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Thread: Bad MBR and lost partion

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Beans
    5

    Bad MBR and lost partion

    Okay.
    I had a dual boot system with Win7 and Ubuntu 11.10 but I felt that it had slowed down a lot. So, I decided to install fresh copies of Win7 and 12.04 LTS. So I removed the Ubuntu partitions and formatted Windows and reinstalled it. Windows worked like a charm so I went ahead and created a partition for Ubuntu. Using a live USB I booted into Ubuntu and selected custom partitions....

    I selected the 36 GB partition which I had created for installing Ubuntu and continued but it then asked for a swap space (I have heard it doesn't really matter, but I still wanted to create one) so I selected my E drive (which ONLY has work data, movies, games etc) and thought I could chip off 2GB for swap from it. Now here's where I went wrong. I selected the size of the new partition to be 2GB less than its actual size and selected do nothing in the what do you want to do with the partition option.

    To my horror, it wiped off the partition and showed it to bee 100% free !!!

    I closed the installation and booted into Windows to see that the E drive wasn't there
    and the disk management showed it as an empty partition (100% free).

    So I looked up on the internet and downloaded testdisk and tried to follow these instructions (although they aren't exactly about my problem)

    http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk_Step_By_Step

    I found that my partition was still there with all the files. So a put a L (logical) infront of the partition and ran write. Reboot.

    Windows failed to boot...some error about Intel.

    Tried to run bootrec /fixboot but it didn;t recognize any installation of Windows so it didn't work.

    Now, all I have is a live USB with 12.04 on it and the internet. I ran fdisk and this is the output :

    Disk /dev/sda: 500.1 GB, 500107862016 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 60801 cylinders, total 976773168 sectors
    Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0xf37b1052

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sda1 63 80324 40131 6 FAT16
    /dev/sda2 81920 66484223 33201152 83 Linux
    /dev/sda3 66486272 189364223 61438976 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
    /dev/sda4 189364224 976773119 393704448 f W95 Ext'd (LBA)
    /dev/sda5 189366272 976769023 393701376 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT

    Disk /dev/sdb: 3951 MB, 3951034368 bytes
    122 heads, 62 sectors/track, 1020 cylinders, total 7716864 sectors
    Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x20ac7dda

    This doesn't look like a partition table
    Probably you selected the wrong device.

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sdb1 ? 3224498923 3657370039 216435558+ 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
    /dev/sdb2 ? 3272020941 930513678 976730017 16 Hidden FAT16
    /dev/sdb3 ? 0 0 0 6f Unknown
    /dev/sdb4 50200576 974536369 462167897 0 Empty

    Partition table entries are not in disk order

    Also, I can't install testdisk for some reason :

    ubuntu@ubuntu:/$ sudo apt-get install testdisk
    Reading package lists... Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information... Done
    E: Unable to locate package testdisk

    Can someone help ?? I don't care about Windows cause it was fresh and on a separate drive. But I really, really need the E drive back. I am on a laptop, if that helps.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Segur De Calafell, Spain
    Beans
    11,660
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Bad MBR and lost partion

    I would recommend to stop calling the partition E: once you start dealing with linux tools. It only creates confusion and we have no way of knowing what you refer as E: to.

    So, which partition is it that you want to save, the sda2? sda3?

    Where is your win7 system partition, and where is the data partition?
    Darko.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ubuntu 12.04 LTS 64bit & Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Beans
    5

    Re: Bad MBR and lost partion

    sda4 and sda5 look the same and thats my main data partiton and sda3 is Windows.

    One of the sda4/sda5 is the maybe the swap (2000 MB) and the rest is the data partiton.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Segur De Calafell, Spain
    Beans
    11,660
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Bad MBR and lost partion

    OK, first of all, don't boot from your hdd, not even windows.

    So, from live mode if you try to open sda5, what happens? It looks like the partition was restored correctly by testdisk, it's reported as ntfs partition.
    Darko.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ubuntu 12.04 LTS 64bit & Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Beans
    5

    Re: Bad MBR and lost partion

    Okay so I just booted from the live disk and went into the file explorer, and my sda5 (E) is there in the home folder under devices, with ALL the files !

    So, I'm really nervous about what to do next as I don't want to revert this.

    When I open sda3 (windows) it shows all the windows directories.

    sda2 (the partition where I wanted to install Ubuntu only has a lost+found folder which I can't open.
    Last edited by vinayak11118; May 26th, 2012 at 04:13 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Segur De Calafell, Spain
    Beans
    11,660
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Bad MBR and lost partion

    I hope you mean you just opened it from the menu on the left, like a partition. Not that it's INSIDE your Home folder. It shouldn't be inside the Home folder, there is no way.

    OK, looks like it was restored fine. It won't go away.

    Open Gparted and put a boot flag on sda3. Windows can't boot without it, especially if you restored the windows bootloader to the MBR.

    After that restart and check if win7 will boot directly. But even if it doesn't, no problem.
    Darko.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ubuntu 12.04 LTS 64bit & Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

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