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I tried to install Linare yesterday. When I got to the partitioning part, I got some kind of error message, don't remember exactly what it said, something about the partition table not being read correctly?, anyway I clicked on cancel and the next thing I know all my partitions are gone. I know they're still in there, 'cause I haven't overwritten them yet, but is there any way I can recover the table so I can get my windows partition back at least?
Tried the FIXMBR command, it says that my computer has a non-standard or invalid mbr, I answer yes to write new mbr and it says that the mbr was successfully written, but when I restart it still doesn't show any partitions. Any other ideas?
I'm assuming you don't want to lose your information by reinstalling. Well, this can be tricky. I am also assuming this machine has linux on it somewhere (might be a bad assumption but it is my current one).
If you have exactly the same install disk (for linux) it is possible to run it again... punch in exactly the same requirements at the disk partitioning part... and write it before aborting the install. This may not be possible with your specific distro but I've seen it done before. All you need to do is write the proper information there and you can get at the disks again.
If your distro doesn't allow that. There are manual ways to try and hunt up the information. None of which are going to be fun but if you can't afford to lose the data it is your best bet.
There is an adage concerning new Unix installations. Print out your install changes as you make them. Basically, as soon as you have the system installed print out all the system specific configuration files (and the partition information to complement /etc/fstab) and put it in a binder right next to the computer. The printouts should contain all the information needed for a person who never saw the original setup to duplicate it. If you had this, we would have a hard copy of the information needed to replicate the partition table. Annoying but easy to fix with a recovery disk. I know it doesn't do a lot of good right now -- but consider it in the future.
I did have Mandrake 10.1 on one partition. Unfortunately, Mandrake doesn't support creating NTFS partitions, so that wont work. Could I try to use my Windows XP CD and create the NTFS partitions from there?
By the way I found a program called Partition Table Doctor (among quite a few other DOS programs) that finds my partitions but doesn't write them to the disk (demo version). Is there a linux program similar to it? If not I may have to buy Partition Table Doctor or something similar, I figure with so many windows and DOS programs out there doing basically the same thing some linux programmer must have written one by now.
Sorry JZL240I-U, somehow I had overlooked your post earlier. Anyway I tried the program you suggested and it hangs somewhere in the booting process. The line says "hde: host protected area => 1", so I tried re-creating my NTFS partitions using DISK PART on Windows XP CD without formatting them but no luck there so I'll just reformat and be done with it.
Thanks for all your replies, next time I'll keep better notes of what I'm doing and not just ASSUME everything will go smoothly.
FIXMBR repairs the Master Boot Record. This is not the partition table.
Mmmm - the first sector of the primary disk is considered to be the MBR. The first 446 (decimal) bytes of this sector may (should) contain executable code, followed by 4 16 byte partition descriptors, followed by a 2 byte marker.
So the MBR actually DOES contain the partition table.
Code that updates the executable code area is aware of this, and avoids contact with it.
Doesn't help our problem - maybe try gpart, but it's limited to ext2 (ext3 ???), and only non-extended partitions I think.
A tutorial on partition recovery exists at tldp
Distribution: openSuSE 13.2 / 12.3_64-KDE, Ubuntu 14.04, Mint 17
Well, I thought the code for the extended partitions is in the beginning of the partitions themselves and the code you mentioned just points there -- in case they are extended partitions. Ah, well, that doesn't help him either.