Drive asks for reformating


C

choro

Win 7 Pro. Fully up to date. AV and Malware protected. Froze during
update of an Internet downloader program. Sitched comp off at the mains.
Restarted. It did a ScanDisk. And found a damaged cluster.

Now a day later, one particular drive on my 2nd HD, is asking for
reformating. The other drive on the same HD is OK. This particular drive
shows up all blue in Properties. i.e. No free space.

I suspect it is the Index File that is corrupted hence comp cant "see"
the folders and files on the partition.

I've got the option of re-installing everything from a very recent copy
of nearly all the files on this drive from an XXcopy on an external HD
or may be re-installing everything from a Macrium Backup file which
unfortunately is a bit old now.

But while the subject arises, is it possible to re-install any
particular drive from a Macrium Reflect Backup file of SEVERAL
partitions or will it by default re-install all the drives backed up in
that particular backup?

This is the first time this happens to me and hopefully I will be a bit
wiser next time round? --
 
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W

Wolf K

Win 7 Pro. Fully up to date. AV and Malware protected. Froze during
update of an Internet downloader program. Switched comp off at the mains.
Restarted. It did a ScanDisk. And found a damaged cluster.
Uh-oh.

Now a day later, one particular drive on my 2nd HD, is asking for
reformatting. The other drive on the same HD is OK. This particular drive
shows up all blue in Properties. i.e. No free space.
It's unclear whether you have one hard disk or two. I infer that you
have two, and that one of the partitions on the 2nd hard disk is
corrupted. Correct?

If so, AFAIK you can do one of two things:
a) reformat the partition;
b) use a disk management utility that will allow you to rewrite the root
directory, byte by byte, until it's fixed
I suspect it is the Index File that is corrupted hence comp cant "see"
the folders and files on the partition.
I think either the partition table for the drive, or the root directory
of the bad partition, has been hosed. Maybe both.
I've got the option of re-installing everything from a very recent copy
of nearly all the files on this drive from an XXcopy on an external HD
or may be re-installing everything from a Macrium Backup file which
unfortunately is a bit old now.
You mean "copying from a recent backup." You can do this, but you must
reformat the corrupted partition first.
But while the subject arises, is it possible to re-install any
particular drive from a Macrium Reflect Backup file of SEVERAL
partitions or will it by default re-install all the drives backed up in
that particular backup?
Don't know that program.
This is the first time this happens to me and hopefully I will be a bit
wiser next time round? --
Well, "freeze" sometimes means that W7 is contemplating what to do next.
I vaguely recall that this happens when two or more processes are at the
same priority level, and W7 is switching between them. You can find out
if this is the case by leaving the computer alone for a while. Which
could be overnight.
 
P

Philip Herlihy

Win 7 Pro. Fully up to date. AV and Malware protected. Froze during
update of an Internet downloader program. Sitched comp off at the mains.
Restarted. It did a ScanDisk. And found a damaged cluster.

Now a day later, one particular drive on my 2nd HD, is asking for
reformating. The other drive on the same HD is OK. This particular drive
shows up all blue in Properties. i.e. No free space.

I suspect it is the Index File that is corrupted hence comp cant "see"
the folders and files on the partition.

I've got the option of re-installing everything from a very recent copy
of nearly all the files on this drive from an XXcopy on an external HD
or may be re-installing everything from a Macrium Backup file which
unfortunately is a bit old now.

But while the subject arises, is it possible to re-install any
particular drive from a Macrium Reflect Backup file of SEVERAL
partitions or will it by default re-install all the drives backed up in
that particular backup?

This is the first time this happens to me and hopefully I will be a bit
wiser next time round? --
You might like to try Testdisk, which I've used a number of times to
detect and recover 'lost' partitions.
http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk

It's pretty baffling the first time, but after a couple of successes it
becomes routine!
 
