Can't acess Partitions

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Thread Starter
Apr 28, 2007
O/S - windows 7 ultimate
Hard disk - 500gb Seagate
Hard disk partitioning

c- 50gb
e -156gb
free space -100gb

I was able to access all of my partitions an hour ago

then i thought of using hirens boot cd to create an extra partiton

i used some tool[ may be partition magic or some thing] on hirens boot cd

when i started that tool from boot cd it scanned my hard disk and gave me 3 partition table errors, it gave me option to fix them so i fixed them

then after i postponed my task of creating partitions and restarted windows

after restarting i could not see my partitions D and E

but i can see them in disk management section

the data is not lost and the partitions are still their i can view files and access files when i booted from a live linux cd

help me in fixing this problem

i am attaching two screen-shots of my computer and disk management

thanks in advance


Oct 3, 2007
Try the "change drive letter and paths", see if you can assign a drive letter to them.



Thread Starter
Apr 28, 2007
Try the "change drive letter and paths", see if you can assign a drive letter to them.

i got the fallowing error when i clicked on change drive letters

i refreshed the windows and even restarted windows but still get the same error
Oct 3, 2007
I am not sure what to suggest, looks like that hirens boot cd made some changes to those partitions, who knows what it did.

Messing with partitions is risky business.

Others have suggested using TestDisk to sort out partition problems, not very easy to use, you must do lots of reading before you do.

Aug 7, 2007
You already had 4 primary partitions, you can't add a 5th.
You could add the unallocated space to E:, or you would need to delete the E: partition, then create an extended partition, then you can create multiple logical drives.

Vista and Win 7 create partitions a bit differently. For one thing, they leave empty sectors at the start of the drive so that the partitions are aligned on a more efficient boundary than previous versions of Windows; usually the first 2048 sectors are skipped. (This was probably the "errors" that were reported).
Older partitioning tools get confused by that and try to create a 1 MB partition in that space.
Windows won't display it, but it will play havoc with accessing anything but the original first 2 partitions, the 100 MB System Reserved partition, which has all the files used to boot the system, and the Boot partition, which has the OS files (C:).

Test disk is your best bet, but does take some research to understand what it's showing. It might show that you have 7 or more partitions, all deleted. Knowing which ones are the valid ones you need to keep is the trick.

Let's see what TestDisk can show us.
Download TestDisk from here:
Take a look through the tutorials here to get an idea of using the program, it's really fairly simple:

If you can get these three screen shots:

  1. the list of disks
  2. the partitions before you hit QuickSearch
  3. the results of the Quick Search
Capture those screen shots and post them, but don't write anything to disk yet.
How to Post a Screenshot
Jun 20, 2002
You might try booting to your Linux LiveCD and opening the provided partitioning tool. Then check to see if those partitions have been flagged as "hidden" by your BootCD program. That would explain why Linux can "see" them while Windows can't deal with them.

And TheOutcaste is right, With 4 primary partitions already on the disk, you're not going to be able to do anything other than expanding your E drive to include the unallocated space. As was already said, another alternative would be to backup all files from your E drive, then delete it, create an extended partition with the resultant 256G of unallocated space, then within that extended partition you can create one or more "logical" partitions.

BTW, I do all my partitioning operations with the included tool on a Live LinuxCD. I've never had a problem doing it that way.


Feb 23, 2010
Windows Disk management is very safe to do the partition business.
Atleast I think so.
Sorry to interrupt,
My friend has 8 partition on his laptop
Jun 11, 2004
I am with TheOutcaste on the diagnostics as I am also one who has found Win7 does not use up all the space within a partition traditional starts and ends exactly at the boundary of an exact cylinder.

If one Googles the hard disk problems one can also find a large number of them were creations of getting one partitioning software to work on the partitions created by an another software. Partition Magic is called Partition Tragic by many users. It does seem to me the partition tools, as used by OP, either are products older than Win7 or do not understand Win7 and have changed the partition boundaries to eliminate the space, thereby causing them to be unreadable by Win7.

