From: ohaya on

google3luo359(a) wrote:
> I bought a new 80G Toshiba 2.5" HD to use as a backup USB drive for my
> ancient desktop.
> I run Win 98SE on the 233Mhz desktop.
> At first the desktop couldn't see more than 10G of the USB drive.
> Someone suggested updating the Fdisk to a newer version.
> I did and bingo, it could now see 80G.
> I partitioned the drive into 4 partitions and started transfering files
> from the desktop to the USB drive. I did it a little bit at a time for
> a few weeks. I must have transferred files for a total of three or four
> sessions, with no problems.
> Then today I plug in the USB drive and no go!
> The desktop sees a USB drive, but it's only 10G again, and there is
> nothing on the drive !!!!!
> Someone please help me!
> I didn't backup those files, I transferred them to clear out space on
> my desktop HD.
> Please tell me what I should try, ending as a very last resort with
> Fdisk-ing the HD.

Hi Ric,

Since you mentioned this is an 80GB Toshiba drive, I'm assuming that you
purchased the drive separately and then put it into an enclosure.

I think that you need to eliminate the possibility that there's
something going on with the USB enclosure.

What I might suggest is that you get a 2.5"-to-3.5" IDE adapter, e.g.:

Attach the 2.5" drive via the adapter to your computer.

Then, download "partinfo" from:

You're going to have to make a bootable floppy, and copy the partinfo
program to it.

Then, run partinfo (partinfo > foo.txt), and the output will show you
what partitions are on the drive. Hopefully the 4 partitions are still

If they are, maybe you can copy the files off of the drive while it's
attached via the adapter.

From: Arno Wagner on
Previously Curious George <cg(a)> wrote:
> On 2 Jan 2006 07:44:11 GMT, Arno Wagner <me(a)> wrote:

>>Previously Curious George <cg(a)> wrote:
>>> On 28 Dec 2005 17:49:15 -0800, google3luo359(a) wrote:
>>>>Then today I plug in the USB drive and no go!
>>>>The desktop sees a USB drive, but it's only 10G again, and there is
>>>>nothing on the drive !!!!!
>>> Have you tried a scandisk or norton disk doctor? IIRC Norton works
>>> better with borked partitions.
>>>>Someone please help me!
>>>>I didn't backup those files, I transferred them to clear out space on
>>>>my desktop HD.
>>> Don't mean to be a PITA but from now on PLEASE make sure you NEVER
>>> have only 1 copy of any piece of data - unless you don't care if you
>>> loose it.
>>> If you can't afford to backup all your data (pref min of 3 copies
>>> spread out over time and at least one of those in a different place)
>>For low- to medium-importanec files you can get away with just one
>>copy, but it should be on a backup medium (MOD, professional tape),
>>known to work reliably. The problem with HDDs is that they have
>>some failure modes that make data recovery very problematic.
>>For really important stuff you should allways have at least
>>2 copies in different places and check them for errors regularly.
>>BTW, a working copy (on disk) does not count as a backup copy
>>in this.

> Well I don't really disagree but that's a preference. Everyone will
> have their own idea of a "safe minimal protection" or "best practice."

> My personal threshold for loss is a little lower. For me _anything_
> that requires time expenditure or is an inconvenience/ PITA caused by
> loss requires good protection (no matter how "important" or "valuable"
> - or not - I consider the data). I also find it generally
> impractical & unnecessary to maintain a multi-tiered backup strategy
> in a single user environment esp if that entails different media
> types. It becomes a mess very quickly that requires hand holding &
> can therefore interfere with normal computing & computer & file
> maintenance as well as creates overly-complex recovery.

> Therefore IMHO a backup system designed for "low- to medium-importance
> files" should probably be limited to a person who only creates "low-
> medium-importance files." Otherwise I see a multi-tiered approach
> better suited to someone who creates "medium-importance files" on one
> workstation and has "important stuff" on another workstation or
> server. I don't really think simple folder organization (to simplify
> backup jobs) solves the problem of a multi-tiered backup on a single
> machine because I'm not sure you can justify the extra work, remaining
> complexity, & expenditure for one machine. Even still whenever setting
> up & maintaining multiple machines you can quickly feel the pressure
> to simplify & centralize strategies as much as possible. This is pure
> _opinion_ though. Everyone has different variables and quantities in
> their own cost/benefit analysis.

> But as long as he has more than one copy of his data on more than one
> media (i.e. _any_ valid backup) esp for his most important data, he's
> in a lot better shape than right now. Even better if it can be as
> automated & simple as possible. Don't mean to beat him up - it's just
> now's the best time to jump on backup esp a "best practice" - 'cause
> now he REALLY understands the importance now.

Well, it is a difficlutl subject. I do classify stuff as of low
importantce if I can get it back form another source. Medium is
that what I am unsure whether I need it again and don't know
whether I can get it.

Also there is a difference between backup and long-time storage.
The later for me goes onto MOD (have not lost a single bit in 8
years now), but only onto two if I really want to keep it. Some
stuff also goes onto three.

For backup it again depends. I have windows backups only on a
single RAID-1 array, since I do nothing important with windows
(basically gaming, the only thing it is marginally usable for
IMO). I have a lot of code and text under Linux and that backup
goes onto six independent MOD disk sets that are rotated.