P

Philip Herlihy

You might like to try Testdisk, which I've used a number of times to
detect and recover 'lost' partitions.
http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk

It's pretty baffling the first time, but after a couple of successes it
becomes routine!
You might also try Recuva (first) free from piriform.com. Recuva is
childs play to use, and grinds away looking for files independently of
partition and MFT information. Install Recuva on a working partition
and point it at the dead one.

Piriform's Defraqggler (piriform stuff is very good) also contains a
useful "disk health" tab, but you could use HDTune or other utilities to
assess that. You need to access the disk's internal SMART information
to figure out if the disk is toast. Personally, I like the free Acronis
Drive Monitor, which pops up alerts if there are issues with the disk.
You disable the backup warnings if you're not using their backup
software (True Image).
 
P

Paul

choro said:
Win 7 Pro. Fully up to date. AV and Malware protected. Froze during
update of an Internet downloader program. Sitched comp off at the mains.
Restarted. It did a ScanDisk. And found a damaged cluster.

Now a day later, one particular drive on my 2nd HD, is asking for
reformating. The other drive on the same HD is OK. This particular drive
shows up all blue in Properties. i.e. No free space.

I suspect it is the Index File that is corrupted hence comp cant "see"
the folders and files on the partition.

I've got the option of re-installing everything from a very recent copy
of nearly all the files on this drive from an XXcopy on an external HD
or may be re-installing everything from a Macrium Backup file which
unfortunately is a bit old now.

But while the subject arises, is it possible to re-install any
particular drive from a Macrium Reflect Backup file of SEVERAL
partitions or will it by default re-install all the drives backed up in
that particular backup?

This is the first time this happens to me and hopefully I will be a bit
wiser next time round? --
As far as I know, Macrium Reflect uses VSS and .vhd file format. That
means there are many means to mount the captured image and get at
files or data. (It's possible even Windows 7 can mount a .vhd,
whereas on WinXP, it might require a more trouble-prone "vhdmount"
program.)

The info here says:

http://www.macrium.com/help.aspx

"The recovery media starts a compact operating system with
a familiar mouse and graphical interface called Windows PE.
You can then recover partitions, entire disk images or
individual files with just a few clicks of the mouse."

which sounds promising. The flexibility of the tool, may depend
on whether you're using the Free version or the paid version.

The last time I was in the Free version, this is what it looked like.
This is booting the Linux .iso based recovery CD for Macrium. But
this doesn't show enough details to know for sure. I was testing
Macrium in a VM, and only far enough to see the menu. There's
probably a screen after this, to select what to restore.

http://img853.imageshack.us/img853/1456/macriumlinuxboot.gif

I'll try again, and see if I can get a screen shot after this
point.

As for the "drive asking for reformatting", tools I use
are TestDisk (to see if it can see a partition),
or using a Linux boot, I use "disktype" to see if
there is enough left of a partition, to make sense of it.
Most of the time, I don't actually use TestDisk to write
out a new MBR. It's for "probing" the partitions, asking
TestDisk to show me the files, and so on. If Windows
won't boot on the system, TestDisk runs from a Linux LiveCD
as well. TestDisk is multi-platform

http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk_Step_By_Step

I really wish there was a Windows port of this one. It's
a tiny program. It doesn't do much. But it does a
tremendous amount, in terms of boosting your confidence.
(Like, have I lost it all, or is there still hope ?)
With a Linux LiveCD, you go to Synaptic Package Manager,
turn on all the repositories (takes a couple minutes for
data refresh to download), and then after all that fuss,
you get to download the tiny file. They should really
just put a copy on the disc.

http://disktype.sourceforge.net/

Paul
 
G

Gene E. Bloch

But while the subject arises, is it possible to re-install any
particular drive from a Macrium Reflect Backup file of SEVERAL
partitions or will it by default re-install all the drives backed up in
that particular backup?
I can't directly answer that, since I haven't tried it, but perhaps you
could experiment these two ways:

1. Try it and abort the process if it won't let you do what you wish.

2. Restore it to a spare drive, and use the cloning ability of Macrium
if you have the paid version, or if not use EaseUS Todo Backup, to clone
the desired partition back to where you want it.

