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{RESOLVED} Repairing Partition Table

Discussion in 'Earlier Versions of Windows' started by rjemery, Jan 26, 2000.

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  1. rjemery

    rjemery Thread Starter

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    I have a system whose single hard drive has become slightly corrupted, the apparent reseult of a power loss just at the start of the boot process. The partition table is now no longer readable and hence the system will not boot or even recognize the hard disk.

    On this drive are three W98 systems as well as Boot Magic. The first partition was and is set to active. If I boot DOS from a diskette and run FDISK, FDISK sees the three partitions, but otherwise there is no C: drive. FDISK confirms the first partition is set to active.

    When I attached the drive in question as a secondary drive to another Win98 system and invoke Partition Magic 4.0, PM reports an Error #110 for that drive.

    How might I repair the damaged partition table? What tools or utilities would be of aid to me?

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    R. J. Emery
     
  2. Dan O

    Dan O

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  3. rjemery

    rjemery Thread Starter

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    Thanks for your suggestion, but that doesn't really provide a solution. The reference you gave only points me back to the PM 4.0 manual, which following the references, only offers the solution of rebuilding everything from scratch with total loss of data if not already backed up.

    It is just the partition table that seems to be corrupted. There are no utilities that would enable me to fix it up?

    I can boot DOS from a diskette, and also from a diskette run FDISK. FDISK sees the three partitions there, as does PM's PARTINFO utility. The latter documents the inconsistent sector addresses for the three partitions. But even this DOS boot does not bring up a C: prompt even though FDISK and PARTINFO can read the hard drive.

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    R. J. Emery
     
  4. LarryCore

    LarryCore

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    Have you tried Norton Utilities?

    A lot of times 110 error still leaves the drive readable, but obviously not in this case...

    When you run FDISK is it giving drive letters to the partitions and showing their sizes correctly?
     
  5. rjemery

    rjemery Thread Starter

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    FDISK shows the correct partition sizes but because no drive letters are assigned, the Norton Utilities do not see the drive. Also, even though all three partitions are Win98, FDISK reports them all as Non-DOS. I would expect the one partition marked as active to be seen as PRI DOS.

    Which one of the NUs did you have in mind? NDD? Tried that. Because no drive letters are assigned, NDD does not see the drive at all, not even if I invoke NDD from a diskette.

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    R. J. Emery
     
  6. mike private

    mike private

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  7. rjemery

    rjemery Thread Starter

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    I've downloaded the software from the two sites suggested by Mike Private, but it came with a UUE extension, something I have not seen before. I presume this is some sort of compression standard. What do I do to uncompress it?

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    R. J. Emery
     
  8. Spinach

    Spinach

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  9. rjemery

    rjemery Thread Starter

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    I downloaded ZipNAll and found it to be a very good program. I am happy to have it added to my list of utilities. Thank you very much for the recommendation.

    I also found Aladdin Expander to be of benefit. It is freeware and can be downloaded from http://www.aladdinsys.com/expander/ and other download sites. I recommend it as well to you and others who may be reading this thread.

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    R. J. Emery
     
  10. Spinach

    Spinach

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    Well I hope you can now get into the needed files and maybe find a solution to your problem!

    Thanks for the link, I am downloading it as we speak! I trust it is as good as Zip'N All

    Have a good weekend! [​IMG]
    Preston
     
  11. rjemery

    rjemery Thread Starter

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    I have indeed found the cause of the problem. The explanation is lengthy and includes history that I did not provide sooner for sake of brevity.

    The shortest answer is this:

    The Maxtor IDE drive once had EZ-BIOS installed. PowerQuest's Boot Magic was also installed. Partition 1 was the (W98) production system, Partition 2 was a backup of Partition 1, and Partition 3 was an earlier backup of Partition 1.

    The system was recently rebuilt with a new motherboard. EZ-BIOS was "disabled" using a procedure downloaded from Maxtor, but in hindsight the change applied only to Partition 1. Unbeknownst to me, Boot Magic kept copies of the Master Boot Record (Track 0?) associated with Partition 2 and 3 when they were still accessed via EZ-BIOS.

    On that fateful day, the second partition was booted. Boot Magic replaced the existing (Partition 1) non-EZBIOS Master Boot Record with the MBR from Partition 2, which had EZ-BIOS enabled. And that, ladies and gentlemen, was enough to scramble the drive's partition table. And alas, all the rescue diskettes we had were from the EZ-BIOS days.

    Ranish Partition Manager displayed the partition table data the led to the epiphany. I could see for the first time the drive parameters that should not have been there.

    Repairing the drive's partition table does not seem worthwhile, even if I knew enough to attempt same. There would always be a question of reliability or some other incompatibility lurking in the background.

    The only apparent solution is to rebuild everything from scratch. Fortunately, no important data files will have been lost. I have learned, ladies and gentlemen, I have learned.
     
  12. Dan O

    Dan O

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    It sounds like you now got the tools you need. The other guys came up with some good stuff. Good luck and let us know how you make out. Dan-O :)
     
  13. rjemery

    rjemery Thread Starter

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    I would like to add a postscript to my previous reply.

    I said earlier that Ranish Partition Manager was the first tool that allowed me to see the drive parameters. A clarification is needed. Ranish is a single screen report, which enabled me to see all relevant data at once.

    In retrospect, I found that PowerQuest's PARTINFO program, which I had on a rescue diskette and did utilize, also showed the same data, but the essential data scrolled off the screen before I could study it. Since I had booted DOS from diskette, then switched to the rescue diskette, the MORE function was not available to me. When I later copied the MORE program onto the rescue diskette and used it with PARTINFO, I then could see the same information that the Ranish report displayed.

    Had I used MORE with PARTINFO earlier, it would have enabled me to ascertain the problem that much sooner.

    I am now making it a point to add the DOS program MORE.COM to all my PowerQuest rescue diskettes, and others as may be applicable.

    ------------------
    R. J. Emery
     
  14. Dan O

    Dan O

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    Thanks for the follow-up and postscript. I learned a lot myself, thank you all.

    btw: An old DOS trick, to read something that scroll off the screen is to redirect the output to a file, i.e. dir>file.txt

    Dan-O [​IMG]

    [This message has been edited by Dan O (edited 01-28-2000).]
     
  15. Spinach

    Spinach

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    Well, lengthy indeed, that was as Dan-O said quite a learning session, that is definately going to take up some space on my cerebral cortex for future reference [​IMG] you learn a new thing everyday (and then on this site you learn a whole bunch of new things everyday)

    Glad you found out what went wrong!

    Cheers and enjoy!
    Preston
     
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