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Invalid partition table.

newbie27
newbie27 asked
on
Medium Priority
1,501 Views
Last Modified: 2013-12-16
Hello,

I have recently installed Win XP on one of the laptop. It was working all OK until now.

It has suddenly started giving this error "Invalid partition table."

Does not allow me to boot.

Please can someone advise?

thanks
s
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Commented:
Take a look at the following.  Have you tried the recovery console?

http://www.webtree.ca/windowsxp/repair_xp.htm#How%20Partition%20using%20the%20Recovery%20Console:

Author

Commented:
Hi RDAdams:

Thanks for your input

I am trying to repair XP using its CD, its asking for the administrator password,

although I am giving the correct password it keeps saying the password entered is invalid...

please can you advise?

thanks
s
If using the recovery console to repair the boot and mbr using the following commands:

fixboot
fixmbr

Does not work, then follow these steps to attempt to correct the partition table error:

If the partition that is marked as active does not contain the Windows XP startup files, or the active partition is an incompatible or a different operating system, you must first mark the correct system partition as active before you restart the computer. To do this, follow these steps.

Note There can be only one active system partition at a time.
Start the computer to the Recovery Console.
Type Diskpart, and then press ENTER.
At the DISKPART command prompt, type List Disk, and then press ENTER.

Note the number of the disk that you want to work with.
At the DISKPART command prompt, type Select disk <DiskNumber>, and then press ENTER.

Note <DiskNumber> is the disk number that you want to work with. You should receive a message that resembles the following:
Disk <DiskNumber> is now the selected disk
At the DISKPART command prompt, type List partition, and then press ENTER.

Note the number of the partition that you want to mark as active.
At the DISKPART command prompt type Select partition <PartitionNumber>, and then press ENTER.

Note <PartitionNumber> is the partition number that you want to mark as active. You should receive a message that resembles the following:
Partition <PartitionNumber> is now the selected partition
At the DISKPART command prompt, type Active, and then press ENTER.
At the DISKPART command prompt, type Exit, and then press ENTER
Restart the computer.

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Author

Commented:
hello flubbster:

thanks for your input too

i am unable to get to the command prompt on this dell laptop...

this only gives 2 options f2 and f12

none allows me to type the fixboot command

please advise
Do you have an XP CD??

If so, you should be able to boot it by setting the CD as the first boot device to get to the recovery Console. Yes/No??

Commented:
Try leaving the password blank (just press enter) to see if they placed a blank password.

Author

Commented:
hi flubbster

Yes I do have XP cd and I have so far managed to go the repair XP windows screen

>> to get to the recovery Console

how or where would i find recovery console?

RDAdams:

i have tried leaving the password empty it came back with error message

after 3 trying its taking me to C:\WINDOWS

regardless of this password can i try fixboot?

Author

Commented:
OK, I know what you mean by " to go to the recovery Console"

I am there now but cannot by pass the admin password screen...

Apparently you did because you go the c:\windows prompt.

if you get there, post back and we will list the steps to take.

Author

Commented:
OK. I have left the password empty it have asked for 3 times and then its now on C:\windows

Initially, it gave me 3 options to choose from

1 D:\Windows
2 F:\windows
3 C:\Windows

Assuming I have my XP on C, I entered 3.

When I did this

C:\Windows\fixboot

The targer partition is F:

Are you sure you want to write a new bootsector to the new partition F:?

Does it not say Partition C: instead of Partition F: above?

Please advise


Actually... if you get there, follow these steps exactly in the order given. Try just hitting enter for the admin password if you have trouble getting to the recovery console.

Once at the C:\Windows prompt, execute the following, hitting enter after each step.

Execute the following commands:

chkdsk /r  (will take a while to check the drive)
fixboot  (repairs the boot sector if damaged)
fixmbr ( repairs the master boot record if damaged)

attrib -h c:\ntldr
attrib -s c:\ntldr
attrib -r c:\ntldr

attrib -h c:\ntdetect.com
attrib -s c:\ntdetect.com
attrib -r c:\ntdetect.com

This step assumes that the CD is device "D". If not, use the proper drive letter. You can look at the mapped drives by typing "map" (without quotes) and hitting enter.

copy d:\i386\ntldr c:\ntldr
reply "Y" to overwrite
copy d:\i386\ntdetect.com c:\ntdetect.com
reply "Y" to overwrite

attrib +h c:\ntdetect.com
attrib +s c:\ntdetect.com
attrib +r c:\ntdetect.com

attrib +r c:\ntldr
attrib +h c:\ntldr
attrib +s c:\ntldr

exit recovery console and reboot.
almost forgot.. before exiting the recovery console, also execute this last command:

bootcfg /rebuild

The bootcfg /rebuild command scans the hard disks of the computer for Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, or Windows XP installations, and then displays the results. You can add the detected Windows installations.

