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How to recover SSD drive C: that shows empty

ssd failure empty windows 8

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#1 dc_2000



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Posted 04 January 2014 - 07:04 PM

I have a Samsung SSD 830 Series drive installed as drive C: on my desktop, with Windows 8 on it. (I also have Windows 8 BitLocker encryption set up for the drive.) This morning I installed Windows updates, about a dozen of them. (Unfortunately I don't remember what was in the list.) The updates screen showed that updates failed. I decided to reboot and try again...
When computer was booting, it got hung up on the boot screen.
I booted up into recovery console and switched to drive C: and ran the dir command to see what files I show on it. As a result I got 0 files and the empty space of 114,491,392 bytes:
The drive is a 256GB Samsung 830 Series SSD, that the OS, Windows 8 was installed on. It had about 56GB of free space left on it.
Ding it! Does it mean all my files are gone? Why is it showing that I have no files on it? I haven't run any recovery tools on it yet. Are there any that may recover this drive? Anything specific for Samsung SSDs? (PS. It must be available to run from a bootable USB drive.)

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#2 Kevin OBrien

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 09:09 PM

When you boot into the recovery console, does it prompt you for the bitlocker password? The mix of bitlocker will make any traditional recovery or cherry-picking of files from booting another system difficult. Do you have any backup of the data on the system?

#3 dc_2000



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Posted 04 January 2014 - 09:16 PM

When you boot into the recovery console, does it prompt you for the bitlocker password? The mix of bitlocker will make any traditional recovery or cherry-picking of files from booting another system difficult. Do you have any backup of the data on the system?

Yes, it does prompt me for the bitlocker key, which I have. As for the backup I had Windows 8 new File History backup set up that was doing it to my external HDD.




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Posted 04 January 2014 - 11:29 PM

Put your Windows 8 disc into your optical drive,

and change your BIOS to boot from that optical drive.


I know that Windows XP has at least 2 repair options.


Your version of Windows 8 may be able to

diagnose and fix the problem you are having,

but I can't give you specific Windows 8 steps

because we don't use Windows 8 in my office.



In general, you should anticipate such failures

in the future, by saving routine drive images

of your C: system partition e.g. to an external drive.


Acronis True Image Western Digital Edition is free,

provided that you have one WD drive already

connected to your system.  That version of

Acronis will allow you to burn a "Recovery Disc"

in your DVD or CD writer:





Then, if you need to (in situations like your present one),

you can always Secure Erase the entire SSD

and then restore your C: system partition.


Call this your "Worst Case Safety Net"  :)


It's also an excellent practice to limit the C: system

partition to a manageable size, e.g. 50-64 GB,

and format the rest as a dedicated data partition e.g. D: ;

this will make it much easier to make archive copies

of each drive image of C: .


Of course, all of the data in the data partition

should also be backed up on a regular basis,

to make it possible to "start over" with that SSD

and restore both the C: partition and D: (Data partition)

e.g. after a Secure Erase.



Another excellent freeware utility you should download

and install, when your OS is back up and running,

is Partition Wizard:



Try to search with Google or Bing for "repair options with Windows 8":


Google repair options with Windows 8





Edited by MRFS, 04 January 2014 - 11:30 PM.

#5 dc_2000



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Posted 05 January 2014 - 03:56 PM

Thanks, MRFS.


I do have Windows 8 recovery USB that I can boot up from, but when I try to either do system restore or use their new "Automatic Repair" my desktop simply freezes up indefinitely, and the only way to bring it back is to press and hold down the power button.


Interestingly enough (I discovered it by accident) if I plug in this SSD into my old Windows 7 desktop, when Windows 7 boots up, the chkdsk utility pops up and does some checks on this SSD, saying that it needs fixing, or something of that nature. After that I can access files on this SSD drive from Windows 7, and they seem to be intact. But if I plug it back into my Windows 8 desktop, the story above repeats again...


I'm not sure if they did away with chkdsk in Windows 8 or what, everything seems to look new and... doesn't work .... argh!




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Posted 05 January 2014 - 05:01 PM

When searching for "SAFE MODE with Windows 8",

I found this:




  • If you're using BitLocker on a tablet or Windows RT device, you'll need to suspend BitLocker before you can get to Windows Startup Settings.



If you had already saved a drive image to your data partition,

one option that comes to mind is to attach that SSD

with a USB adapter to another PC;  then, restore that

drive image to the OS partition on that SSD.


This is something which you should do in the future,

because it has the potential to restore your C: partition

to a point in the past when it was working AOK.


I've had to do this on occasion after Windows Updates failed:

in that instance, my mouse driver was corrupted by one of

the Windows Updates, so I just rolled back to a prior version

of my OS, using one of the drive images of that prior version.



