ShagOS is not the partition type

Filed Under Geek on 2008-05-29, 21:29

Once upon a time, many many years ago Ed bought a motherboard that didn’t support large harddrives. Apparently Ed installed some software called Dynamic Drive Overlay to get around this and was able to drop several 2-300gb drives in the machine. Now that it is finally time to move to a new machine that does support large harddrives in the BIOS, I really regret that decision oh so long ago.

See the thing is that Dynamic Drive Overlay fakes things via software so the entire drive is accessible. This trickery however requires that the DDO is installed, and apparently writes some nasty stuff to the MBR. After several hours of battling with the installation of Windows consistently failing, I realized this. I was getting odd error messages like:
“Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
\system32\hal.dll. Please re-install a copy of the above file.”

Turns out there’s not really a way to “uninstall” the DDO, so I ended up formatting the entire drive by writing zeros to it using Seagate’s SeaTools. That was great, I didn’t have any data on there anyways, so I was up and running in no time. Then it came time to drop one of the 300gig drives in the machine.

This 300gb drive (a Maxtor) shows up in the Disk Management in Windows, but is an “Unknown” but Healthy partition. Further exploration with various disk tools reveal that this drive thinks it is formatted in the ShagOS partition type. I had never heard of ShagOS before, but turns out it’s an operating system that was in the works over 10 years ago. Needless to say, I had never formatted this drive as a ShagOS partition.

So I’m stuck now, and hoping that maybe someone on the internet has some answers/suggestions/etc. I’m assuming at this point that it is in fact the DDO that’s causing the trouble, but it is entirely possible that it’s something else. This drive was working with zero problems in the old machine, and has never been recognized in the new one. I thought I might be able to use GetDataBack for NTFS to recover the data as the drive is really supposed to be NTFS. But GetDataBack doesn’t recognize it as an NTFS partition, so no go there. *sigh* I’m hoping that someone out there may have run into a similar problem in the past and has suggestions.

UPDATE: Well, in a bit of an embarrassing discovery, it turns out the harddrive in question had gotten swapped with another harddrive that I had attempted to use as a Time Machine backup drive. Setting up Time Machine had failed miserably, but had succeeded in formatting the drive in a weird way.