Apologies for misusing some terminology here... I'm attempting to fix a friend's laptop (Dell Inspiron 1545) which was suffering from the error "disk error press any key to restart" on every boot, straight after POST. (Not intermittent, I always received the error).
I tried the drive (250GB SATA) in another machine, and used Window's disk management console to see that it recognised the drive as having 3 partitions.. one was the recovery NTFS partition which seemed perfectly fine, another was the OS partition which was displayed as RAW. It had a drive letter assigned but I could not access the data.
So I tried the program TestDisk which seemed to display the partition as NTFS.. I did nothing but quick scan/save however that has had no effect.
I'm not sure where to go from here.. should I be able to tweak the settings/findings in TestDisk? or should I give up? I can recover the data using Recuva pretty well - but as it's a friend's machine it would be great if a simple fix for the partition table would bring the whole machine back to life as it was.
Does this screenshot help? It shows the findings of TestDisk... http://i.imgur.com/cW0YrM3.jpg
Many thanks for any pointers you can give :)
After running a deep scan with TestDisk, it provided the following summary http://i.imgur.com/b242Czv.jpg. Looked slightly odd, but I saved it and now windows doesn't give either the OS or the Recovery partition a drive letter. Does the summary give any suggestion as to how I could proceed? maybe the start/ends are correct but the partitions shouldn't be split in two? Or maybe it's time to give up and format :D