Recover hard drive, RAW/BAD to FAT32 without a FORMAT!

Posted on 2005-03-18
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2011-04-20
I was installing ubuntu linux on my hard drive, I partitioned a 1.7 gig section for it, and started installing. I think there is some problem with the partitioning program in the install.. I have an internal HD and an external firewire HD. The internal HD was no longer bootable, I fixed that, the external HD shows up with no partitioning information. In PartitionMagic, both drives show up as BAD. I know for at least the internal HD that it is not bad, I can boot to it and see all of my partitions. I'd like to be able to fix that properly, also, the external HD shows up as bad and I cannot view the files on it. I'd like to restore the partition just as it was with all the files and no data loss. Any suggestions?
Question by:epheterson
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Expert Comment

ID: 13580937
You can look and see if any of these will help:

Expert Comment

ID: 13581825
You could try from a Win98SE and/or WinME boot floppy the command - FDISK /MBR

see cautions about its use here:


The external drive will not show up as Disk 0 however, as I am guessing it will not load until the OS has been loaded, so FDISK /MBR will not help with that  -

You are stating that you cannot see the partition on the external - but you are not stating if you are looking at it from DOS or a Windows OS (9x,XP, etc).  While Linux is compatible with everything (pretty much) after tweaking it - if you are not running an OS - you will probably not see the drive until you restore a Windows OS

Author Comment

ID: 13583567
I'm looking at the drive from Windows XP and when i try to open it, I get prompted to format it.
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Accepted Solution

bobsanders653 earned 200 total points
ID: 13592936
There could be a conflict someplace between XP and how it views the firewire disk.  If you have a CD burner - download and burn this copy of Knoppix Linux Security Tools.  If the drive is readable (that is the other version of Linux did not mess with it) - you should be able to at least see the data.


Here is a partial list of tools available -


If you know there is say JPG files on the HD - or there are TXT files say - then use

foremost to recover the JPG's or TXT files on the disk (follow the command prompts on useage - or read the MASN pages by typing MAN formost at a shell prompt).  If none or found - then your disk truly has been corrupted by the other system and perhaps you can get it straght again - but that is another question.

Expert Comment

ID: 13592951
by the way - KNOPPIX-ST runs in RAM from a bootable CD so it will not bother your machine at all.

Author Comment

ID: 13643694
I used testdisk (http://www.cgsecurity.org//testdisk.html) and recovered my file system, I e-mailed the creator and he gave me instructions. After that I used ontrack and recovered my data.

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