Photos from the last 2 1/2 years, all my Il2 stuff, movies, everything.
Has anyone else caught Windows renaming their drives and switching the letters around?
Since my reinstall, Windows made my storage drive C and my Raid (Boot) drives D, the opposite of what it was. Isn't that ironic.

FliegerAas
12-11-2008, 06:43 PM
Ouch!

Loosing personal data can hurt as they often represent a lot of work. It gets even worse when you loose pictures you have not saved anywhere else... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/compsmash.gif

mortoma
12-11-2008, 06:49 PM
For reasons like this, I make sure I have my most treasured files backed up on more than one drive. Maybe on a hard drive and a USB drive of some sort. Good to burn stuff like that to a DVD every now and then too. Sorry to hear about your data loss. Always make backups of your backups.

Stiletto-
12-11-2008, 06:57 PM
+1

That sucks to hear that. Get yourself an external USB drive.. It's piece of mind when my roomate gets a virus on my computer and I know I have everything I need on my backup drive, which is virus free, collecting dust on my shelf.

Stiletto-
12-11-2008, 07:00 PM
Actually I might add, that there are file recovery programs and companies who might be able to restore some of the files. I have heard people who have had their computers burned in fires and were able to get data back. I really don't know much about these services though.

RPMcMurphy
12-11-2008, 07:03 PM
Originally posted by Stiletto-:
Actually I might add, that there are file recovery programs and companies who might be able to restore some of the files. I have heard people who have had their computers burned in fires and were able to get data back. I really don't know much about these services though.

Yea, that's what I was thinking. Maybe you can find a way to recover the lost files.
Think positive man.

blairgowrie
12-11-2008, 07:10 PM
Probably better to move this to Community Help. I am sure some of the guys there can help you restore some of your missing files.

BLEDSOE
12-11-2008, 07:18 PM
I recently had the same problem of my PC being smoked by my wife while I was away. I took the machine to the "Geek Squad" and they were able to recover everything and save all my data to CD's. I learned my lesson though and now have an external hard drive just for back up files.

MaxMhz
12-11-2008, 08:12 PM
Windows can switch drive letters on occasion.
External drives are especially prone to this.
Before you format, make sure you have the right drive.
Give all drives a label. (this won't change)

Assign drive letters to drives yourself.
You can do this under Control Panel - Performance and Maintenance - Administrative Tools - Computer Management - Storage - Disk Management(local).

Right-click the drive and you will have an option "Change Drive Letter and Paths"
Article at M$ (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307844) for more info.
Assigning drive letters yourself should prevent windows from doing a drive letter dance. There are several programs that can recover data from a formatted/damaged drive.

I have had good results with SpinRite from www.grc.com (http://www.grc.com). THIS TAKES A VERY LONG TIME!

www.unformat.com (http://www.unformat.com) is another option.


There are (expensive) companies too that specialize in this. Keeping a backup on an external drive is a good practice. recordable CD/DVD devices will loose their data over time.

Thank goodness big external hard drives are not that expensive anymore. USB 1TB drives can be had for around 100. eSATA is a lot faster, but will cost more, and you need to have an eSATA option on your rig. You might need to buy a controller if not.

X32Wright
12-11-2008, 08:33 PM
You can try RESCUE PRO from sandisk.

wayno7777
12-11-2008, 08:44 PM
Yup. that happened to me about a month ago. Luckily, I still had all my stuff on the old HD. Long story short, reformatted and partitioned the new drive back to C:, reinstalled XP Pro, then plugged in old drive & copied the good stuff over....

redhornet07
12-11-2008, 09:11 PM
That sucks ancient Roman donkey balls.

I feel for you, I really do. My only suggestion is that in the future you make regular backups to DVDs or something off-computer. I learned that lesson the hard way when one of my drives failed and I lost a bunch of work stuff, that was exceedingly painful.

Esel1964
12-11-2008, 11:13 PM
WOW! That's some bad news Choctaw.Sorry for your loss,and I feel for you.
I hope you can find a way to get your stuff back.