I like Philip Herlihy's idea better than either of those, however.

Good luck.
 
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C

choro

It's unclear whether you have one hard disk or two. I infer that you
have two, and that one of the partitions on the 2nd hard disk is
corrupted. Correct?
Correct.


If so, AFAIK you can do one of two things:
a) reformat the partition;
b) use a disk management utility that will allow you to rewrite the root
directory, byte by byte, until it's fixed
I get you but this is the very first time I'll be doing such a thing and
as such I would have preferred it had you recommended a particular utility.
I think either the partition table for the drive, or the root directory
of the bad partition, has been hosed. Maybe both.
Yes. But anyway, this is not a question of life and death as I've got at
least 99% of the files on this partition xxcopied onto an external drive.
You mean "copying from a recent backup." You can do this, but you must
reformat the corrupted partition first.
Thanks. I realize this as you can't do anything with a partition that
shows up entirely blue in partition properties.
Don't know that program.
Macrium Reflect, either the Free or the Paid versions, are reckoned to
be pretty good. I've done several backups with Macrium Reflect and it
seems to be a fine program. I have certainly not seen any criticisms of
the program which is a good sign.
Well, "freeze" sometimes means that W7 is contemplating what to do next.
I vaguely recall that this happens when two or more processes are at the
same priority level, and W7 is switching between them. You can find out
if this is the case by leaving the computer alone for a while. Which
could be overnight.
Yes, I know I was being a bit hasty in turning off the power supply but
normally nothing happens. Only this time it seems the computer was
writing that critical file which I prefer to call the Index File and of
course with that corrupted the stupid computer is totally blinded!

I would have thought it would not have been that difficult for someone
to write a program to scan the partition and fish out all the files and
rewrite the Index File.

The computer certainly sees the 2nd HD, and it still shows up with the
right drive letters and I can access all the files on the second
partition on this particular HD. But the affected partition is kaput,
asking for reformating it.

Anyway, I intend to learn from my mistake/s, as I have been doing so far
but it will obviously take a while. Am trying Partition Find and Mount,
which is a freeware but it is obviously going to take some time and as
usual I am getting impatient! Bad sign!

I have to admit I did something stupid recently which was to delete all
the older Marcium Backups and the latest backups did NOT cover this
particular partition. But of course I DO have my xxcopies, as I said
earlier.
--
choro
*****
 
C

choro

Good news guys. As I said before, the first thing I tried was to install
the freeware *Partition Find and Mount*. And it did a *sterling* job.
The older, shall we call it the X drive, showed up in Windows Explorer
as well as in Disk Management but of course the moment I clicked it, it
asked for a reformat.

Partition Find and Mount can scan in 3 different modes. The first 2
simpler modes revealed nothing but the 3rd detailed scan revealed the
partition and after studying the options I *mounted* the drive as my Z
Drive (as the letter X was already in use and therefore not available).
And what is more the Z drive showed up in Windows Explorer with all my
folders and user files right there on the Z drive.

*Now here is the tricky bit which I am still trying to understand.*
Trying to change the drive letter of the messed up partition was useless
as the moment I clicked it it asked for reformating and I told myself I
am not going to reformat THAT that partition with all my stuff on it.

A cup of coffee and a smoke later i came back to the computer and this
time I rebooted it. And surprise, surprise! After the reboot the Z drive
was no longer showed up in Windows Explorer *but instead the old X
partition was now there just as before with all my files on it*. Checked
Disk Management and the Z drive had somehow disappeared into thin air
after the reboot. But of course my old X partition was now fully
functional. So everything is back to where it was before disaster struck.

And of course, when this time I clicked the X drive and *there* were all
my user files, intact! Never thought it was going to be this easy to
sort what I thought was a calamity!

Thought this info could be useful to other subscribers in this group,
hence the detailed explanations.

And thanks for all your prompt responses. I'll go through them again and
see if I can glean some new tricks from all your suggestions.

