Customer is unable to start her PC. It says NTLDR is missing.
She also tried connecting it to another, older, PC, but it would only show up as a 10Mb drive (its actually a 160Gb maxtor).
She also tried the acer recovery CD, but it wanted to reformat the whole drive before installing windows… so she said no to that.
I figure if its just a ntldr corruption, it should be easy to get everything back to normal.
I need to take the PC back to the office, and connecting the drive to a different PC does indeed show only a 10Mb FAT partition.
At least the drive doesn’t seem to be about to fail.
I start the recovery process, and soon find lots of ntfs data on the drive.
I call the customer, and given the importance of the data, she says to go ahead with the data recovery.
During the recovery process, I only get 1 read error, and I am able to recover most of the data, but most of the top-level folder names seem to be lost (except for windows, informed, and two others). I suspect the MFT has been lost.
Anyway, she quickly got her data back (on 2 dvds), but most of the data is in folders with names like [001D56].
Its not nice, but its the best that can be done without spending days reconstructing the data.
I suspect that plugging the drive into another (older) computer actually made the drive worse (as I’ve actually done something similar myself)…
Never plug a “potentially” corrupt drive into an older PC… it can make things worse.