All hard disks can have a maximum of 4 primaries. If more partitions are needed one primary must be given up to form an extended partition. Inside an extended partition one can have as many logical partitions as one wishes. I have written a thread showing an Xp booting from the 130th partition. Linux can be asked to create 130 partitions in a hard disk but a MS Windows can only mount the number of drives (or partitions) according to the number of alphabets.

Unless the OP knows the original partition table it may be difficult to repair the partition boundary.

To demonstrate this unused space by Win7 I attached an example below. I have Win7-32bit in partition sda6 and Win7-64 bit in sda7. The "fdisk -l" command in a Linux terminal reports everything is healthy and nothing unusual, with two Win7 partitions marked in red.
Disk /dev/sda: 1000.2 GB, 1000203804160 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 121601 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xc100c100

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1   *           1        6079    48828512    7  HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda2           12159       18237    48829567+  83  Linux
/dev/sda3           18238      120499   821419515    5  Extended
/dev/sda4            6079       12158    48830591+   7  HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda5           18238       18359      979933+  82  Linux swap / Solaris
[COLOR="Red"]/dev/sda6           18360       24438    48828512    7  HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda7           24439       30517    48828512    7  HPFS/NTFS[/COLOR]
/dev/sda8           30517       31733     9767488+  17  Hidden HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda9           36597       42675    48829536   83  Linux
/dev/sda10          42676       45107    19535008+  83  Linux
/dev/sda11          45108       47539    19535008+  83  Linux
/dev/sda12          47540       49971    19535008+  83  Linux
/dev/sda13          49972       52403    19535008+  83  Linux
/dev/sda14          52404       54835    19535008+  83  Linux
/dev/sda15          54836       57267    19535008+  83  Linux
/dev/sda16          57268       59699    19535008+  83  Linux
/dev/sda17          59700       62131    19535008+  83  Linux
/dev/sda18          62132       64563    19535008+  83  Linux
/dev/sda19          64564       66995    19535008+  83  Linux
/dev/sda20          66996       69427    19535008+  83  Linux
/dev/sda21          69428       71251    14651248+  83  Linux
/dev/sda22          71252       73075    14651248+  83  Linux
/dev/sda23          73076       74899    14651248+  83  Linux
/dev/sda24          74900       76723    14651248+  83  Linux
/dev/sda25          76724       78547    14651248+  83  Linux
/dev/sda26          78548       80371    14651248+  83  Linux
/dev/sda27          80372       82195    14651248+  83  Linux
/dev/sda28          82196       84019    14651248+  83  Linux
/dev/sda29          84020       85843    14651248+  83  Linux
/dev/sda30          85844       87667    14651248+  83  Linux
/dev/sda31          87668       88883     9767488+  83  Linux
/dev/sda32          88884       90099     9767488+  83  Linux
/dev/sda33          90100       91315     9767488+  83  Linux
/dev/sda34          91316       92531     9767488+  83  Linux
/dev/sda35          92532       93747     9767488+  83  Linux
/dev/sda36          93748       94963     9767488+  83  Linux
/dev/sda37          94964       96179     9767488+  83  Linux
/dev/sda38          96180       97395     9767488+  83  Linux
/dev/sda39          97396       98611     9767488+  83  Linux
/dev/sda40          98612       99827     9767488+  83  Linux
/dev/sda41          99828      101043     9767488+  83  Linux
/dev/sda42         101044      102259     9767488+  83  Linux
/dev/sda43         102260      103475     9767488+  83  Linux
/dev/sda44         103476      104691     9767488+  83  Linux
/dev/sda45         104692      105907     9767488+  83  Linux
/dev/sda46         105908      107123     9767488+  83  Linux
/dev/sda47         107124      108339     9767488+  83  Linux
/dev/sda48         108340      109555     9767488+  83  Linux
/dev/sda49         109556      110771     9767488+  83  Linux
/dev/sda50         110772      111987     9767488+  83  Linux
/dev/sda51         111988      113203     9767488+  83  Linux
/dev/sda52         113204      114419     9767488+  83  Linux
/dev/sda53         114420      115635     9767488+  83  Linux
/dev/sda54         115636      116851     9767488+  83  Linux
/dev/sda55         116852      118067     9767488+  83  Linux
/dev/sda56         118068      119283     9767488+  83  Linux
/dev/sda57         119284      120499     9767488+  83  Linux
If I used another Linux partitioning cfdisk I get the hard disk information as follow (only paste the first displayed 42 partitions here)
                                       cfdisk (util-linux-ng 2.14.2)