Thank you all and please accept this as my response to all who did come
up with other suggestions.

Need I say that it feels great to have cracked this calamity so speedily?

--
choro
*****

It's unclear whether you have one hard disk or two. I infer that you
have two, and that one of the partitions on the 2nd hard disk is
corrupted. Correct?
Correct.


If so, AFAIK you can do one of two things:
a) reformat the partition;
b) use a disk management utility that will allow you to rewrite the root
directory, byte by byte, until it's fixed
I get you but this is the very first time I'll be doing such a thing and
as such I would have preferred it had you recommended a particular utility.
I think either the partition table for the drive, or the root directory
of the bad partition, has been hosed. Maybe both.
Yes. But anyway, this is not a question of life and death as I've got at
least 99% of the files on this partition xxcopied onto an external drive.
You mean "copying from a recent backup." You can do this, but you must
reformat the corrupted partition first.
Thanks. I realize this as you can't do anything with a partition that
shows up entirely blue in partition properties.
Don't know that program.
Macrium Reflect, either the Free or the Paid versions, are reckoned to
be pretty good. I've done several backups with Macrium Reflect and it
seems to be a fine program. I have certainly not seen any criticisms of
the program which is a good sign.
Well, "freeze" sometimes means that W7 is contemplating what to do next.
I vaguely recall that this happens when two or more processes are at the
same priority level, and W7 is switching between them. You can find out
if this is the case by leaving the computer alone for a while. Which
could be overnight.
Yes, I know I was being a bit hasty in turning off the power supply but
normally nothing happens. Only this time it seems the computer was
writing that critical file which I prefer to call the Index File and of
course with that corrupted the stupid computer is totally blinded!

I would have thought it would not have been that difficult for someone
to write a program to scan the partition and fish out all the files and
rewrite the Index File.

The computer certainly sees the 2nd HD, and it still shows up with the
right drive letters and I can access all the files on the second
partition on this particular HD. But the affected partition is kaput,
asking for reformating it.

Anyway, I intend to learn from my mistake/s, as I have been doing so far
but it will obviously take a while. Am trying Partition Find and Mount,
which is a freeware but it is obviously going to take some time and as
usual I am getting impatient! Bad sign!

I have to admit I did something stupid recently which was to delete all
the older Marcium Backups and the latest backups did NOT cover this
particular partition. But of course I DO have my xxcopies, as I said
earlier.
--
choro
*****
 
P

Paul

Paul said:
The info here says:

http://www.macrium.com/help.aspx

"The recovery media starts a compact operating system with
a familiar mouse and graphical interface called Windows PE.
You can then recover partitions, entire disk images or
individual files with just a few clicks of the mouse."

which sounds promising. The flexibility of the tool, may depend
on whether you're using the Free version or the paid version.
OK, I tested the Free version, and yes, if you backup
all the partitions on the disk, the restoration screen
allows selecting a subset. I backed up four primary partitions,
then restored just SYSTEM RESERVED and C: and it worked fine.
I was able to reboot using the restored content. I made no
attempt to damage the MBR and see if it got re-written or not.

I have screenshots, but haven't processed them yet.

Paul
 
G

Gene E. Bloch

Thought this info could be useful to other subscribers in this group,
hence the detailed explanations.
And in return, thanks for doing that :)

I'm bookmarking the program as soon as I finish this call.
 
W

Wolf K

Good news guys. As I said before, the first thing I tried was to install
the freeware *Partition Find and Mount*. And it did a *sterling* job.[...]
Good news indeed. I must apologise for forgetting about the recovery
programs/utilities, kinda silly of me, because I had in fact used Recuva
myself a few months ago to get back the data trashed partitions. I'll
add Partition File & mount to my list. ;-)

Glad yo hear it worked out well for you.
 
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C

choro

Gene, in my previous posting I said I rebooted the computer after
mounting the partition as my Z drive. But that is strictly NOT true. I
powered off and then powered on. Somehow I have had some experience that
rebooting and shutting down and then restarting the computer can have
different results. *So I played it safe and shut down the computer and
then restarted it as opposed to just rebooting*. I don't know whether I
am right in assuming this or whether this was something that no longer
applies.