Komrade Gates in action.He's more interested in dumping huge $$$ in India,than giving us a bullet-proof OS. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif

gamer025
12-12-2008, 01:45 AM
To do a RAID setup you have to unplug your other drives first. At least that's the only way I've managed to make my RAID configuration the boot drive (C).

p1ngu666
12-12-2008, 03:13 AM
try some data recovery programs, and goodluck...

btw some restore files but there useless, so watch out for that. if the drive has just been formated (hopefully a quick format) then with luck u can get most of your info back atleast.

sometimes its best to just* unplug other hd's

*normaly alot of swearing with that tho!

Stingray333
12-12-2008, 04:21 AM
Yo, that sucks, sorry to hear about that. Something similar has happened to me before: I had both an IDE and a SATA hard drive, one as C and one as D (I think the IDE was D) and they worked fine, I went to format and the windows installer switched the drive letters around and I ended up doing a full format over all my data!! It sucks, but I rebuilt from backups. I think there may be some data recovery tools out there that can help,

Stingray

DuckyFluff
12-12-2008, 04:44 AM
I had similar mishap recently while sorting out my extensive catalogue of phototographs (close to 30 thousand images).

However I always try to back up my "live" master folder of images to an external HDD as well as making occasional back-ups on DVD.

There are many programmes out there that can and will recover your images.

You could try this free programme: http://www.undelete-plus.com/

Which I found very good as it not only recovered "lost" images but also kept the file and folder structures http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif.

As far as recovering data from a HDD be aware that EVERYTHING ever put on your HDD is potentially re-coverable burning/breaking up and other methods do not necessarily make it impossible to read HDDs; indeed the recommended way of disposing of HDDs with classified information on them, in the British Army, was in the 90s, to place them in a weighted canvas sack and dump them into the Atlantic Trench http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/10.gif

I have colleagues who spend their days recovering hidden/deleted images/movies from Hdds, Trust me if its there, even though you put it through a 7x "guaranteed secure" shredding programme.... they will find it http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/10.gif

DuxCorvan
12-12-2008, 04:44 AM
If it serves as a counsel to you, I have all my pics but lost the people in them.

Back up next time.

Choctaw111
12-12-2008, 05:42 AM
I got the UndeletePro and am running it now. I hope this is a good program to use.

R_Target
12-12-2008, 05:58 AM
Good luck Choctaw. I've been burned before too; these days I have a 500GB external HDD and two internal SATA backups that I still unplug before formatting C: drive.

B16Enk
12-12-2008, 09:36 AM
Good luck with the undelete m8 http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
I just had to RMA a 7 month old 320Gb Seagate Barracuda, thankfully I'm pretty good at backing up using a 750Gb external and mirroring irreplaceable files across other machines on my network..

You just cannot beat unplugging the drive you do not wish to either be formatted or used as the system volume drive.

Another, but less destructive 'feature' windows will often do is set your second drive as the system volume drive, ie the one where the ntldr and boot.ini resides.

Generally we want our C drive to be both the boot and system volume, boot volume being where the operating system resides and system volume where the bootstrap files reside.

Can get fun if the bootstrap is on the second disk, if/when that fails you get a no boot scenario and can make the unwary consider the C: drive to have failed...

FoolTrottel
12-12-2008, 10:17 AM
It's always been of help to me to Label the disks/partitions... like C:\ is labeled 'WinXP'(or even C-WinXP), D:\ is labeled 'Data'... etc.

The format part of Windows Setup will show you not only the drive letter, but also its Label... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

squareusr
12-12-2008, 12:32 PM
if really reformatting was all you did (without writing new files or meticously setting all bits to "0") then any of those linux boot disks should be all you need.

Sadly, i always forget the tool i use after finding my lost partitions again (happens often enough). I think the last times it happened it was always http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk which came to the rescue, but i'm not sure. Be suspicious of commercial packages which focus on nice GUI and a flashy name. Make sure you backup the whole partition (with linux you can simply copy the device "file" into a regular file on a different filesystem, if you have enough storage capacity, or at least the relevant boot sectors (easy enough with google and dd)

If you really only created a new partition in the place of the old one (wrote a new boot sector then tools like this should not have any trouble reconstructing the original filesystem, since all the necessary data would still be there.

