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Help! i can't access my data disk!

I got 2 harddisks The first one contained one partition with Windows XP on it. the second harddisk contained one partition used only to store data(non-bootable).

So i decided to give Windows 7 RC a try and moved all my important documents i wanted to keep, to the data disk, thinking i would install Windows7 on the XP disk, and use the data disk just as i've always have but now from Windows7 instead of XP. But once i finished installing Windows7 and i'm looking at the data disk, i can't access it because i'm told it doesn't contain a partition. I'm left with the option to format the disk. What i'd liek to know is, is there any way to access the lost data?

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closed as off topic by Kara Marfia Jun 12 '09 at 12:38

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This sounds suspiciously like a "superuser.com" question. –  Evan Anderson Jun 11 '09 at 20:31
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4 Answers

Don't panic or do anything rash to the data disk, for starts. If the partition table somehow got damaged on the data disk all of the data is still there.

If you can, I'd start by pulling out the data disk and attaching it to another computer, just to see what the other computer can make of it.

If nothing shows up there, I'd encourage you to either (a) take it to a professional who is experienced in data recovery, or (b) run a data recovery program in a read-only mode on it and see what it comes up with. OnTrack's data recovery software is a decent thing to try (http://www.ontrackdatarecovery.com/data-recovery-downloads/). (I can't recommend OnTrack's mail-in data recovery services, though. They provided me with horrible Customer service on a job, and I've vowed to tell everyone who might potentially be an OnTrack Customer that they provided horrible service to me...)

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Did you have your disk encrypted by your XP machine? If so you might be in for a world of hurt...

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Don't do anything to the disk and do not let windows touch it if you treasure your data.

Download a Knoppix Live CD image or a Ubuntu Live CD image and burn a CD with it. Boot from the Live CD and in about 5 mins you surely will have both your disks accessible.

Ah, yes, before you ask, no, A GNU/Linux Live CD Rom will not do anything harmful to your disks don't worry :)

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Grab a copy of Hiren's BootCD 9.9 and boot off the CD into the mini Windows XP. That may let you access your data again.

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