It would be interesting to hear different points of view on this matter.
May I just add that I have learned computing completely on my own,
having never attended any courses etc which leads me to believe that
even though I have tought myself certain things, my knowledge is still a
bit sparse and not all encompassing.

But on the other hand I wonder sometimes whether there are people out
there who know absolutely everything there is to know about computers!

Still, it's kept my geriatric mind young and active!
 
P

Paul

choro said:
Gene, in my previous posting I said I rebooted the computer after
mounting the partition as my Z drive. But that is strictly NOT true. I
powered off and then powered on. Somehow I have had some experience that
rebooting and shutting down and then restarting the computer can have
different results. *So I played it safe and shut down the computer and
then restarted it as opposed to just rebooting*. I don't know whether I
am right in assuming this or whether this was something that no longer
applies.

It would be interesting to hear different points of view on this matter.
May I just add that I have learned computing completely on my own,
having never attended any courses etc which leads me to believe that
even though I have tought myself certain things, my knowledge is still a
bit sparse and not all encompassing.

But on the other hand I wonder sometimes whether there are people out
there who know absolutely everything there is to know about computers!

Still, it's kept my geriatric mind young and active!
Shutting down, and removing all power, is a useful option.

That's because SATA drives, have no *guaranteed* reset capability.
If your SATA drive goes insane, the only way to guarantee the SATA
drive can recover from it, is to power off and power on again. I
know this, because I've actually experienced that case, where I
could not communicate with a SATA drive, until it was power
cycled. The drive in question, never offered any troubles after
that, so it wasn't "sick" as such.

IDE drives, on the other hand, have enough discrete logic signals
on the ribbon cable, they can be slapped around while keeping the
power there. I would not expect an IDE drive to need such a treatment.
But SATA, if insane, requires power cycling to get it back.

Paul
 
P

Paul

Paul said:
OK, I tested the Free version, and yes, if you backup
all the partitions on the disk, the restoration screen
allows selecting a subset. I backed up four primary partitions,
then restored just SYSTEM RESERVED and C: and it worked fine.
I was able to reboot using the restored content. I made no
attempt to damage the MBR and see if it got re-written or not.

I have screenshots, but haven't processed them yet.

Paul
Selective restoration with Macrium Reflect Free.

http://img31.imageshack.us/img31/4512/macriumrestore.gif

Paul
 
C

choro

Selective restoration with Macrium Reflect Free.

http://img31.imageshack.us/img31/4512/macriumrestore.gif

Paul
That's good to know. Somehow, I developed a liking for this program the
very first time I used it, relegating Paragon (the paid version) to the
dustbin. Well, not literally but I never use it now. Particularly after
they started bombarding me with offers for upgrades which are in reality
only updates. Bloody cheek!

I believe in supporting freeware programs and have since gone over to
the paid Pro version of Macrium Reflect even though the Free version is
quite adequate and capable. In a way it was my way of saying "Thank You"
to them.

A program which unfortunately I bought in a moment of weakness is Roxio
which I've regretted ever since as they keep bombarding me with offers
for "upgrades" and other junk for jobs that a lot of freeware programs
can cope with better.

After paying good money for Roxio, I found out that it cannot even deal
with subtitles when screening DVDs etc enlarging the subtitles so that
you only see half the damn text. Got in touch with them about this but
got no joy. Damn bloodsuckers they are.

Which is why I think it is of paramount importance for ordinary
consumers to bring such matters to the attention of the public thus
rewarding good program houses and punishing greedy ones. --
choro
*****
 
J

J. P. Gilliver (John)

In message <[email protected]>, Paul <[email protected]>
writes:
[]
Selective restoration with Macrium Reflect Free.

http://img31.imageshack.us/img31/4512/macriumrestore.gif

Paul
Thanks: I like your .gif style of showing us.