Swivet
12-12-2008, 12:52 PM
I came back a while later to check on the progress.

Never trust anything Gates created to work on it's own..Why trust windows to do what it's expected to do?...lol. It's like leaving a toddler with a loaded Uzi!!
Seriously that frikkin blowz man...I feel your pain...I've had Windblowz just automatically reboot in the middle of playing a game, only to come back with every setting, tweak, favorite, programs "Defaulted" or missing for no reason. Now if that aint a reason to switch to Linux/Mac/Ubuntu/, i dont know what is..Seriously having this or any computer with Windows on it is a real test of my patience..And i dont have much to begin with....I guess those external drives are a good thing, as long as they dont get porked in the process. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/shady.gif

DuckyFluff
12-12-2008, 04:18 PM
Update?

Choctaw111
12-12-2008, 06:22 PM
Originally posted by R_Target:
Good luck Choctaw. I've been burned before too; these days I have a 500GB external HDD and two internal SATA backups that I still unplug before formatting C: drive.

It's funny you mention that. I was just talking to a friend on the phone today about a 500GB external drive. He was surprised that someone using PCs as long as I have did not have one.

Edit...
This is what I posted in the other thread.

Still looking for the PSDs.
Man did I loose a lot of stuff.
I am happy to say that most if not all of my photos, at a quick look seem to be there.
The music was the more difficult. Not being able to see what they are (ex file 1, file 1256 and so on) I had to play each sound file to check what they were.
I saw that many of the bitmaps for the Il2 skins didn't look to good, and they are all renamed to "file 1273" or something similar. Talk about an arduous process to look at the skins that did make it and putting them back in the same folder, not to mention that I had SIX copies of Il2 on my machine. That's a lot of files to sort through for duplicates if there are any.
Just wanted to check back in. I'll write more later.

DuckyFluff
12-12-2008, 06:40 PM
Glad you got all the jpegs http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
No-one said it was gonna be easy http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Bearcat99
12-12-2008, 06:53 PM
So I gather you didn't check your PTs... I managed to get all my PSDs back.. I got info from the last 2 formats of that drive..

Aaron_GT
12-13-2008, 10:03 AM
For reference there are tools (proprietary, shareware, freeware) that will allow you to do backups via drive imaging and/or incremental backups. Personally I do it via rsync on Linux for keeping and up-to-date version of files to a USB disk, and (when I remember!) take an image of a working OS install such that it can be imaged back in the event of disaster or disk upgrade. Sometimes Windows can cause issues with imaging so sometimes you may need to do a 'repair' to get the image actually booting, plus you'll need to reactivate.

Choctaw111
12-13-2008, 10:06 AM
As a part of this "lesson" I am having my wife pick me up an external drive while she is out shopping.
I am also trying another program to see if that one will recover files UNDELETE7 did not find.
I'm running it now. So far it seems to have found more files than UNDELETE did, but what is the difference between the total files found, and files identified?

M_Gunz
12-13-2008, 11:35 AM
Yo man, Check out the featured products adapter cables. (http://www.geeks.com/products.asp?cat=CBL)
It's a bit tech-hillbilly but very practical; cheaper, quicker and easier than swapping drives in an enclosure
with the cover off.

You see a plain drive on huge rebate or just have some old drives in a drawer and have one of these, you're set!
I have 2 500G data bricks as well, can't recommend them enough!

There are places you can send even a dead drive where they will recover the data. There used to be more such places
back when HD's were less reliable (the 80's ferinstance). If they have to, they'll take the platters out and read.

Choctaw111
12-13-2008, 02:02 PM
This other proggie is great.
It does something UNDELETE does not do. It pretty much keeps the file structure I had before. I can't test this until I get the external drive, but my Il2 folder and everything in it seems to be intact, just the way it was...including the SKINS FOLDER!!!
My pilots folder is also in there. Great stuff.
As far as my photos, there are several "Raw file" folders and at a glance seem to each hold the same photos, but upon closer inspection, out of the thousands of JPEGs I have, each of the JGEG folders has some different photos that the other folders do not have.
I don't need to say that keeping the same file structure is a very big help and makes things so much easier to find.
It makes a daunting task more bearable.

