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Here's the situation - on my windows 7 box, I had two harddrives in a mirrored volume (through windows, so software, not hardware raid.) Eventually, I noticed the mirrored volume had lost its second drive - but that there was a 'foreign' drive listed in the Disk Management utility - I imported the foreign data, which left the two drives to sync back up.

Soon after, my computer died rather spectacularly. I'm guessing the power supply shorted out: bright white flash, spark, snap sound, melty rubber smell, etc. I pulled the drives out and put them in external cases, then plugged them into my other (less dead) computer.

One disc doesn't even register when I plug it in - not during boot, not after adding new devices, not in the device manager. I'm pretty sure it's dead for good.

The other shows up in my Computer window and in the Disk Management utility - but it's not accessible, corrupted and unreadable, according to windows, and I can't run chkdsk or whatever on it.

Is the fact that the computer shorted out while the drives were resynching significant? Does it have any bearing on data recovery?

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migrated from serverfault.com Jun 29 '11 at 5:04

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Well...You may be pretty screwed. If that data is really valuable and you don't have a backup, take them to a data recovery place right away. It's not worth possibly compromising any professional recovery efforts by dinking around on your own.

If the data is not quite that valuable, I'd try swapping the controller cards on the drives (assuming that they are the EXACT same make and model). The drive that spins up sounds like it was the one being synced to and the one that doesn't spin sounds like it has a bad controller card. So you put the good controller card on the drive with the good copy of the data.

Again, I'll stress this, IF THE DATA IS IMPORTANT, DON'T DO ANYTHING ON YOUR OWN.

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So I grabbed both discs out of the machine, put them in external enclosures, and tried them on another box - the one disc is definitely toast, but the other that windows can see but not access revealed its secrets to GetDataBack - looks like I can recover most if not all of my data using that. My fairly limited knowledge suggests to me that there might've been some sort of file system corruption thing going on, data got mis-written when it stopped in mid-sync or whatever, and the data is still there, not overwritten, just not anywhere Windows expects it to be. So perhaps all is not lost. –  matt lohkamp Jul 1 '11 at 9:19

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