                                           Disk Drive: /dev/sda
                                   Size: 1000203804160 bytes, 1000.2 GB
                          Heads: 255   Sectors per Track: 63   Cylinders: 121601

     Name            Flags          Part Type     FS Type                [Label]            Size (MB)
     sda1            Boot            Primary      NTFS                   []                  50000.43     *
     sda4                            Primary      NTFS                   []                  50002.53     *
     sda2                            Primary      Linux ext3                                 50001.48
     sda5                            Logical      Linux swap / Solaris                        1003.49
    [COLOR="Red"] sda6                            Logical      NTFS                   []                  50000.43     *[/COLOR]
                                     [COLOR="Blue"]Logical      Free Space                                     1.05     *[/COLOR]
    [COLOR="Red"] sda7                            Logical      NTFS                   []                  50000.43     *[/COLOR]
     sda8                            Logical      Hidden HPFS/NTFS       []                  10001.95     *
                                     Logical      Free Space                                 40000.59     *
     sda9                            Logical      Linux ext3           [Debian 5.0 i386]     50001.48
     sda10                           Logical      Linux ext3          [Sabayon 4 x86_64]     20003.89
     sda11                           Logical      Linux ext3          [Fedora 10 64 bit]     20003.89
     sda12                           Logical      Linux ext3          [Open Suse 11.2 6]     20003.89
     sda13                           Logical      Linux ext3           [Mandriva_2009-1]     20003.89
     sda14                           Logical      Linux ext3             [eLive 1.9.24]      20003.89
     sda15                           Logical      Linux ext3          [Blue White 12.2 ]     20003.89
     sda16                           Logical      Linux                                      20003.89
     sda17                           Logical      Linux ext3                                 20003.89
     sda18                           Logical      Linux                                      20003.89
     sda19                           Logical      Linux ext3             [/1]                20003.89
     sda20                           Logical      Linux ext3             [Ubuntu 9.04]       20003.89
     sda21                           Logical      Linux                                      15002.92
     sda22                           Logical      Linux                                      15002.92
     sda23                           Logical      Linux                                      15002.92
     sda24                           Logical      Linux                                      15002.92
     sda25                           Logical      Linux ext3                                 15002.92
     sda26                           Logical      Linux ext3                                 15002.92
     sda27                           Logical      Linux ext3             [/123]              15002.92
     sda28                           Logical      Linux ext3          [Frugalware 1.0a ]     15002.92
     sda29                           Logical      Linux ext3                                 15002.92
     sda30                           Logical      Linux ext3             [/]                 15002.92
     sda31                           Logical      Linux                                      10001.95
     sda32                           Logical      Linux                                      10001.95
     sda33                           Logical      Linux                                      10001.95
     sda34                           Logical      Linux                                      10001.95
     sda35                           Logical      Linux ext3                                 10001.95
     sda36                           Logical      Linux ReiserFS                             10001.95
     sda37                           Logical      Linux ext3                                 10001.95
     sda38                           Logical      Linux ext3                                 10001.95
     sda39                           Logical      Linux ext3                                 10001.95
     sda40                           Logical      Linux ext3                                 10001.95
     sda41                           Logical      Linux ext3             [rootfs]            10001.95
     sda42                           Logical      Linux ext3             [CLDX-9.9]          10001.95

      [ Bootable ]  [  Delete  ]  [   Help   ]  [ Maximize ]  [  Print   ]  [   Quit   ]
      [   Type   ]  [  Units   ]  [  Write   ]

                               Toggle bootable flag of the current partition
The dead space of 1.05Mb is shown up in blue here.

