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Thread: Need help recovering Windows

  1. #11
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    Re: Need help recovering Windows

    Do let us know if anything has changed Triblaze.

    Thanks for jumping in oldfred. I'll work on learning more on these dang dynamic partitions.
    Jim
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  2. #12
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    Re: Need help recovering Windows

    Ok, I know almost nothing about partitions and dynamic drives and stuff, before I jump in, do you mind explaining it simply and straightforward? I assume I can download partition wizard 4.2 for Ubuntu (it wasn't on the software center, but I'll check online next obviously), then I assume it'll open up and let me edit partitions, and there will be some button that says "convert from dynamic to basic", or something like that. That it? I'm hoping it's that simple, I don't want to jump into this and realize it'll take more knowledge/work than I can understand.

    Apparently Partition Wizard is only for Windows, and seeing as I can't boot into Windows, I think I need a Ubuntu partitioner that can convert dynamic to basic.
    Last edited by Triblaze; September 17th, 2011 at 07:41 PM.
    I am what I am because of who we all are

  3. #13
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    Re: Need help recovering Windows

    Quote Originally Posted by Triblaze View Post
    Ok, I know almost nothing about partitions and dynamic drives and stuff, before I jump in, do you mind explaining it simply and straightforward? I assume I can download partition wizard 4.2 for Ubuntu (it wasn't on the software center, but I'll check online next obviously), then I assume it'll open up and let me edit partitions, and there will be some button that says "convert from dynamic to basic", or something like that. That it? I'm hoping it's that simple, I don't want to jump into this and realize it'll take more knowledge/work than I can understand.
    Partition Wizard is a Windows program, not a Linux program, so you'll need to be able to boot Windows to use it. Unless I've missed something, you can't currently boot Windows, so that creates a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem.

    If you've got files you want to recover, it looks like you may be able to get at them by mounting /dev/sda2 and/or /dev/sda3 -- but be very careful and don't write to the partitions; Windows' dynamic disks might not work the way the simple /dev/sda2 and /dev/sda3 partition assignments assume. If there are deviations, the filesystems will appear to be damaged to Linux, which will make some (perhaps even all) of the files inaccessible, and writing to the filesystem will damage it from Windows' perspective.

    Beyond that, the simplest approach to getting Windows to boot is probably to re-install it; however, you should exercise extreme caution, especially if you delete /dev/sda1, /dev/sda2, and /dev/sda3, since the Windows installer is known to delete logical partitions in some cases if there are empty primary partition slots available. Thus, you might want to use Linux's fdisk to change those partitions' type codes to 0x07 (NTFS), use mkntfs to create new NTFS filesystems on them, and then re-install Windows. Before you do any of this, though, back up your important Linux data to an external medium, just in case the Windows installation goes badly south. Also, type "sudo sfdisk -d /dev/sda > parts.txt" and save the resulting parts.txt file on an external medium. This is a backup of your partition table, so you'll be able to easily restore it in case the partition table is damaged.

    You mentioned that you didn't have any installation media from your computer's vendor. There are several ways to get around this problem:


    • Contact the computer manufacturer to get media. Be aware, however, that they may ship you restore media, which restores the disk to its original from-the-factory state, rather than an installation disc, which you can use to install normally. Restore discs will wipe out your Linux installation. The manufacturer may also charge you money for whatever they send you.
    • This site offers what is described as Microsoft-approved downloads of Windows 7 installation discs. Note that you'll need a valid license number (probably printed on a sticker on your computer) for this to be legal. Be sure to download the version your computer originally used; your license won't be good for the other versions.
    • You can buy a copy in a retail store. That'll set you back a lot of money, though. It might not be unreasonable if you wanted to upgrade, though.
    • You can try the Windows 8 Developer Preview instead of Windows 7. This is a free download from Microsoft, but it's alpha-quality software, so IMHO it's only worth trying for occasional non-critical use. I've not yet done much with it, but so far it's been unreliable for me, and the new user interface is the worst idea Microsoft has had in at least a decade, IMHO.
    If I've suggested a solution to a problem and you're not the original poster, do not try my solution! Problems can seem similar but be different, and a good solution to one problem can make another worse. Post a new thread with your problem details.

  4. #14
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    Re: Need help recovering Windows

    Partition Magic has a bootable version on the linked page. That still is the best choice I think. But the real issue is how Windows converts with only a simple warning that most users do not understand.

    Some have used Linux tools to convert, I think those are more risky as they just convert back. Windows does require NTFS signatures in the partitions, so if partition is not at correct start or end then it can have big issues.

    Users have done this:
    Post 96 using sfdisk - must have only 4 partitions
    http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials...c-disk-10.html
    Used testdisk but see caveats in Post#7:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1669418
    Also used testdisk
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1675420

    Another windows tool:
    Used EASEUS Partition Master
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1692248
    For info on UEFI boot install & repair:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to close thread when/if answered completely.







  5. #15
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    Re: Need help recovering Windows

    Here's a guy that blogged about using Testdisk that is available in the software center to convert. http://mypkb.wordpress.com/2007/03/2...o-basic-disks/
    This includes screenshots of doing it.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Jim
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    Precise, Fedora, Kororaa, Bodhi

  6. #16
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    Re: Need help recovering Windows

    I've heard of TestDisk working for this; however, my concern is that, as I understand it, LDM/dynamic disks support non-contiguous filesystems, similar to Linux's LVM. If the filesystems have been rendered non-contiguous, TestDisk won't be able to recover the filesystems into standard partitions. I have no idea of how to check for this condition, so I can't provide advice on how to do it safely.

    If the bootable Partition Wizard does the job, then it's probably the safest way to recover the existing Windows system. If not, then I suppose trying with TestDisk, or just changing the type codes on the existing partitions and running the Windows recovery tools, may be worth a try. In a worst-case scenario, it'll just trash the partitions. This would make re-installation necessary, but that would be the next option anyhow.
    If I've suggested a solution to a problem and you're not the original poster, do not try my solution! Problems can seem similar but be different, and a good solution to one problem can make another worse. Post a new thread with your problem details.

  7. #17
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    Re: Need help recovering Windows

    Sorry I was gone, back now, reading the proposed solutions, I think using partition wizard will be my best bet. I'll test that out now.


    Oldfred, you said it's in the link, but there are a lot of links and there were several versions of partition wizard, do you mind providing the exact link to the download that'd work best for me on Ubuntu?

    And once I have that, which partition do I use it on? The 196GB NTFS one, I assume? Do I have to use it on any other ones that contain information for windows?
    Last edited by Triblaze; September 18th, 2011 at 01:32 AM.
    I am what I am because of who we all are

  8. #18
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    Re: Need help recovering Windows

    Bump, still not sure exactly which one or version that I can boot on Ubuntu. And when you say it's bootable, do you mean I can download and boot it, or will it just boot automatically or something?

    And still just wondering which I'd need to convert, just sda2 and sda3?
    I am what I am because of who we all are

  9. #19
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    Re: Need help recovering Windows

    I just scrolled down on the downloads page and it said they had a bootable verison. It is not for Ubuntu, but is a liveCD of its own. Not sure what it boots with.

    Free Download Bootable CD Now!


    http://www.partitionwizard.com/download.html
    For info on UEFI boot install & repair:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to close thread when/if answered completely.







  10. #20
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    Re: Need help recovering Windows

    Okay, got the iso and I'm gonna burn it to a cd now, I'll post the results of it.

    And just checking again, which partitions? Everything in dynamic form?
    Last edited by Triblaze; September 18th, 2011 at 06:30 PM.
    I am what I am because of who we all are

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