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-   -   Using Linux to recover data on a damaged Windows partition? (

Korff 12-29-2003 08:18 AM

Using Linux to recover data on a damaged Windows partition?
Ok, my dad was on this machine, which I have set up as a dual boot with RH9/Windows, and he said it froze.

After rebooting, we couldn't boot into windows, it just hung after the chainloader (grub) told it to.

Checked my Win disks and fdisk/diskpart couldn't recognize the windows partition as a fat32.

Went into Linux and mounted it as I have done dozens of times, and I couldn't open it. Message said I had the wrong fs type, bad superblock, or too many mounted file systems.

Used win setup disk recovery console, took grub out of the picture by doing a fixmbr. Hung on startup again, this time with ascii symbols all over the screen.

Booted back into linux via boot disk. A simple Windows freeze won't delete a hard drive. I think it just killed the partition info. While the data isn't crucial, I'd rather access it through Linux and burn it on to a CD-R than reformat the partition and start again from scratch.

peter_robb 12-29-2003 10:24 AM

Here's something I have noticed with partitions,
somtimes I hate it and sometimes it's quite usefull... YMMV...

If I delete a partition under Linux, eg a FAT32 partition, I expect all the warnings to be correct...
All the data should be lost... but...
if, under Linux, I add a FAT32 partition where the old one was, my data is still there...
I actually have to force a different format to destroy it...

Try it to see if you can restore the partition boundaries.
I can only guess something chewed the tables, and knowing what Win machines love to be attacked by, you may have to clean it before using it again. :)

Korff 12-29-2003 10:48 AM

How would I do this through Linux?

The only partitioning I have done has either been through Windows tools such as fdisk and diskpart or through graphical setup tools such as disk druid or disk drake.

Fortunately, the damaged fat32 partition in question was at the beginning of the drive (/dev/hda1). Size, according to diskpart, is 25604MB

peter_robb 12-29-2003 11:10 AM


peter_robb 12-29-2003 11:18 AM

From a command line do fdisk /dev/hda
then p to print the table. Make sure partition 1 is FAT32
d to delete a partition, 1 for partition 1 then confirm,
w to write the table and exit
fdisk /dev/hda
p to print the table
n for a new partition, primary, number 1
accept the default start and end sectors..
t to select a type, partition 1
c for FAT32 LBA
a to make it active, bootable
w to write and exit

Also run the bootloader again to make sure it is working ok,
I personally use lilo on the MBR

and reboot, legs crossed etc... :)

wldkos 12-29-2003 11:35 AM

You can also use knoppix or any live evaluation cd and mount windows to your /home/knoppix directory. I find knoppix to be amazing for disc and data recovery.

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