Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm copying the files from a windows machine for a friend. He had two HDDs, one was the primary HD that he booted windows from and the other had two partitions in it that are full of data.

He is not that big on computers and is telling me that something in windows told him that the data in the two 'unknown' partitions on the second HD all of a sudden became 'raw data' one day. It's apparently been like this for years and as such he can't even remember what it all was so I'm not super worried about copying these files. It would still be nice to be able to copy them though. Is there a way for me to do this without knowing what the partition types are or is there maybe a way for me to restore the types? I'm assuming it's ntfs since this was purely a windows machine but I can't really say.

Note I forgot to add, one of the partitions does have a flag on it, msftres.

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

You don't say what software you ran that used "msftres" as a flag, but it seems likely that it was telling you that it was a Microsoft Reserved Partition, and confusing partition flags (a.k.a attributes) with partition type. The Microsoft Reserved Partition is a placeholder that Microsoft uses to reserve space for later use. "Microsoft Reserved" is its type, not an attribute or flag.

Microsoft supplies the diskpart tool, bundled in the box with Windows, that you can use to find out what partitions are what on your discs. Run its list partition and its list volume command. That will tell you all of the partitions, and all of the recognized volumes that Windows understands.

Where you go next depends from what that tells you, about the contents of the partition tables and the filesystem formats detected. Really "someone who doesn't understand computers said that it was 'raw' several years ago" isn't useful. You, and we, need the proper output of something like diskpart, not a third-hand report remembered from years ago from someone who didn't fully understand what they were seeing in the first place.

It is situations like this that diskpart is there for, of course.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.