HUGE hard disks problem, PLEASE! help.
(Apologies for the lengthy message. My technical expertise is nil and I don't know what information is needed, so I prefer to include every possible detail. Neither is my English very good, but I hope to be able to explain the situation clearly)
My computer is an old modified Pentium 4 Micron Millennia with three physical hard disks.
- Disk 1 (40GB) has two partitions (C,D) The C: drive has the operating system (WinXP Pro sp1) plus the program files. D: has only a few of My Documents.
- The bulk of my data is in drive E: (60GB) which is disk 2.
- Disk 3 (250GB) is drive H: and holds images of partitions C, D and E plus individual backups, software installation files and other less important resources and data files.
I thought that this setting was foolproof and my data 100% safe. Not so, a couple of weeks days ago drive E: got virtually "fried" and drive H: was also greatly damaged, both at the same time. How and why did it happen? I don't have a clue. There was a storm, but only a mild one, and - besides - everything is connected through a UPS, which didn't even beep. The only thing I know is that I heard a "clack" and drive E: literally "spat out" both connectors. And I mean *literally*. The only other thing that I can think of is that drive E: was being defragged, which I've done regularly dozens of times.
The situation now is this: the computer doesn't even "see" drive E:, so it seems that there is nothing to do for it other than send it to a data recovering service ...but it's a 2200 to 3600 dollars solution that I cannot afford.
Drive H:, on the other hand, is "seen" by the computer, but as soon as I boot I get a message that says: "Warning. Immediately back up your data and replace your hard disk drive. A failure may be imminent". Did an online search and discovered Ontrack Advisor and Spinrite. Both give the same warning message. Moreover, drive H: appears as "empty" in Windows Disk Manager, "healthy" but with no file system. Amazingly, according to the manager drive E: is also enjoying good health, but as part of the same disk ...and it's not even connected.
Only one of the more knowledgeable people I have consulted so far believes me when I say that drive E: literally ejected the connectors. But not even this person seems to believe that drives E: and H: are two SEPARATE physical disks. The reason is in the attached image. If you'll please take a look at it you'll see that the Disk Manager shows them as two partitions of the same disk. How's this possible? What happened? No idea.
(Couldn't attach the image. Here's the link: http://urlvi.be/5v7wn - please enlarge it to "original size", it has annotations)
That's the problem, explained as best I can. It's HUGE for me, because the information I need to recover is very important to me and because I don't know what to do. Fortunately drive H: has a 15/21 days old image of drive E:, so if I manage to somehow copy or repair it I'll be at least 90% satisfied. Provided drive E was not "stamped" on it, as the Disk Manager seems to imply.
I sincerely appreciate your reading this far, and hope you'll be able to help me find a solution. Specifically:
1. How can I "safely and securely" copy the contents of disk H: to another disk if the computer doesn't even read them? Is there a way, or a software program, to do this?,
2. Is there a way or a software program to "safely and securely" repair disk H:?
I strongly stress "safely and securely" because I don't want to put whatever data is still recoverable at risk by trying non-100% secure options. I consulted with a disk repair software developer and he very honestly replied that "(his program) is safe to run. However, if you see the warning message, your hard drive's condition is bad. It may completely fail at any time. It may also completely fail when you will be scanning it with (his program), not because of (his program), but because the drive's condition is bad and it may fail at any time."
As a hint, he also said: "It sounds like there are bad sectors in the file table area that affected the logical structure of your disk" ...whatever that means.
Two final details: (1) as you've probably noticed in the attached image, I had an Acronis Secure Zone Partition. A small one, not for backup images but only to be able to use the Startup Recovery and the Try&Decide features, images where created directly into drive H; and (2) now I am using the computer with disk 1 (partitions C and D) only, and after this happened every time I boot I see a message (on the black screen, before starting Windows) that reads: "MBR Error 2".
I trust I covered all the information needed to clearly analyze the problem. If something is missing and you are willing to help me, please just let me know and I'll do my best to provide it immediately. If you are not sure of a solution but know or have an idea of where to look for it, please also let me know. Thank you.