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 Post subject: Attempting to recover GPT partition with Partition Wizard
PostPosted: July 19th, 2021, 22:30 
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I am desperately attempting to recover my hard drive from my old failed PC so I can mount it as an external drive to my new PC and access the data on it in the Windows 10 Pro 64 bit OS on the new PC.

I am attempting to use Minitool Partition Wizard's Partition Recover Wizard to accomplish this.

I have prepared 3 screenshots which explain what I am doing and where I am stuck. They are attached.

The problem seems to be that in order for Partition Wizard's Partition Recovery Wizard to recover the partition it has to first be "converted" from MBR to GPT. That is the note they have in their instructions for using the Partition Recovery Wizard. I don't really understand that since isn't it already a GPT partition? I don't get why Partition Wizard shows it as an MBR partition and needs to "convert" it first. But that is what I interpret the instructions to mean. Anyway, I am unable to convert it to GPT because when I try to do so it generates and error (please see screenshots).

Please take a look at my screenshots and if possible please tell me if there is any way I can recover this partition so I can assign it a drive letter in Windows. It seems so close yet so far!

Thank you!

Attachment:
Screenshot #1.png
Screenshot #1.png [ 185.98 KiB | Viewed 6540 times ]

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Screenshot #2.png
Screenshot #2.png [ 151.43 KiB | Viewed 6540 times ]

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Screenshot #3.png
Screenshot #3.png [ 107.11 KiB | Viewed 6540 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Attempting to recover GPT partition with Partition Wizar
PostPosted: July 19th, 2021, 22:53 
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Please don't convert anything.

The problem appears to be that your external enclosure is configured with a sector size of 4096 bytes. This makes your protective MBR partition look 8 times larger.

You can see this if you examine your drive with the free version of DMDE:

https://dmde.com/

You need to find a 512B enclosure. Alternatively, you can recover your data with the standard version of DMDE (US$20).

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 Post subject: Re: Attempting to recover GPT partition with Partition Wizar
PostPosted: July 19th, 2021, 23:24 
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Thank you for your reply fzabkar.

I did in fact notice that Windows Disk Manager shows the drive as 7452.11 GB in size even though it is a "1.0TB" drive. So Disk Manager does appear to be showing the wrong size and much larger than it actually is.

Are you saying that with a different enclosure you think I won't need any recovery software and will be able to assign it a drive letter directly in Windows Disk Manager? That would be awesome.

I am not using an actual enclosure but and old SATA cable and power supply adaptor I have to connect it to the USB port on my new PC. Where can I get an enclosure or cable that will do this? I am unfamiliar with this issue. Isn't the sector size determined by the drive and not the enclosure?

On another track...

However, Partition Wizard appears to show it as the correct size 931.51 GB. So does the sector size of the enclosure have anything to do with the error on attempting to convert from MBR to GPT in Partition Wizard?

My understanding is, and I have received multiple confirmations of this from different sources, is that when Partition Wizard is used to convert the partition from MBR to GPT it does not destroy data on the disk, it only converts the partition from MBS to GPT. So I am not clear on why I should not convert it since that would be necessary to recover the partition.

Partition Wizard can "recover the data." It has a module to do that and I tried it and it works. But what I want to do is to recover the partition, not the raw data files. I need to have the folder structure and file names preserved. If I simply recover the data I get generically named files with no folder structure. And some files of types not recognized won't be recovered at all.

So I want to make the important distinction that what I am hoping to end up with is a recovered partition with all folder and path structure intact that I can mount as an external drive in Windows and access... not just recovered files.


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 Post subject: Re: Attempting to recover GPT partition with Partition Wizar
PostPosted: July 20th, 2021, 10:44 
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Ryan wrote:
I am not using an actual enclosure but and old SATA cable and power supply adaptor I have to connect it to the USB port on my new PC. Where can I get an enclosure or cable that will do this? I am unfamiliar with this issue. Isn't the sector size determined by the drive and not the enclosure?


Essentially the same thing as an enclosure. You'll probably be able to just plug the drive directly into your motherboard's sata and grab the data you want off it.

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 Post subject: Re: Attempting to recover GPT partition with Partition Wizar
PostPosted: July 20th, 2021, 14:09 
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DMDE will show you the sector size of your USB-SATA bridge.

You cannot fix anything by converting between GPT and MBR. You will only make things worse.

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 Post subject: Re: Attempting to recover GPT partition with Partition Wizar
PostPosted: July 20th, 2021, 22:47 
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Lardman wrote:
You'll probably be able to just plug the drive directly into your motherboard's sata and grab the data you want off it.


Great idea now that I know that different external interfaces can have different sector sizes...never knew or considered that they could have different sector sizes before. Thought the sector size would depend on the sector size of the disk. Interesting.