I have created every partition in exactly number of cylinders but there are operating systems, for example like the Solaris, that do not use up all the space and leave some dead areas behind. There is nothing wrong with this arrangement but some partition software may not have been written to cope with it.

The above disk has been operating for about 18 months with the above partitions.

I have several other hard disks with similar dead spaces before. Once I accepted Partition Magic to repair them resulting the partition table corrupted and the disk unreadable. I had to rebuild the partition table for several of them, each with 63 partitions, more than once. The total destruction of the partition table only affect the 64 bytes of data in the MBR and the actual partition interior is not touched. One can always re-build a partition table again and all the data will be fully recoverable. The best tool is to do it with "fdisk" in Linux which partitions everything in exact number of cylinders and is therefore easy to remember and rebuild.

I put my two Win7, and a Xp and a Win2k, in the logical partitions because I have a Vista-64 bit sitting in sda1 (first partition) to boot all the MS systems. Most of the other partitions are filled with Linux systems.


Account Closed
Nov 11, 2002
Just to be even MORE pedantic:
You can have many primary partitions on the disk, but can only map up to four at once (there are only four slots in the partition table).
Some boot/partition managers allow you to dynamically change the partition table at each boot.
Jun 11, 2004

With all due respect I have to disagree on a minor point in your last post.

It is true that the MBR has only 4 slots for holding the 4 partitions information and those are called the primary partitions. However one of them can be changed to an extended partition which is just a border. Being designated as an extended partition its address for the partition is really to the first logical partition. The OS has to do a second sweep and goes to the first logical partition to obtain the address of the second logical partition address. It is basically an endless loop until the final address points to the last cylinder boundary signaling the end of the hard disk.

The above arrangement was established in the Dos era and still used by every operating system today.

I am not aware of a boot/partition manager can dynamically change the partition table at each boot except altering the partition type or mark one of the 4 primaries active/bootable. This is only to trick certain operating systems to mount or not to mount the partitions. Each partition's boundaries are not supposed to changed by the boot loader.

As an example I had partitioned one hard disk initially into 3 primaries and created 11 logical partitions in the 4th slot as the only extended partition. I then changed the extended partition type and the operating system thought it was a primary so that I could transform the 3rd primary into another extended partition with futher 11 logical partitions inside. This I did with the 2nd and 1st primary partition and ended up with 44 logical partitions inside. However during boot time I could only operate on one extended partition at the time because that is the PC standard. Thus the partition table was not altered in the real sense. It is only the behaviour of the operating system being made use of. I have eventually filled up each logical partition with an operating system and everyone works as expected.

It is an untold industrial standard to change the partition type number by toggling a certain bit. The normal partition type b, c and 7 for Fat16, Fat32 and NTFS are regarded as hidden if the digit "1" is appended to them to become 16, 1c and 17. Nothing is changed inside but a MS system simply regards those partition types it doesn't recognise as "foreign" and refuses to mount them. It is one of the oldest trick used in the Dos operating system for multi booting.


Account Closed
Nov 11, 2002
And I reply.
I deliberately said PRIMARY and left out that One of the Primary partitions can be extended on purpose as it had already been mentioned.
I use a Boot/Partition Manager call Symon ( that DOES allow you to define up to 36 partitions on a single disk and choose ANY FOUR of them to be inserted into the partition table at boot time.
It uses the first track of the disk to store its own code and its own partition tables.
I can show you my set up if you wish.
Jun 11, 2004

OK I know some proprietary boot managers do have their own management layers to partition the hard disk in what I consider the non-standard ways, as one can do 246 primary partitions.

Your point is valid as I was only refering to the standard legacy partition table that can be read and partitioned by all operating systems using their own standard tools.
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