Can't boot XP Pro after Partition Magic 8 resizes logical drive - Yow!

Posted on 2006-06-22
Last Modified: 2012-08-13
A friend's tale, big questions, can he save his partitions ??

and/or his data?  What's the easiest way?  His tale...

I had two bootable partitions created by Partition Magic

8.  The primary and a logical secondary partition.

I used PM8 to delte the secondary then reallocate the free

spaced to the remaining partition.  System rebooted, PM

starts doing tasks but couldn't saying there was an error

and it couldn't lock the drive.  It said hit any key to

abort.  I did but it wouldn't respond.  I manually reset,

PM8 tried to finish but kept up with the same error.  I

reset again, went into Safe Mode, then used Start menu to

shutdown the system.  It worked.  Then I restared, booted

normally to XP Pro.  Once there I checked Windows

Explorer, it reported C: and no secondary partition.  The

free space was not allocated to the C: primary though.

I opened PM8.  It showed only the default partition and

the free space that used to be in the secondary partition.

 I used PM8 to reallocate that free space again.  Once

again it failed and has left me in a reset loop, sometimes

flashing a boot.ini error.
  I can F8 to Safe Mode, but nothing works.

I booted from XPPro from CD, and used the recovery

commands, FIXMBR completed successfully, but no fix.  

FIXBOOT no help either.

I booted with BootItNG, and the Hard drive shows a

Partition MBR Entry 38154 MB named PM Recovery.  When I look at

the MBR, it shows:

(no name) - Active - Starting C/H/S/FS 0/0/0/0h  Ending

C/H/S 0/0/0/  LBA 0  Sectors 0

MBR Entry 0 -  Starting C/H/S/FS 0/1/1/3Ch Ending C/H/S

1023/254/63  LBA 63  Sectors 78140097

(no name) -  Starting C/H/S/FS 0/0/0/0h  Ending C/H/S

0/0/0/  LBA 0  Sectors 0

(no name) -  Starting C/H/S/FS 0/0/0/0h  Ending C/H/S

0/0/0/  LBA 0  Sectors 0

I tried seting the MBR Entry 0 to Active, and I tried

moving it to the top of the list.  No help.

So, what to do oh Experts-exchange?  Can Partition be

saved easily?  Can data be saved?  

Thanks for sage advice.

Question by:SydD

Assisted Solution

Navid earned 50 total points
ID: 16965101
There is one simple solution. I was there and did a trick.  First of all now forget about partition magic for the moment. Insert the "installation CD for winxp" at the beginning of the installation, it will ask you "which partion you like to install winxp, and it will probably show C: drive and the lost partiotion as "unpartition space" choose  "unpartitioned space" to install win XP and let it finnish formate the "unpartition space" but don't go further, just reboot and remove the CD. And see if win Xp can find the lost partion.

Assisted Solution

camillemarlow earned 25 total points
ID: 16965205
Another tip to at least save your data on HDD is to slave it to a working system (provided it can read NTFS).

As for fixing, when you talk about logical partition, i assume you would have had to create an extended partition in which to house the logical partition.  Have you deleted the extended partition?

Author Comment

ID: 16965266
Navid: This sounds great but,
The unpartitioned space is small (8MB), C: already is partitioned-
XP Setup shows all the space in C: like this:

38163 MB Disk 0 at Id 0 on bus 0 on atpi [MBR]

c:  Partition1 <PowerQuest>   38154 MB < 38154 MB free>

     Unpartitioned space  8 MB

Still do it to the little partition?  Sounds good to me.  Can't hurt, we're not formatting.

Camillemarlow, yes, probably was extended.  PM8 didn't specify, I highlighted D: and told it to delete it.

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Author Comment

ID: 16965280
We selected Create a partition in the unpartitioned space, XP Setup says "The unpartitioned space you selected is reserved for XP partitioning information.  To create a new partition, go back to the previous screen, and then selct a different unpartitioned space."  Rats!  The C: partition is there, sized as expected (back to one big one).

Did I miss something?

Accepted Solution

Blazeix earned 50 total points
ID: 16965496
If you can't save the partition, you can at least save the data.
On another computer, download Knoppix:
You will download a ISO File, and then burn the ISO file to a cd or dvd. (using 'image burning software' like ISO recorder:
Boot the cd, and then recover all needed data. After verifying that you have all the data you need, reinstall windows.

If you need help finding your data when you have booted the cd, please look here:

Hope this works!

Author Comment

ID: 16973754
We are using Winternal's Disk Commander right now, and have retrieved the important files.   Nicely, we can retrieve files to USB fob or external USB hard drive.  Next we will monkey with writing the MBR or making partition changes.

Question, if we had slaved the drive to a working system, wouldn't the partition corruption still be a problem?

We web-searched references to Partition Magic 8 error messages, and it seems this is a known issue with a long-available patch.  I'll report back, thanks to all.


Author Comment

ID: 17093412
Thanks one and all.  Each bit of advice was useful.

Best advice - save the files first!  (Thanks Blazeix).  We used Winternals Disk Commander to copy all the files to an external USB hard drive.   Having the files saved made for a lot less stress.

Nice trick - Navid's idea was the sort of thing we were looking for.  It didn't work in our case, we had already fussed with the partitions too much.  I will try it again when the opportunity growls.

Slave drive - Camillemarlow's hardware solution wasn't needed, but appreciated.  Swapping drives from old computers is a dusty job, I'm glad we avoided it.

Again, tips were all valuable and useful.  Once the files were saved, the rest was fun!

Thanks again.

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