I have not even opened up the new box yet to see what kind of drive ports it has inside. It has only one drive in it now, a 500GB SSD that it is booting from. I hope it even has a port for another drive! I was not too careful when I ordered it because I was in a hurry to get something quickly as I need it for work. It doesn't even have a DVD drive. My last PC had at least 4 ports. I'll have to open up the box and look to see what's in there. Hopefully there is at least one more SATA port!

===
*EDIT* just looked up the specs and it says it has "4 Bays." So it sounds like I should be able to mount and connect this drive in there (hopefully it has *SATA* ports!). It is the first PC I ever owned that has no bays exposed externally. Seems very weird to me but apparently there are internal bays. I guess if you want to use a DVD drive it has to be external.
===

I have good backups of all my absolutely essential data that I always maintain. So I have all of that from the drive. But there is a lot of important secondary stuff on that drive that wasn't backed up and, a lot of folder structure I want to consult so I can reproduce it on the new PC. So I desperately want to get access to that drive.

Question for both you and fzabkar please (hopefully you both agree) ...

Will connecting this drive directly to the SATA port on the PC solve the sector size problem so that Windows Disk Management should see the drive in the correct size? Seems like it should, but can you confirm?


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 Post subject: Re: Attempting to recover GPT partition with Partition Wizar
PostPosted: July 21st, 2021, 1:19 
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Just thought of another question.

The drive I am trying to access is a boot drive. It was the boot drive on my old PC.

I seem to remember I had a problem once when I tried to start up a computer with two boot drives in it. Makes sense since how does the PC know which drive to boot from. I think I remember that it can also cause damage? Not sure about that.

But anyway, if I install the old drive on another SATA port in the new PC, how can I make sure it boots from the new hard drive in the new PC and doesn't have a problem because the old boot drive is also connected?

Something in boot order in bios maybe?

Don't want to mess up my new PC, then I would REALLY have a mess on my hands!


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 Post subject: Re: Attempting to recover GPT partition with Partition Wizar
PostPosted: July 21st, 2021, 3:29 
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Ryan wrote:
Will connecting this drive directly to the SATA port on the PC solve the sector size problem so that Windows Disk Management should see the drive in the correct size?[/b]
You don't have a sector size problem. You have a communication problem with your enclosure. It doesn't know how to talk to the drive properly, your SATA port will.

Ryan wrote:
But anyway, if I install the old drive on another SATA port in the new PC, how can I make sure it boots from the new hard drive in the new PC and doesn't have a problem because the old boot drive is also connected?

Check your bios settings. Assuming you're running windows 10 getting it wrong would just install a load of drivers anyway and wouldn't cause damage to your actual data files.

Ryan wrote:
Don't want to mess up my new PC, then I would REALLY have a mess on my hands!
Best not to mess it up then :D

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 Post subject: Re: Attempting to recover GPT partition with Partition Wizar
PostPosted: July 21st, 2021, 16:39 
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Ryan wrote:
Lardman wrote:
Will connecting this drive directly to the SATA port on the PC solve the sector size problem so that Windows Disk Management should see the drive in the correct size? Seems like it should, but can you confirm?[/b]

Yes.

The capacity seen by Disk Management is based on the number of sectors reported in the MBR, and the sector size reported by the USB-SATA bridge firmware. That would be 1953525168 sectors and 4096 bytes per sector, respectively.

The capacity seen by Partition Wizard appears to reflect the number of sectors reported by the drive, and the sector size reported by the drive, ie 1953525168 sectors and 512 bytes per sector, respectively.

Therefore, you need to connect the drive directly to a SATA port inside your computer, in which case Disk Management will then see a sector size of 512 bytes. Alternatively, get an enclosure that is configured with a sector size of 512 bytes.

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 Post subject: Re: Attempting to recover GPT partition with Partition Wizar
PostPosted: July 23rd, 2021, 11:15 
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Joined: December 10th, 2018, 20:20
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SUCCESS! Just a quick post to tell both of you guys YOU WERE BOTH RIGHT!

OUTSTANDING ADVICE!!!

Sure enough, plugged it directly into the SATA port and voila. Perfect access to the drive.

You would have thought this is an obvious solution but without fzabkar advising me that the external adaptor might be the issue and that I should not try to convert the disk and Lardman suggesting I connect it directly to the SATA port, I would have assumed that the disk had a problem and probably messed it up. I would have assumed that since I couldn't access it with the adaptor there was a problem with the disk that had to be fixed! But that is wrong. The disk is 100%.

So you BOTH hit the nail right on the head! THANK YOU FOR THE GREAT ADVICE! :D

I am still stumped though over some of the things going on here. One of them involves bitlocker. Apparently this old PC's drive is encrypted with bitlocker! I did not know it. I am wondering about a few things like since it is encrypted, how can I read it on the new computer? I have a possible answer for that... but I will have to come back later to discuss it as for now I need to catch up on a huge backlog of work that I couldn't do.

Thanks again guys... FANTASTIC JOB!


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