You may receive a message that is similar to the following message:
Total Identified Windows Installs: 1

[1] C:\Windows
Add installation to boot list? (Yes/No/All):
Enter Load Identifier: (Custom description for an operating system loading from the Boot menu)
Enter Operating System Load Options: (that is: /fastdetect)

Author

Commented:
hi flubbster

fixboot  (repairs the boot sector if damaged)
fixmbr ( repairs the master boot record if damaged)

attrib -h c:\ntldr
attrib -s c:\ntldr
attrib -r c:\ntldr

attrib -h c:\ntdetect.com
attrib -s c:\ntdetect.com
attrib -r c:\ntdetect.com


i have the above steps , however when i run the copy command it gave me access is denied


copy d:\i386\ntldr c:\ntldr

please can you advise?

thanks
When you booted into the recovery console, and it asked for the admin password, did you enter it or is it blank and you just had to hit enter?

Author

Commented:
i left it empty ... i know i was typing the password correct, because there only one default password the administrator account, however it was not accepting it.

anything you can advise me on this please?
Once at the command prompt, type this and hit enter (note the space)

c: \

you should now be at a prompt like this:

c:\

try the commands again. If still no luck, we will have to try it another way, by using a special boot cd. First though, try booting normally. There is a chance that the fixboot and fixmbr may have fixed it.

hmmm... may have missed something here. Repeat the fixboot command and fixmbr command as follows:

fixboot c:
fixmbr c:

Author

Commented:
flubbster:

i have tried both the above commands you have mentioned above

fixboot c:
fixmbr c:

have rebooted it... still no luck with it

i am getting the same "invalid partition table" error

please advise

thanks
Follow the steps in my first post to mark the active partition table.

Author

Commented:
hi,

at the recovery console, when i type Diskpart, its actually showing me the partitions on the PC

c:
f: ntfs
d:recovery console

there are only 2 options on the screen, esc and delete the partition

i dont get below options there


Note <PartitionNumber> is the partition number that you want to mark as active. You should receive a message that resembles the following:
Partition <PartitionNumber> is now the selected partition
At the DISKPART command prompt, type Active, and then press ENTER.
At the DISKPART command prompt, type Exit, and then press ENTER
Restart the computer.
You should get a diskpart prompt. At the prompt, type list disk and press enter

Author

Commented:
its not doing it for me ...

i have now got the correct admin password for this laptop ...

i thought repairing the XP completely might solve this problem? i have followed the console screen and press "R" and selected the parting "2" it asked for the password and then

c:\windows it went to the prompt ...

how should i run the command to repair XP from here please?

if the repairing the XP is what i should

Author

Commented:
OR is there anyway I can copy the desktop data from the laptop and format it completely ?

please advise

thanks
Commented:
Sure use an external hard drive USB connection.  Copy all the data u want to keep and then blast the partition and reload the os.

Commented:
Mount the laptop drive with the external connector....I will post a quick photo for you.
Repairing it willnot fix the problem you are having. Only a format and re-install will work, unless the commands you have executed do the trick. If you want to grab the data and do a full install, including the formatting the drive, that is easy enough. Make sure you have a lagal  copy of XP along with a valid key for activation. If not, you will not get very far. The drive can be attached externally as noted above by using a small adapter. You need to make sure you get one for a SATA drive, not IDE.

Another option is to connect an external hard drive (USB) to the system, then create and boot with ERD Commander:
If you have access to a CD burner, do the following:

Download the Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (formerly known as ERD Commander).
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=5D600369-0554-4595-8AB4-C34B2860E087&displaylang=en

Download it. Run it. It will create an ISO file. Burn the iso file to a CD. The file is located in c:\Program Files\Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset. The file is called erd50.iso Boot the CD. You will boot into a windows environment. From there, you have access to a great many tools, such as system restore, checking the drive, and much more. From this screen you can copy all of the files you want to pull from the drive.

Commented:
Here is the photo.
RDA-4362adj.JPG

Commented:
I prefer to remove the laptop hard drive and use the external connection on a separate computer to transfer the files I want to keep.  Once done then you can put the laptop hard drive back in the case and then follow standard process to reinstall the OS.  

I usually delete the partitions on the drive, then repartition how I want (normally I do not partition a single non- raid drive), then re-format and reinstall.
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Distinguished Expert 2019
Commented:
well - most errors ona partition can be repaired; but i would first test the disk  to know it's status (if it is bad, there's no repairing....in most cases)
since Toshiba does not offer a diag; use the hitachi's drive fitness test : http://www.hitachigst.com/hdd/support/download.htm

if the drive is ok, use PTT to repair the partition :  http://www.ptdd.com/partitionerror.htm

Author

Commented:
thanks all for your input

i have formatted the drive

thanks

s
Sorry you were unable to recover your system without reformatting.

Please close out this question and award points as you see fit.

take care...

Author

Commented:
ITS OK,

THANKS FOR YOUR HELP THOUGH

I WILL SURELY CLOSE IT NOW
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