The disk in my laptop has become inaccessible after I changed the cluster size.

The problem

When I try to boot up, I get the laptop's proprietary screen as normal followed by a few seconds of the Windows XP start up screen followed by a brief flash of a blue screen, which begins: "A problem has been detected and Windows has been shut down to pretect your computer. If this is the first time..."

When I put the disk in a caddy, Windows XP reports that the drive "is not accessible. The file or directory is corrupt and unreadable."

What happened

I used Partition Magic (version 8.0) to change the cluster size (from 512kB to 2kB), running it from disk rather than the desktop. PM reported the process complete but also reported error #728 (with no other information). The laptop then wouldn't start up.

If I run PM from disk, it correctly reports the disk size as well as used and unused space. It also reports the following errors.

Error #1657: MFT mirror data position mismatch
Error #501: Cross-linked files were found
Error #745: [No message]

What I've tried

I've run fixmbr and fixboot in Recovery Console (from disk). When I type "dir" at the C:\ command prompt in Recovery Console, it gives: "An error occurred during directory enumeration."

Can anyone advise me how I can get this disk up and running again, or at least recover data from it? Help would be much appreciated!

The disk was running Windows XP (SP3). The file system is NTFS.

Recommended Answers

All 5 Replies


guess not ,someone come now and correct me ,and help you at the same time
im no expert but im sure its because [i dont thing changing cluster size on a active hdd is somethink that shoud/can be done ] you change the cluster size, is somethin that reccomended ,but i could be wrong ,and maybe i should do some re-search on it to see .
quick research sows people doing it so i quess its possible ,mind you everything i read is people having problems with it

Thanks for posting, caperjack. I'll take a look into the findpart utility mentioned in the thread you linked to, and have a more careful read of the thread.

Yes, I recall reading a forum thread in which someone reported that they'd been told by Powerquest (makers of PM) that the tool shouldn't be used on the system partition. That's not good news for anyone with an OEM system installation on a low cluster size.

i thought there might be a performance issue as well so i googled and found a lot of info of course ,like this link about performance issue ,as it says with the newer bigger drive of today it hardly an issue anymore

If you change the cluster size on an hdd, then you will need to reinstall the os and everything else! Not a good idea if you want to keep your system intact! I think you are fubar until you re-install the OS and all of your data and applications (have backups, do we?)...

Be a part of the DaniWeb community

We're a friendly, industry-focused community of developers, IT pros, digital marketers, and technology enthusiasts meeting, learning, and sharing knowledge.