I was following this one fine, until:
in the system as backed up, "System Reserved" and "Win7 (C)" were on the
same physical disc (along with two other partitions).
In "Confirmation dialog picture 1 of 2" (and 2 of 2, partially) it shows
"System Reserved" as Partition 1, Disk 1, and "Win7 (C)" as Partition 2,
Disk 2.
I can see this is under Source Disk and there's only one under Target
Disk, but I'm a bit (!) confused about the Partition 2 Disk 2 bit. I'd
have expected them both to be Disk 1. Could you enlighten a bear of
little brain?
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)[email protected]+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

.... current law enforcement approaches to stem the flow of drugs only manage
to seize about one per cent of the drug imports... - Professor David Nutt (31
July-6 August 2010)
 
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J

J. P. Gilliver (John)

choro <[email protected]> said:
Good news guys. As I said before, the first thing I tried was to
install the freeware *Partition Find and Mount*. And it did a
*sterling* job. The older, shall we call it the X drive, showed up in
Windows Explorer as well as in Disk Management but of course the moment
I clicked it, it asked for a reformat.
Thanks for the recommendation. http://findandmount.com/ to save others
looking. It's only 1.6M! Appears to be a Windows prog., so not a
bootable, but still looks very useful.
Partition Find and Mount can scan in 3 different modes. The first 2
simpler modes revealed nothing but the 3rd detailed scan revealed the
(How long did it take [how big is your drive]?)
partition and after studying the options I *mounted* the drive as my Z
Drive (as the letter X was already in use and therefore not available).
And what is more the Z drive showed up in Windows Explorer with all my
folders and user files right there on the Z drive.

*Now here is the tricky bit which I am still trying to understand.*
Trying to change the drive letter of the messed up partition was
useless as the moment I clicked it it asked for reformating and I told
myself I am not going to reformat THAT that partition with all my stuff
on it.
(At a guess, your system sort of half found it - found references to it
that were broken - so wouldn't let you use that letter.)
A cup of coffee and a smoke later i came back to the computer and this
time I rebooted it. And surprise, surprise! After the reboot the Z
drive was no longer showed up in Windows Explorer *but instead the old
X partition was now there just as before with all my files on it*.
Checked Disk Management and the Z drive had somehow disappeared into
thin air after the reboot. But of course my old X partition was now
fully functional. So everything is back to where it was before disaster
struck.
Interesting. The pages on PF&M don't hint that it will do that for you!
It says it works in read-only mode only to protect the partition.
And of course, when this time I clicked the X drive and *there* were
all my user files, intact! Never thought it was going to be this easy
to sort what I thought was a calamity!

Thought this info could be useful to other subscribers in this group,
hence the detailed explanations.
Presumably it fixed the broken references somehow!
And thanks for all your prompt responses. I'll go through them again
and see if I can glean some new tricks from all your suggestions.

Thank you all and please accept this as my response to all who did come
up with other suggestions.
[]
Thank _you_ for _your_ detailed description of your experience.
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)[email protected]+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

"What happens if I press this button?" "I wouldn't ..." (pinggg!) "Oh!" "What
happened?" "A sign lit up, saying `please do not press this button
again'!"(s1f2)
 
P

Paul

J. P. Gilliver (John) said:
Selective restoration with Macrium Reflect Free.

http://img31.imageshack.us/img31/4512/macriumrestore.gif

Paul
Thanks: I like your .gif style of showing us.

I was following this one fine, until:
in the system as backed up, "System Reserved" and "Win7 (C)" were on the
same physical disc (along with two other partitions).
In "Confirmation dialog picture 1 of 2" (and 2 of 2, partially) it shows
"System Reserved" as Partition 1, Disk 1, and "Win7 (C)" as Partition 2,
Disk 2.
I can see this is under Source Disk and there's only one under Target
Disk, but I'm a bit (!) confused about the Partition 2 Disk 2 bit. I'd
have expected them both to be Disk 1. Could you enlighten a bear of
little brain?[/QUOTE]

Hmmm. The only part of those that makes any sense (helps
suggest they came from the same disk) is

Start Sector: 2048 (100MB System Reserved)
End Sector: 206847

Start Sector: 206848 (Main C: partition)
End Sector: 68624383

They're contiguous.

