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Ghosted Wrong Hard Drive

Ghosted Wrong Hard Drive

Stupid me.  I wanted to Ghost drive A (old hard drive) to drive B (new hard drive) using Ghost.  Drive A was a fully loaded XP drive with data on it.  Drive B was brand new.  But instead. because they were the same size drives and I goofed, I accidentally Ghosted B to A.

Question:  Is there a way to get the Master Boot Record back the way it was so that everything will be back and bootable???  I know if I had to, I could use GetDataBack or something similar to recover his data and put it on the new hard drive.  But this guy was running bootleg XP and thus I can't really reload XP for him.

RE: Ghosted Wrong Hard Drive


Is there a way to get the Master Boot Record back the way it was


so that everything will be back and bootable???


guy was running bootleg XP and thus I can't really reload XP for him.
a Repair install with a Legit Key, would have taken care of that...Options at this stage:
1. Use GetDataBack to recover what is recoverable, probably lost a lot, or all, depending on how it was imaged, e.g. sector for sector - then most likely all is overwritten and unrecoverable, to all but Professional Data recovery experts which have other more potent tools at their disposal...

2. do a clean install and start fresh... minus the data...


"If it works don't fix it! If it doesn't use a sledgehammer..."
How to ask a question, when posting them to a professional forum.
Only ask questions with yes/no answers if you want "yes" or "no"

RE: Ghosted Wrong Hard Drive

I know I hear everyone laughing, but I must work on this problem.  

Did NOT do a sector by sector since it's a bit older version of Ghost.  Likely tons of data there to be gotten back.

You said I could put the MBR back the way it was, but you said it wouldn't be bootable again "like it was".   How would put the MBR back the way it was and how would it help me since you said things wouldn't be like they were.

RE: Ghosted Wrong Hard Drive

Let's recap what a MBR is:


A master boot record (MBR), or partition sector, is the 512-byte boot sector that is the first sector ("LBA Sector 0") of a partitioned data storage device such as a hard disk. (The boot sector of a non-partitioned device is a Volume Boot Record. These are usually different, although it is possible to create a record that acts as both; it is called a multi boot record.)
Source: Wikipedia Master boot record
so you see, that you could restore the MBR to the way it was, but it would not recreate the rest of the information, e.g. Directory structure, MFT, bootfiles, etc., necessary to restore it to the way it was.

PS: Never said that restoring the MBR would help you there... Just answering the Questions as stated...

"If it works don't fix it! If it doesn't use a sledgehammer..."
How to ask a question, when posting them to a professional forum.
Only ask questions with yes/no answers if you want "yes" or "no"

RE: Ghosted Wrong Hard Drive


I think this'd be a really good test for this program:
Active Partition Recovery

I've used it to recover an entire RAID 3 (sort of a fast RAID 5 - not very common) setup - wasn't the system drive though, worked great.

It's free to recover to a different drive/partition, or you pay if you want it to recover a partition in place.  If it's possible to recover, this will do it easily.

Give it a shot - at this point, it's probably the best shot you've got.  And if you've not since overwritten the hard drive, your chances are even better - I'd say moreso since the harddrive B was a new hard drive, so shouldn't have had any data on it to ghost over the existing drive.


"If to err is human, then I must be some kind of human!" -Me

RE: Ghosted Wrong Hard Drive

I think I'm going to go with running GetDataBack from the new hard drive on the slaved old drive and just try to recover data.  I don't really want to try anything new at this point.

Yeah BadBigBen  - I asked the wrong question (sort of), but you gave the right answer.

I'm still recovering from the shock of doing something that dumb, though I still don't know where I went wrong - obviously it was choosing the wrong drive as source/destination, but I'm not sure what I'd do differently if I had it to do over again.

I guess you make a ghost image to another drive the next time BEFORE attempting the direct drive to drive clone.  I always say, "when in doubt, Ghost it".  Didn't follow my own advice.

RE: Ghosted Wrong Hard Drive

My thoughts on Ghosting is never ever ever use the same size drive. That way you can see for sure what drive is what in ghost.I have done ghost many times and always used a larger drive for the destination and if i had to put it back on their same size drive ran ghost again and ghosted it back to their smaller drive more work less chance of what happened to you.

RE: Ghosted Wrong Hard Drive

Had no other option in this case.  I even triple-checked before I did what I THOUGHT was correct source/destination.

Normally though, you are ghosting from a smaller to larger.  But, that's not what the cards dealt me this time and I screwed up.  Now I have to pay for the GetDataBack myself, so it hurts in the wallet also!!!!

RE: Ghosted Wrong Hard Drive

I'm giving a star to myself, mentally.  Thanks for the suggestions.   The GetDataBack worked perfectly and got all of his data back of the wrongly ghosted hard drive.

It took about 1.5 hours to do the scan and then actually recover (copy) the data over to the new drive, but success is sometimes as painful as defeat.

RE: Ghosted Wrong Hard Drive

A star for Ben for originally suggesting GetDataBack, and one for Greg for A) admitting to doing something that appeared stupid to himself - stuff happens, and I for one never laugh or even snicker at incidents like this, probably becase I've done a few mistakes while repairing PCs, and B) for providing feedback to the actual success.
It is interesting to me to see that Ghost didn't overwrite the data with the blank data from the source drive. I wonder if this would have been the same if an Acronis product was used to clone?

RE: Ghosted Wrong Hard Drive

If you were to choose a sector by sector copy - the drive would have been toast in terms of data, but the default in the version of Ghost I have is to just copy actual files.  So there was only the System Volume Information folder on the new drive, so that was the only thing it copied over, thus saving his data.

Not to be difficult, but it was ME that originally mentioned that my plan, barring any better suggestions, was to use GDB.  And that's what I ended up doing, not wanting to take any chances with this dude's data.

BadBigBen also deserves a star however and I was going to come back and do that, but didn't soon enough.

RE: Ghosted Wrong Hard Drive

I am indeed blind and missed you did say you were going to use GetDataBack, Greg.  Sorry about that.   blushing ... Dell

RE: Ghosted Wrong Hard Drive

Sorry for trying to GetMoreCredit, but it's been a tough week and I want all the credit I can get.  Great minds think alike.

RE: Ghosted Wrong Hard Drive

I would go to Ontrack and just let them do it. I imagine it would be about $750.

RE: Ghosted Wrong Hard Drive

Mr. hinesward - back of the classroom please/face against the wall.  Situation was resolved long ago/data recovered/everyone happy.

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