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Old 08-09-2007, 11:42 AM   #1
Registered: Dec 2004
Location: Raleigh, NC
Distribution: CentOS 2.6.18-53.1.4.el5
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help fix a partition table on a usb drive.

I have a USB 2.0 external harddrive that I was moving some data from my Slackware box and something awful happened. Without going into too many details I need help getting the data off.

On a Windows box my findings include.
when I go into the properties I find:

DISK Disk 2
Type Unknown
Status unreadable
Partition style unknown
capacity 0
unallocated space 0
reserved space 0

The HD was formatted with FAT32 so I could read/write with windows and Linux. The drive is a 250 MB and had about 10 GB on it.

When I go into DISK MANAGEMENT and REMOVABLE STORAGE it does not show the drive at all.

When it's connected to my Linux box

usb 1-1: new full speed USB device using uhci_hcd and address 2
usb 1-1: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice
Initializing USB Mass Storage driver...
scsi2 : SCSI emulation for USB Mass Storage devices
usbcore: registered new driver usb-storage
USB Mass Storage support registered.
usb-storage: device found at 2
usb-storage: waiting for device to settle before scanning
Vendor: Model: Rev:
Type: Direct-Access ANSI SCSI revision: 02
sd 2:0:0:0: Attached scsi disk sda
usb-storage: device scan complete

fdisk /dev/sda

Unable to read /dev/sda

fdisk /dev/sda1

Unable to open /dev/sda1

Linux slax 2.6.16

Is there any hope of getting data off of it? Without spending hundreds+? Can the partition table be fixed without losing any more data?

Old 08-09-2007, 11:57 AM   #2
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You could probably start by reading the partition rescue how-to.. read the entire doc before attempting any data rescue..
Old 08-09-2007, 06:42 PM   #3
Registered: Dec 2004
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^ thanks, I read through that but I don't think any of it's going to help me.

I booted up with a Slax live CD with gparted and gpart wouldn't recognize the drive. Nor would fdisk -l -u.
Old 08-10-2007, 11:00 PM   #4
Registered: Mar 2004
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Can you use dd to copy the drive to a file? Then you could play around with the file all you like to see if you can get the data off it. If you can't even use dd then the drive is probably toast.

Assuming dd works then the following would be helpful:

If you can determine the offset of the partition you want to access then you should be able to mount it.

Last edited by ciotog; 08-10-2007 at 11:02 PM.
Old 08-10-2007, 11:29 PM   #5
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Registered: Aug 2007
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I don't know if I can be of any help, but something similiar happened with my usb flash disk after trying to repartition it in Linux. I think it may have been sfdisk which was finally able to write partition table info despite not being able to read a partition table - and then I had windows reformat it, since after this it could handle it better.
This is assuming you don't want to save any of the info on the disk - I have no idea what to do if you do want to save it.

Probably better if someone who knew what they were talking about were making the suggestion.


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