Contents > Common Questions
Chapter 3. COMMON QUESTIONS
My damaged hard drive is larger than 10Gb. How do I access the larger
drive size? Is it the drive's problem or does your software not support
drives more than 8GB?
This client uses Windows NT installed under VMWare. When trying to
scan partition that was 10Gb in size, they would get an error message
saying "Error reading physical sector".
It could be that there are bad clusters on the drive. As well, this
client is using an operating system or a system-board BIOS that does not
support LBA mode.
MS-DOS versions prior to version 6.0 do not support LBA mode. Some
versions of system-board BIOS report that LBA mode is not supported for
larger drives, when it actually does support it. VMWare v.3.0 is an
example. Active@ Partition Recovery tries read the drive 100 times. If it
encounters a consistent read failure, it reports this as a problem.
Your system should be using a version of DOS that supports LBA mode.
If it is MS-DOS then version must be 6.0 or later. In most cases you do
not need to tell Active@ Partition Recovery to force LBA mode, if the
BIOS supports it. Active@ Partition Recovery will recognize this support
signal from the BIOS and will force LBA automatically, giving you access
to larger sized hard drives.
If the system BIOS reports that LBA mode is not supported,
Partition Recovery uses the standard Int13h to access the drive. Try to
force LBA mode by starting Active@ Partition Recovery with a parameter
Note that forcing LBA mode will not help if the BIOS truly does not
support LBA mode. This usually happens with older versions of BIOS. If
this is the case, try physically removing the hard drive and plugging it
into another machine having a newer version of BIOS.
If your drive has lots of bad clusters, its advisable to save your
data onto another physical drive and to get rid of the damaged hard
3.4. Limitations of Active@ Partition Recovery.
Are there situations in which Active@ Partition Recovery is not able
to restore partitions or Logical Drives?
Here is a list of such situations:
- Instead of deleting an old partition, a new partition has been
created and formatted over an old partition.
- Some other information has been written into the sectors where
partition information was previously located.
In the above scenarios, it is most likely Active@ Partition Recovery
will not be able to detect the deleted partition as the partition
information has been overwritten. Even if the Master Boot Record and
Partition Table have been detected and restored successfully, if data
on the drive has been overwritten, it will be displayed as garbage data
in some folders.
3.5. FDISK and Windows 98 Limitations.
Why is it that FDISK and Windows 98 cannot display data in a detected
and recovered partition?
Active@ Partition Recovery was used to detect and successfully recover
a deleted partition. After rebooting the system, FDISK was not able to
see the recovered partition.
Similarly, when trying to access drive C:, an error message was
displayed, saying that the drive was not valid.
Both the Partition Table and Master Boot Record may have been damaged.
Restore the MBR by running FDISK with parameter /MBR as in the example
After the MBR has been restored, run Active@ Partition Recovery. If
partitions have been restored successfully, they will be detected.
3.6. Error Writing Physical Sector.
While saving the partition information back to the hard drive, I
receive an error message saying "Error writing physical sector" and I am
not able to save the partition information.
- The Boot Sector might be write-protected. Some BIOS configurations
allow for protecting the Boot Sector from write operations in order to
prevent viruses from damaging attacks.
- The client might be trying to run the software from Windows
95/98/ME MS-DOS Prompt console.
- Another reason might be that the Hard Disk Drive is physically
damaged (i.e. it has bad clusters).
- Check your BIOS settings. If you have setting that reads Virus
Warning, or similar, make sure that it has been Disabled.
- DO NOT run the software from within the Windows Operating System.
Start your computer in Command Prompt mode. To do so, press [F8] during
the Windows startup routine, or boot from a system recovery floppy
- If your hard drive is physically damaged, it is better to remove
all important data from the damaged drive and copy it to another Hard
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