Stiletto-
12-13-2008, 02:13 PM
Well that is some good news atleast!

Xiolablu3
12-13-2008, 04:33 PM
Originally posted by Choctaw111:
This other proggie is great.
It does something UNDELETE does not do. It pretty much keeps the file structure I had before. I can't test this until I get the external drive, but my Il2 folder and everything in it seems to be intact, just the way it was...including the SKINS FOLDER!!!
My pilots folder is also in there. Great stuff.
As far as my photos, there are several "Raw file" folders and at a glance seem to each hold the same photos, but upon closer inspection, out of the thousands of JPEGs I have, each of the JGEG folders has some different photos that the other folders do not have.
I don't need to say that keeping the same file structure is a very big help and makes things so much easier to find.
It makes a daunting task more bearable.

WHat is this prog mate>?

Very interested as I am often asked to recover data... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Choctaw111
12-14-2008, 01:18 PM
Originally posted by Xiolablu3:


WHat is this prog mate>?

Very interested as I am often asked to recover data... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/QUOTE]


It is called EASUS Data Recovery Wizard. You can easily find it on Google.
I am afraid I was a little too excited too quickly. After looking into the saved file structure, which was almost the way it was on the drive before it was recovered, many of the files and folders are there, BUT the files aren't really there. As an example, my skins folder shows all the aircraft folders and the bitmap files are all in there, but trying to view one of the bitmaps of a skin proves futile. It says it cannot display the image.
On the other hand, there is what's called Raw data files, and many of the skins bitmaps are there and are viewable, but NOT viewable in the original folders in Il2 46. The bitmaps are there, they just cannot be displayed. I hope I am explaining this well enough to understand. The files are taking up the same amount of space as they should, just for some reason cannot be displayed.

DKoor
12-14-2008, 03:38 PM
That sucked http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif .
Reminds me to invest a few bucks in a small USB stroage device (few GB's) which will carry all photos and other stuff worthwile.

Heck I probably don't even have enough 'sensitive' material to fill up that small USB let alone to justify buying a mobile HDD.

But I agree with some here... external HDD is the way to go regarding making safe of your stuff.

Choctaw111
12-15-2008, 05:30 AM
The External Hard Drive that I now have is a Seagate 1TB. That is a lot of storage space and I figured I would get one that big to have more than enough room for my files now and for many more in the future.

Does anyone know what could be causing the problem I mentioned earlier?
The files in the Raw Data folder are just files sorted by type, JPEG, AVI, BMP etc. When they are all sorted my type, I can view/play them. When I go to the actual file structure, such as Il246, I will see all the folders in their proper place, Paint Schemes, DGen, Missions, Users, etc. When I go into Paint Schemes, all the aircraft folders are there, even the bitmaps in each folder...but they are blank and "No preview is available". The Bitmaps are showing 1.0MB a each, which is the correct size.
Even when I click on the 46 exe, nothing happens.
I hope there is an fairly simple solution to this problem, as it would save very much time to be able to keep the same file structure, and not have to look blindly for each JPEG, BMP etc in the Raw Files folder (as these files have no names) and place them back into their respective folders one at a time.