From: google3luo359 on
Hi George,

Thanks for helping out!
I was beginning to think no one was going to reply.

Yes I have learned a lesson here re: backups. But if there is good news
these files are not high importance ones. More like low-medium
It would still save me a heck of amount of time if I could somehow get
them back.

I tried the fast scandisk and it didn't show anything up. It only found
10G as well.
I'm doing the long scandisk right now.

I am holding out with Fdisking again because until I know what
happened, it can very well happen again. (Aside from losing your data
completely) there is nothing worse than making a backup and aways
wondering if the data will be seen the next time you use the disk.

I will look into Norton or another recovery program.
So these programs will recover lost partitions as well as data?

Thanks again!


From: google3luo359 on
Yes you are correct, they weren't high importance files.

>>My guess as to the actual problem is that Win98 never saw more than
the small amount of space and that in you last session you managed
to fill that up and windows started writing an the beginning of the
disk, overwriting all the meta-information, file-allocation table and
main directory. ...<<

Yes, I agree that this could very well be what happened.

>>This also means that some of your data is likely irretrivably lost. <<

That's OK. If I could get back the data that didn't overwrite the FAT
table etc. I'd be happy.
Or even half of the data would be good too.

>>I think you can forget about fdisk'ing again, since it will just
re-create the original problem.

I think you're right.

>>Better check whether the enclosure
manufacturer offers drivers for win98, and if it does not, you
might have to update the OS or, e.g., use Linux (e.g. in the form of
Knoppix) to copy your files to the USB enclosure.<<

This is the part that bothers me quite a bit. I got my girfriend a $50
case and decided to go with a $25 case the next time I was in the shop.
The package the case came in has absolutely no brand name. The .doc
file on the CD has no brand name either.
Yes it does have a Win98 driver but it is unclear as to which directory
to use when setting up.
One file that doesn't give you a warm fuzzy feeling is named "Update
for 1394 Storage Peripherals in Win 98".
In this file it gives the following info:

You may experience any of the following symptoms:

Your computer stops responding (hangs) when you physically unplug a
1394 (FireWire) storage or peripheral device from your computer.
You experience poor performance with your 1394 storage or peripheral
Your 1394 storage or peripheral device is not recognized by Windows.
A software update is now available to address these issues. You can
install the Windows 98 Second Edition 1394 Storage Supplement on a
computer running Windows 98 Second Edition from the "Recommended
Updates" section of the following Microsoft Windows Update Web site:

You can also download this update (for installation later or on a
different computer) from the following Microsoft Web site:

NOTE : This component updates your system files and requires you to
restart your computer to complete the installation. Please save your
work and quit all programs before installing.

This update installs the Safe Removal tool that allows you to safely
stop a Plug and Play storage device prior to physically unplugging the
device. This component also includes an update for 1394 drivers to
resolve issues that are related to the "surprise" removal of peripheral
devices. Large performance improvements (approximately 300 percent)
have been made over the implementation of 1394 storage drivers in
Windows 98 Second Edition.

In another folder on the CD is a file called 242975usa8.exe which I did
run and install but it didn't make any difference.
Perhaps I should run it after fdisking but before placing data on the

In one folder is a file called USBMonit.exe but when I run it no
monitor is set up to show when I can safely unplug the HD.
In one info file is the only clue to the company:
USB\VID_04CF&PID_8810.DeviceDesc="Myson-Century CS8810 USB Mass Storage
USB\VID_04CF&PID_8811.DeviceDesc="Myson-Century CS8811 USB Mass Storage
USB\VID_04CF&PID_8813.DeviceDesc="Myson-Century CS8813 USB Mass Storage
USB\VID_04CF&PID_8818.DeviceDesc="Myson-Century CS8818 USB Mass Storage
USB\VID_04CF&PID_0800.DeviceDesc="Myson-Century MTP800 USB Mass Storage
MCUSBMS\DISK.DeviceDesc="USB Mass Storage Device"

And it doesn't help that there is no obvious setup file. There are two
setup.exe files in two different folders.
They look like the same file.


From: google3luo359 on
Hi Jim,

Thanks for helping out!
Yes I purchased the new 80G Toshiba recently and put it in a case I
also bought at the store.
A certified "no-name" case.

While I was buying the case I also bought a 2.5"-to-3.5" IDE adapter
for the future when I might install a 2.5 as my main HD in a desktop.

>>Attach the 2.5" drive via the adapter to your computer.
Then, download "partinfo" from: <<

I would try your suggestion, however, before I set up the HD as a USB
drive in its case, I did try to set up the HD as my c:
drive on my desktop. I didn't think I'd have success because I'd read
many times and spoken to a Maxtor tech who said that my system/BIOS
wouldn't accept a c: HD bigger than 30 or 40G (I'm using a 30G now).

Sure enough, when I tried to boot up, the HD wasn't recognized. I had
it on Auto in the BIOS, but when I typed in some numbers for
heads/cylinders (according to the HD's specs) it still wasn't

So although it is quite tedious to open the case up and do all the
re-wiring, I would do it if there was a chance of the drive being
recognized. But I've done it twice now and it couldn't be seen by the