The hard disk storage space is allowed to be partitioned into maximum of four primary partitions. These primary partitions are defined by respective 16-byte entries that form the hard disk partition table. It is located in disk MBR (Master Boot Record). When you install Windows or any service pack on your computer hard disk, the setup checks disk partition table for consistency.
If it finds any errors with the table, it extracts incorrect partition information and displays non-existent partitions. You might require to repartition the disk to solve these problems that render all the disk data inaccessible. However, you can restore it provided you have a valid data backup or use an effective Windows Partition Recovery utility.
To illustrate this, suppose you try to install Windows 2000 SP3 (Service Pack 3) on your Windows based hard disk. You start your computer using Windows 2000 SP3 disk and observe few partitions that actually do not exist on the hard disk. When you select any of such partitions, its options are listed at the bottom of screen in the status bar. You cannot delete these partitions as the 'Delete' option is not available.
Above behavior is only observed if either of the following conditions is true:
- You are using a brand new hard drive that has not been partitioned yet
- The partition table of the hard disk is corrupted. In such cases, Windows setup fails to retrieve correct information from the partition table
If this has not been a new partition, you need to repartition the disk using any of the below tools:
- Windows 2000 Setup boot floppy disk
- A different version (other than Windows 2000 SP3) of Windows setup disk
- Fdisk tool
After repartitioning the disk, you can try to reproduce the behavior and install Windows 2000 SP3. You need to restore lost data from available backup. If in case, you don't find it complete or valid to be used, you should a Partition Recovery tool to diagnose and recover lost disk partitions. Windows Partition Recovery software are powerful tools competent to restore lost, damaged, deleted or formatted disk partitions.
Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery is an advanced utility that provides systematic recovery of lost partitions for Windows 7 RC1, Vista, XP, 2003 and 2000 based systems. It is a safe Partition Recovery utility with rich graphical interface and powerful disk and recovery features. The application is compatible with FAT32, VFAT, NTFS and NTFS5 file systems.
Allen a student of Mass Communication doing research on partition recovery software. He is also a freelancer for http://www.partitionrecovery-software.com/window-ntfs-fat-recovery.php