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RedHat 5.2 Install Hung and destroyed my hard drive

Posted on 1998-12-04
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Last Modified: 2013-12-15
Hi All,

I really hope someone can help me. I tried installing RedHat 5.2 yesterday on my computer which also has Win98 and WinNT after never using Linux before. I set up the linux partitions using Disk Druid and when it said "Making ext2
filesystem on /dev/hda6" it hung. I waited for about 15 minutes with no hard drive flashes so I rebooted my computer. Now I can access my C (FAT16) partition, but the 3 partitions in the logical partition (they are FAT32) all are inaccessable. Windows shows them as possibly corrupt and can't access them, and Partition Magic shows them as unformated. They are the individual partitions, with the correct sizes, but they are corrupt. I think that the data is probably there, as the Linux install shouldn't have formatted them, but the partition headers are probably corrupt. My hard drive is 9.1GB, but my bios does support this large of hard drives (I have an Asus P2B motherboard). One thing I noticed that when partitioning in Disk Druid, it only saw my hard drive as about 8.1GB and for one of the Linux partitions I had created, it looked something like (I'm going off memory here):

Partition    Requested     Actual
---------    ---------     ------
/dev/hda6    300 MB        58839483 MB

Also, my drive had 1 primary (fat16) partition, followed by 1.1GB of free space that I was putting the linux partitions in, followed by an logical partition taking up the rest of the drive that has 4 extended (fat32) partitions in them. Instead of listing all those FAT32 partitions seperately,
it listed them as one 6.3GB partition that was called "0x0d" or some hex number like that, I can't remember what. Can someone help me out here? My first priority is getting my hard drive working again so I can at least save all my previous data, but after that I want to get RedHat installed even though this incident has made me question all the good things I have heard about Linux before. Thanks
for any help you can provide.
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Question by:danblair
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6 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:laeuchli
ID: 1631760
There is not much chance of you being able to recover your partions, all I can give you is advice on how to prevent it happening again. use fips.exe, (if it's not on your red hat disk you can download it from some other site), and repartion your hard disk with it. Save your partion info as stated in the docs. after that use fdisk to change the pariton you made to ext2. repeat the step for a swap partion. If it goes down use your backup disk to get back in to the system(as stated in the fips docs.) then use scan disk to scan your drive.
 
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Author Comment

by:danblair
ID: 1631761
Sorry, but can't accept this answer. I need to find a way to access my old data. I found a program called TIRAMISU that could see the files, but it was big bucks to get the full version that could restore the files. So this means at least my files are there. I think the only problem is the partition table on the drive, if someone knows a way to restore that then I think the drive should be restored.
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:vx
ID: 1631762
Do you have a backup of your partition table or do you know the exact values? If so, you should be able to reconstruct your drive. If not, it won't work.
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Expert Comment

by:vx
ID: 1631763
By the way, do you know if the partition was already made?
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Accepted Solution

by:
laeuchli earned 600 total points
ID: 1631764
Ok I was wrong there is a way, goto http://bmrc.berkeley.edu/people/chaffee/fat32.html and download the program that lets you recover your partions.

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Author Comment

by:danblair
ID: 1631765
I'm not sure if this program would have worked or not, but I'm giving you a B anyway for helping. I wiped out my hard drive yesterday because I couldn't recover the data after trying Norton and other disk programs that couldn't recover anything. I finally got RedHat installed also, although I think that something's buggy with it. I installed it the exact same way about 10 times before it actually installed successfully. Sometimes it failed installing certain packages; sometimes it didn't. Sometimes it couldn't create the boot diskette; sometimes it could. Sometimes it failed configuring timezone or services; sometimes it didn't. Sometimes it failed writing the boot stuff to the partition; sometimes it didn't. There didn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to any of this. Sometimes the install went OK but the system hung after the VFS line while booting. Finally I got it to work (never doing anything different any time) and now it seems stable. I'm not saying that the RedHat install is any more buggy than any Microsoft installation, but I think it can definately be improved.
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