I Need a Little Help

So, I’m working on a client’s laptop and talking to my kid and his friend. As well, we’re watching the “Basil the Rat” episode of Fawlty Towers. At the same time I shut down my main PC to remove a hard drive from the swap bay to replace it with another hard drive that has different files on it.

But my main box hasn’t completely shut down. Yeah. I’m an idiot.

Somehow, I swap the drive in the middle of a Win XP shutdown. The drive that I removed is okay. But the 200 GB drive that I swapped back in is giving me a “the directory is corrupt or unreadable” message.

I can still see the drive when I put the sucker back in the bay. It’s “healthy” and it’s there. I think I fucked up the MBR. It’s late and I had to finish the client laptop.

Now I’d like to somehow fix my own drive without just wiping out my Oblivion saves and a few Gigs of movies that I downloaded from my new JVC video camera. As well as 15 Gigs of mp3 files. And my Gal Civ 2 install…

And a shitload of customer diagnostics that I used the damn drive for and never got around to backing up from there.

Any ideas? And feel free to tell me what an idiot I was for not backing up my drive. I was going to do it Real Soon.

Boot off the XP CD, do a repair.

I guess I wasn’t clear. The drive in question is the Secondary master on IDE 1 not the Primary master on IDE 0.

I’m posting from the machine. The drive is in a swappable bay. Thus how I could pull it while the machine was still in shutdown mode.

I think I need some kind of data recovery software. Or at the very least, some way to repair or recover a FAT on a non-boot drive. That’s assuming that I didn’t completely hose a few random sectors when I plugged in the drive in.

fdisk /mbr c: (from a floppy, replace c: which whatever drive needs fixing, use fdisk /status if you aren’t sure)


Btw, since it wasn’t a boot drive, it’s just as likely you have directory corruption. Many disk utilities repair directories by scanning the drive contents and rebuilding the directory – if fdisk /mbr doesn’t help, try a directory-focused disk repair utility.

My Computer -> Right Click on Broken Disk -> Properties -> Tools -> Error Checking/Check Now

Thanks for the suggestions folks. Actually all it took was a chkdsk E: /f and I’m good to go. Time to do a massive backup to DVDs.


Basil the Rat be hilarious. I also like “The Germans.”

Whatever you do, don’t mention the war.

Well… 10 DVDs later I’m feeling a bit more secure. Now I have another problem, but I’ll have to handle this one all by myself. I just picked up Space Rangers 2. And the Auto Assault head start began today. Add that to Oblivion and GalCiv 2 and I need to find a way to increase the number of hours in a day.

German: We did not start it!

Basil: Yes you did, you annexed Poland!