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Which SW tool is best to rebuild Patrition Table?

Posted on 2002-05-02
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
*** Corrupt Partition Table ***
Can Anyone recommend a really effective tool / utility software for data recovery - I need something that will search the HDD and attempt to recreate the Partition Table / MBR etc.  I'm not scared of some hard work or patience if that's what it takes but there must be some powerful software tools out there to assist with this.  Everything I've found so far either works at too high or too low a level to be really helpful.  E.g. PTEDIT lets you change the partition table from a nice screen (rather than writing the data to the drive manually) but it doesn't actually help with seeing how the setting you make in the PT relate to the data that is still on the drive.

The pc I'm trying to fix for someone was working fine one day (on internet) then would not boot the next day (possible virus?) I could find no easy way to access the drive. The usual scandisk, virus check, Norton disk doctor all failed to access the drive
Initially, looking at the PT revealed it was total rubbish in all 4 partitions, the BIOS could detect the drive but no software processes including FDISK could see it properly.  I've used PTEDIT.EXE from my powerquest partition magic CD and by intelligent guesswork, starting from the basic CHS drive parameters, I have manually set up the PT for a single partition, FAT32.  
DOS and WIN apps can now see the drive but when I try any recovery utils, I get messages saying the drive needs to be formatted or is unreadable / unrecoverable.  Have tried Norton Disk doctor,  Win scandisk,  virus rescue, etc...etc...
I know that there are files and data on the drive - I used a shareware program to display some of the HDD info sector by sector....
For all I know, the drive originally had more than one partition but the owner is a beginner and doesnt know what setup / system was on it (other than it was windows 98 and had the original setup from the maker's recovery CD - UK 'Tiny PC' brandname).

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Question by:vraquila
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Wakeup earned 240 total points
ID: 6987228
You can try these:

http://www.partition-recovery.com/download.htm
http://dos.li5.org/twfeat.htm
http://www.invircible.com/resq.php
http://www.majorgeeks.com/article.php?sid=1017

If it was a virus, it may have been the CIH virus.  It is supposed to hit on April 26th.  So very well could have been this virus.  Check this out:
http://grc.com/cih.htm

Symantec's information on Recovering data:
http://service2.symantec.com/SUPPORT/nunt.nsf/docid/1996112575859

Good luck, let us know how things work out.
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by:vraquila
ID: 6988093
Spot on Wakeup!  The info re CIH virus fitted the symtoms perfectly so I followed that first.  
The other links look well worth a try too so I'll check them out later and get some more tools for my collection!

The link to Steve Gibson's CIH fix provided the exact solution. He's doing what I call 'real programming' at the root of the problem - not this semi-automated-not-quite-in-control modern windows assisted mush that we have to work with nowadays.  (eee, wen i wer a lad, we 'ad t' rite programs wi' nowt but a pencil and a pile o' postcards wi' little 'oles in)
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by:vraquila
ID: 6988119
I wanted to send a 'thankyou' email to Steve & Gibson research but I see from their site that they're busy working on other projects - to the benefit of us all - and an email is inappropriate. I'll say it here instead -
    T H A N K S   G I B S O N   R E S E A R C H
(Wouldn't the world be a better place if Microsoft operated with some of the same goals.)
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by:Wakeup
ID: 6989047
vraquila,

Glad to be of service.  Did you get the machine back up and running?  The CIH virus came out like what in 2000?  or 1999.  And it is still hitting people.  It's Crazy.  hehe.  
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by:vraquila
ID: 6989189
Yep - pc's running fine now - owner bought the pc in '98/9 with pc-cillin preinstalled but didn't know about updates so was still using 1998 virus definitions.

(had a little secondary problem with TR/flashkiller.B in some windows .exe files but cleared it easily by deletion and extract from .cab files)

- thanks again for the advice
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by:Wakeup
ID: 6991126
Great....Glad to be of service!  I answered a few Experts-exchange questions on the CIH virus in 1999 I believe....so this one brings back memories! :)
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