Moreover, with the versions of Symantec GHOST which we

have been using, that software comes with a "bootable" disc

which will restore a drive image from your D: (Data partition)

to your C: system partition.  Just change the boot drive setting

in your BIOS, insert such a bootable disc, and follow the



Acronis True Image will also burn a bootable version of the

Acronis Recovery Disc to an optical disc.  Of course, you must have

run Acronis previously to write a "True Image Backup" file

to your data partition.





Found this too:




Booting Into Safe Mode on Windows 8

The trick is to hold the Shift button and mash the F8 key,

this will sometimes boot you into the new advanced “recovery mode”, 

where you can choose to see advanced repair options.

Edited by MRFS, 05 January 2014 - 05:09 PM.

#7 dc_2000



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Posted 07 January 2014 - 07:27 PM

Thanks, MRFS again. I managed to find an old image for my drive C: so I got my system back.


So after what I had to go through, I'm curious, what is the point of keeping Windows updates on? I don't really receive emails or do a lot of web browsing on that desktop anyway. They just mess things up.


Also what software do you recommend to do local backups? System drive image + incremental file backups?


I'm currently using Windows 8 File History on one external HDD. And also Backup And Restore from Windows 7 on another external HDD, but it seems like the second one will be phased out by Microsoft. Somehow the File History didn't want to run when Backup And Restore was on, so I had to set up File History first and then set up Backup And Restore. Only then they would run together.




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Posted 07 January 2014 - 11:21 PM

>  what is the point of keeping Windows updates on?


We don't:  we disable it and only run it manually a day or so

after "Update Tuesday" (second Tuesday in the month).


Then, only if those Updates are stable, we do at least

one drive image of C: -- to archive a working OS

with the latest Updates installed.



>  Also what software do you recommend to do local backups? System drive image + incremental file backups?


Acronis seems to be the software preferred by Western Digital:

see their "Acronis True Image Western Digital Edition".


We've used it on and off, but I believe you'll need

to buy the retail version if you want to burn a

Recovery Disc which has RAID drivers.


The freeware from Western Digital will burn a Recovery Disc,

but that task did NOT save third-party RAID drivers;  so,

when I tested it, it only saw SATA devices wired to the

motherboard's SATA ports;  it did NOT see the 2 WDC drives

we have wired to a Highpoint RocketRAID 620.

#9 dc_2000



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Posted 09 January 2014 - 01:05 PM

@MRFS: Just from the curiosity, how do you pick out "stable updates"?


PS. It's a shame that Microsoft can't come up with a reliable way to backup their OS.

#10 MRFS



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Posted 09 January 2014 - 02:20 PM

>  Just from the curiosity, how do you pick out "stable updates"?


( a ) with XP, by using the "Custom" option (NOT "Express"),

permit all the selected Windows Updates to finish;

and, rather than re-booting,

there is an option to return to the

Windows Update main page: 


the results of those Updates should

be summarized on that page;  and,

if all were successful, the number of

successful Updates should show there,

and the number of "bad" updates

should show as zero ("0");


(these procedures may be very different for

other versions of Windows e.g. Windows 7)



( b ) watch very closely what happens during the first STARTUP

after Windows Updates have been downloaded and installed;

you should already be familiar with the normal behavior

of your OS during STARTUP, and thus you should be able

to confirm that something is not right e.g. new error messages,

and other abnormalities like that;



( c ) then we just use our workstations normally,

to confirm whether or not our frequently used programs

continue to behave normally, or not;



( d ) quite often, Updates are made to software modules

that you never use, so they shouldn't really matter to you

as long as you never use those modules.



Also, as a general rule, the "Custom" option is highly recommended

chiefly because there may be Updates which you know from experience

are not needed, not necessary, or just not worth the trouble

e.g. adding a Bing query window to your browsers (cosmetic stuff like that);


There is a way to prevent those Updates from being downloaded

in the first place:  in Windows XP, there is a drop-down menu

for each Update which allows you to DE-select it.


I haven't explored these options in my copy of Windows 7, however,

so I don't really know for sure if the same or similar functionality is also

true of Windows 7 versions.



p.s.  I have no experience whatsoever with Windows 8, either.

Edited by MRFS, 09 January 2014 - 02:22 PM.

#11 lindalee



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Posted 10 January 2014 - 10:00 PM

To recover the data lost due to system re-install, you can a data recovery software to help you. There are many such free wares on the Internet, just to download one and have a try. But you have to remember that before you recover all your lost files, you'd better not use your hard drive anymore, because it is very easy to overwritten the lost files. Besides, if you also have lost some important word documents, you can try this office recovery software, I have used it for years and it can help you restore all the lost word, excle, ppt files. Here is a guide for you: Recover deleted Word Files.

#12 dc_2000



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Posted 11 January 2014 - 05:25 PM

@MRFS: Thanks again. On the off topic, is there a way to remove a Windows update from the list? I know that I can uncheck it but it never goes away, and if I try to install it, it gives me an error, which I tried to solve but failed.

#13 MRFS



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Posted 11 January 2014 - 06:43 PM

See if this helps:



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