how do i recover a zipped file from a hard drive with corrupt mbr and system files

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WilliamChap

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Jan 30, 2015
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The problem is that I need to recover a zipped file from a corrupted hard drive. The hard drive is NOT physically damaged, only inaccessible due to the current state:
I accidentally, began ghost imaging and completed about 10% of the initial process before I canceled it. So now the system won't boot. I get a single flashing cursor in the top left corner of the screen. If I connect the hard drive to a SATA-to-USB adapter and connect it to my Windows XP computer it will show that the 'Mass Storage Device' is found and installed. But I can't see the device in My Computer or Disk Management.
What I think needs to be done is have the device (connected via USB) mounted so that I can use a file recovery program to scan the drive for files.

Does anyone have any ideas? I know I can complete the reimage and then try to recover the file but its about 2.6 GB in size and I have a feeling that no programs will be able to successfully recover the whole file. I would like to recover the file without reimaging the drive because chances of the files being overwritten are much greater if the image completes.
 

nockers

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Mar 26, 2015
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What you could try if you have another working computer is to install this software and make a rescue disc.

Put the hard drive back in the pc it came from and then boot it with rescue disc. If you can see it the software can fix the partition and or mbr.

booting and browsing with this software will not damage the hard drive any further.

http://www.partitionwizard.com/free-partition-manager.html

 

psss3

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Feb 8, 2015
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fdisk /mbr
Repeat 3 times
Will restore the mbr without touching anything else.
 

psss3

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You need to restore the mbr to make the drive accessible in the original pc, and you should be able to do it using that pc. Putting tge hard drive in another pc will make it harder to repair what you trashed.

Either take your Windows XP recovery boot disk (you ought to have one or you shouldn't be ghosting drives,

Or make up a cd, dvd or floppy using a Windows XP, NT, vista, 7,or 8 pc and sys it to make it bootable. Copy the files format and fdisk to it.

Boot from that recovery disc.

fdisk /mbr, (automatically applies to the sole hard drive in a pc)
Repeat 3 times because there are 3 copies of the mbr on the track.

This will restore the mbr without touching anything else. Then you might be able to access the drive.

At this point fdisk should show the original partition structure.
Use fdisk to mark the boot partition as active. This also is a nondestructive operation. If you are lucky, the pc will boot from the hard drive, if not, you'll need to install it as a secondary drive in another pc to copy the huge zipped file.

Word to the wise, don't set up windows pcs with all your eggs in one fragile basket. User data (including a copy if the user profiles) should be on a separate partition from the system files. That way, when Windows inevitably crashes, you can reinstall the OS without risking your data. If you have a typical ridiculous large singke hard drive, create a second primary partition just for data, and a third one large enough to hold recovery data like installation cd contents and a backup of your data.

If you didn't understand this explanation, you are hacking through dangerous territory. Find someone who does.
 

hang-the-9

Titan
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You said you started imaging then killed at 10%? An image over-writes the files on the drive, it's not just a simple delete or an issue with the boot or file record. You actually replaced the data on the drive with new data from the image. I doubt anything short of a specialized data restore place will get those files out.
 
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