And in those pictures, the disk signatures appear
to be the same, if you can believe it. I don't think
Windows would like that very much.

Unfortunately, I've already deleted the entire setup :-(
There's no going back for a look.

Maybe in a non-VM setup, the output will make a bit more sense.

Paul
 
C

choro

choro <[email protected]> said:
Good news guys. As I said before, the first thing I tried was to
install the freeware *Partition Find and Mount*. And it did a
*sterling* job. The older, shall we call it the X drive, showed up in
Windows Explorer as well as in Disk Management but of course the
moment I clicked it, it asked for a reformat.
Thanks for the recommendation. http://findandmount.com/ to save others
looking. It's only 1.6M! Appears to be a Windows prog., so not a
bootable, but still looks very useful.
Partition Find and Mount can scan in 3 different modes. The first 2
simpler modes revealed nothing but the 3rd detailed scan revealed the
(How long did it take [how big is your drive]?)
The problem partition is in fact around 500 GB. Scanning obviously
takes some time but the first 2 types of scan are quick, more like 5 to
10 mins each. The detailed thorough scan was obviously going to take a
while BUT I did NOT wait for the scan to finish when I realized that I
could there and then allocate a drive letter to the problem partition.
Which I did allocating drive letter Z to it. At that stage and out of
curiosity I clicked Windows Explorer and there I could see all the
folders and files on the new Z partition.

Next I went to Disk Management but was surprised that there I could see
no trace of the new Z partition though it still showed the old X
partition but clicking on it still asked me to reformat the partition.

I thought that was rather strange that on Windows Explorer I could see
the Z partition and all the folders and files on it. And yet Disc
Management showed no Z partition but the old X partition was still shows
there still "needing formatting!"

So I thought, well, this is it. May be I should shut down the computer
*and power up again for the changes to take effect*, after which I
thought I could reallocate partition letters. And voila, I was right.
The changes DID take effect and this time the new Z partition
disappeared from Disk Management which now showed a functioning X drive.
(At a guess, your system sort of half found it - found references to it
that were broken - so wouldn't let you use that letter.)
As I said earlier, the problem partition was actually listed in Disk
Management with its old allocated letter X but I couldn't access any
files on it and it kept saying that I needed to reformat it. Of course,
I did NOT want to reformat it as I was expecting to find a way of
getting round the problem.
Interesting. The pages on PF&M don't hint that it will do that for you!
It says it works in read-only mode only to protect the partition.

Presumably it fixed the broken references somehow!
Obviously, yes!
And thanks for all your prompt responses. I'll go through them again
and see if I can glean some new tricks from all your suggestions.

Thank you all and please accept this as my response to all who did
come up with other suggestions.
[]
Thank _you_ for _your_ detailed description of your experience.
 
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G

Gene E. Bloch

Gene, in my previous posting I said I rebooted the computer after
mounting the partition as my Z drive. But that is strictly NOT true. I
powered off and then powered on. Somehow I have had some experience that
rebooting and shutting down and then restarting the computer can have
different results. *So I played it safe and shut down the computer and
then restarted it as opposed to just rebooting*. I don't know whether I
am right in assuming this or whether this was something that no longer
applies.

It would be interesting to hear different points of view on this matter.
May I just add that I have learned computing completely on my own,
having never attended any courses etc which leads me to believe that
even though I have tought myself certain things, my knowledge is still a
bit sparse and not all encompassing.

But on the other hand I wonder sometimes whether there are people out
there who know absolutely everything there is to know about computers!

Still, it's kept my geriatric mind young and active!
I would have said that shutting down and then powering on provides no
advantage over a simple warm restart, other than superstition. A
superstition that I believe in, BTW...

But Paul's reply to you has me thinking differently now :)
 

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