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Old 06-10-2006, 10:25 AM   #1
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Registered: Jun 2006
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After installing Fedora 5, NTFS partition on drive is unrecognizable

Hello Everyone,

I have been struggling for the past 10 hours or so on this problem.

I have 2 hard drives (sata). The first hard drive has 1 partition and has Windows XP home. The second drive had information, music, movies, etc. With PartitionMagic, I partitioned the second hard drive setting aside 50GB at the beginning of the drive for Fedora 5. The 2nd hard drive's NTFS partition still worked at this point, I was able to access all data through Windows XP, etc.

I then installed Fedora 5 64-bit from iso on a DVD. I installed it to the 50GB Linux partition and added the GRUB boot loader to my sda MBR.

Not only do I not get any boot loader screen and I get directly booted into Windows XP, but my 2nd hard drive's NTFS partition is now un-recognized. I ran partition magic again to see what was up and it says the NTFS partition is not recognized, it is a "Type 17"

I really really need the information on that partition. I don't think it is destroyed, but I think something happened with the MBR from the Linux install. I doubt linux would have touched the data, but the whole thing is simply not recognized as NTFS or anything!

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE HELP ME! I'm at my wits end reading everything I can find on this topic. Also, please any linux info, I am a newbie, so please sugar-coat

Thank you all,
Old 06-10-2006, 10:58 AM   #2
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Here's what you do:

boot from a live CD, like helix:

once you boot helix:

open a terminal:

dcfldd if=/dev/sdb count=1 of=/helix/MBR.bin

Open /helix/MBR.bin in a hex editor, like khexedit. Make sure there are 2 columns of 8 bytes showing. A byte is 2 alphanumeric characters in a hex editor. Byte offset 000001c2, 1d2, 1e2, 1f2, contain partition type numbers. There are four places for partition type numbers. NTFS is type 07, not 17. So, change the one that says 17, probably 1c2, and make it 07. Save MBR.bin, and do:

dd if=/helix/MBR.bin of=/dev/sdb

and it should be ok.
Old 06-10-2006, 12:00 PM   #3
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Hi AwesomeMachine,

I have not yet tried your method, i just downloaded and burned the ISO of Helix, but i'm waiting for EasyRocovery Pro to finish sifting through . I was thinking this would be a more fail-safe way to get the files from the partition, but I will try your method after EasyRecovery.

One question though, It looks like Helix is a GUI and runs under windows as well as being able to boot. Should I truely boot from the CD, or can I run it under windows? Not sure what you meant there. Also, how do I open a terminal window once I get to Helix?

In the listing of the hard drives, I will simply look for whatever one says 17 and change it to 07, but will that really fix all the issues? All i need is for the NTFS partition to be back and I am going to get rid of the Linux partition alltogether and install Linux on an external USB hard drive to play around with. Does that sound like a good plan to you??

Also, will changing the MBR mess up the Windows XP loading or OS at all?

Thank you!!!
Old 06-10-2006, 01:32 PM   #4
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Ok, when i tried Helix and did dcfldd if=/dev/sdb count=1 of=/helix/MBR.bin it said that /helix didn't exist or something of that nature...

I'm really uber-new to the whole thing, so Please let me know where to go from here.

Thank you,
Old 06-11-2006, 12:02 AM   #5
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Location: Texas
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The first thing I notice about your setup is that if your second drive is truly a second drive, by that I mean that your bios recognizes it as a slave rather than a master you are going to have to change the boot order of your drives in the bios of your motherboard. Once you do that it should boot from the second drive and you will get the boot screen. Once you are in you can grab a copy of the latest ntfs module for your kernel which will give you read access to your NTFS drive. At this point you can copy all of the files over and use something like xcdroast to burn your files to a cd (this may not be feasible as I don't know how much data you have stored).

Second, yes if you messed with the MBR, which you did by installing the boot loader to it, then tools like PM and Windows will not recognize the partition size/type due to the fact that they use the MBR to figure it out. If you have a boot disk available with fdisk on it you can use that with the command fdisk /MBR which is supposed to recover the original boot record. I'm not sure of the details on this as I've never done it myself but I've heard it works. Whatever you do, DO NOT touch the MBR on the Windows disk, Windows will become unbootable and will cause more problems.

Unless you are installing linux on its own drive do not allow it to touch the MBR. Installing to an external usb drive is a good idea, I've recently done it but it doesn't come without it's issues as well, case in point: You will not be able be able to install the boot loader on the MBR. Now let me explain this. Linux does not load usb storage support automatically. If you install the boot loader to the MBR you will get the loading screen but after this point when it goes to won't because it hasn't yet loaded the usb storage driver. This creates a sticky situation but it can be overcome by installing the boot loader to the hard drive. Install linux with the command linux expert. After installation is complete, pop in the FD recovery disk. After going through the screens given go to the /boot dir. ls this dir and makes sure there are files present such as grub. If not then you will have to mount it manually (if you run into this problem post and I will go into detail on this). Once in the boot dir issue the following command:

mkinitrd --preload=ehci-hcd --preload=usb-storage --preload=scsi_mod --preload=sd_mod /boot/[initrdname]-usb.img [kernel-no., as per the kernel you're loading, e.g. 2.6.12-...FC4]

this will build a new image which loads the usb storage driver. Now edit grub.conf to point to this new image and voila, it should work for you.

I just unloaded a lot of obscure information on you. If you have any question or run into any problems feel free to post and I can go into more detail for you.


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