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Old 07-26-2006, 01:21 PM   #1
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Registered: Jul 2006
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how to recover partition table

Hello everyone,
In an old DELL machine running SUSE10 I wanted to read-only my files in an older hard-disk with WIN95 installed. I installed the old drive
as a slave and booted. I did not know how to
mount it so I got the *brilliant* idea:
fdisk /dev/hdb
fdisk warned hdb1 already existed and to delete
it first. As this is my practice machine i was
not careful and typed w ...

of course that was not *enough practice*
so i did
mkfs -t ext3 /dev/hdb1
Naturally I can only see the the linux partition in hdb
gpart reports 4 partitions
1 ext2 linux
3 unused

Is there a way to recover the WIN partition table or just the files in it?
Please help anyone?
Old 07-26-2006, 01:42 PM   #2
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Location: San Jose, CA
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If you hadn't done the mkfs, I could've almost guaranteed success. Now, It's chancy. In any case, check out 'testdisk'. It's saved me from corrupted or damaged partition tables dozens of times.
Old 07-26-2006, 02:08 PM   #3
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Registered: Jul 2006
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testdisk reported 2 partitions type FAT32, creator linux;
complained about #of heads and other things i have no hope of
understanding... it proposed a table which i chose to write
(did not seem i had much more to lose...). Now testdisk
reports 2 ext linux partitions.
before testdisk i tried r-studio emergency demo and it
reported finding thousands of files but i have no windows formated
disk to write the files.
anything else i could try?
Old 07-26-2006, 02:13 PM   #4
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Registered: Nov 2004
Distribution: Debian, Ubuntu, LinuxMint, Slackware, SysrescueCD, Raspbian, Arch
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I did not know how to
mount it so I got the *brilliant* idea:
fdisk /dev/hdb
That's a very interesting variation on the "mount" command! Not one I would have tried myself. Many people think they've destroyed things after running this command, but in fact it can be recovereable if you don't panic and do something worse.
of course that was not *enough practice*
so i did
mkfs -t ext3 /dev/hdb1
Whoopsie ... you paniced!

I just have to ask ... why did you think repartitioning and reformatting your disk would help read the (previously) existing contents? I can't offer any help to get you out of your current troubles. I doubt recovery will be possible. If it is, it won't be easy or complete. I would recommend that the next time you are faced with something you don't know or understand, walk away from the computer for a while and think about things before jumping in. Ask for help before proceding. I don't mean to sound harsh, but what you did is akin to trying to fix a flat tire on your car by driving the thing off a cliff. Terribly destructive, and doesn't help the original flat tire situation in the slightest.


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