rjb1fgc
12-15-2008, 12:20 PM
Sorry to hear this story. Check the "customer reviews on newegg about Seagate 1T drives.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148274
It seems to be a fairly common though random situation with OEM drives - a packaging issue maybe ? Some comments seem to indicate that the Retail Boxed ones don't seem to have the problem.
Since yours is an external drive, odds are that it was received by the external drive assembler as an OEM packeged component. Maybe a container got "dropped" as it was being loaded onto or off of the ship. If the container wasn't damaged (significantly ) it would have been just "hooked up" again and put into the correct position. The contents would not have been returned or "inspected". But hard drives are not meant to withstand the kind of "high G" forces that a dropped container would have imposed. Not a lot of cushioning around the individual OEM pieces. Maybe something else but Seagate has had good history with their smaller drive sizes and unless their manufacturing path ( or executive decisions about materials sourcing ) has changed recently there shouldn't be a manufacturing problem. You can fit a lot of hard drives in a 48 foot container.
Also, there's a comment on one of the Seagate 1T drive numbers there that the ones which are " for video surveilance" with high MTBF values are built without Error Checking since they're intended only for saving video streams. As I recall they have an AV in the model number and are a bit less expensive as OEMs than some of th others that are not just for Audio Visual work.
Good luck !

MaxMhz
12-15-2008, 01:25 PM
Once you have that external drive, have a look at the software from acronis (disk director) and farstone (drive clone pro). They can both automatically backup your data, even incremental (saves a lot of time) and restore if something "funny" happens. Do give the external drive a drive letter yourself, and a unique label. Simple things like that can help a lot in making life easy and preventing mistakes. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Be careful if you want another external drive - USB devices need a unique USB device ID. If they don't have that and you add the same device it will not be recognized.
I have 2 Western Digital Elements 1TB external HDD. No problem there. The SanDisk MicroDrives with the same size SDHC flash cards do have problems though.

M_Gunz
12-15-2008, 01:45 PM
Originally posted by Choctaw111:
I hope there is an fairly simple solution to this problem, as it would save very much time to be able to keep the same file structure, and not have to look blindly for each JPEG, BMP etc in the Raw Files folder (as these files have no names) and place them back into their respective folders one at a time.

If it comes down to that then find a file viewer that uses thumbnails, that beats looking blindly.


(as these files have no names)

Ummmm, you mean the original names? Now there's numbers or something code-like?

MaxMhz
12-15-2008, 01:58 PM
Another tip for the external drive;

These drives come formatted as FAT32 systems most of the time. Be aware that FAT32 has a file limit of 4GB and is not a journaling file system. Especially this last thing can mess up data if an USB drive is removed when it is not "safe" to do so. Better convert to NTFS. It's a lot safer.

UgoRipley
12-16-2008, 09:25 AM
Originally posted by M_Gunz:
If it comes down to that then find a file viewer that uses thumbnails, that beats looking blindly.

Irfanview ?

Choctaw111
12-16-2008, 07:27 PM
Originally posted by M_Gunz:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Choctaw111:
I hope there is an fairly simple solution to this problem, as it would save very much time to be able to keep the same file structure, and not have to look blindly for each JPEG, BMP etc in the Raw Files folder (as these files have no names) and place them back into their respective folders one at a time.

If it comes down to that then find a file viewer that uses thumbnails, that beats looking blindly.


(as these files have no names)

Ummmm, you mean the original names? Now there's numbers or something code-like? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes, the original names are gone. The files that have been renamed (file1, file 2341 etc) seem to be fine and usable/viewable. The files that kept their names in the somewhat saved file structure still take up the same amount of space, but are not usable/viewable.

FoolTrottel
12-17-2008, 10:48 AM
Sounds like the files that kept their names are in a reconstructed directory/file-list (only filenames and sizes) and the renamed ones are the actual recovered files. (For wich the tool has created a new directory. Just a guess though, I am not familiar with the tool you used...)

M_Gunz
12-17-2008, 11:00 AM
Originally posted by UgoRipley:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by M_Gunz:
If it comes down to that then find a file viewer that uses thumbnails, that beats looking blindly.

Irfanview ? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

There are so many. I use an old copy of Polyview. I think there's an M$ file viewer that does thumbnails.
A good one will allow copy-as (or export, or some other way/term) as well, you're sure of which one by rt-click pic and choose option.
I would go with the biggest thumbnails allowable and still expect some mixups.

Choctaw111
12-23-2008, 09:28 PM
Well, I got Il2 to run, my CH and TrackIR profiles set up, still working on the skins. I did lose quite a bit of those but after a painstaking process am starting to get this sorted.
Still much work to do to get back to where I was, or close.