What causes a partition table to become corrupt?

Posted on 2009-12-21
Last Modified: 2012-05-08
Our Dell server suddenly has a corrupt partition table and isn't booting correctly.  The Dell rep said it could be from our server room overheating two weeks ago and the system rebooting.  My boss does not think this is possible and I haven't been able to find a list of reasons why a table would even become corrupt other than using paritioning software... which we have not.  It is a Windows 2003 Standard Server

Question by:norcalty
    LVL 57

    Accepted Solution

    Well depending on what happened with the CR over heated it could have.  An unclean shutdown can cause corrupted disks.

    Last year we had a power failure a couple time within 1 minute at my house and of course I don't have battery backup for my computers.  Two of them ended up with corrupted partition tables.  Took me a good long time to fix the problems on both computers.

    LVL 47

    Assisted Solution

    >> An unclean shutdown can cause corrupted disks.

    Yep.  I'll agree.  That is probably the main reason.

    USB disks not removing from system when shutting down can cause corruption.  Or pulling the cable out without disconnecting.  Been there done that.

    Computer virus.  Disk defect.  Other possibles.
    LVL 2

    Expert Comment

    I have found that most windows servers are fairly resilient to unplanned reboots.  It's not something I would recommend of course.

    Here is a link to some recovery software.  I hope it will be useful.

    This next link is for GetDataBack.  It is a very good piece of software that can be used to recover files from a corrupt drive.  It will scan through the data and attempt to rebuild the missing files.  It can take a very long time to run and it may not recover all of the missing data but it is better that loosing everything.
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    unexpected  shutdown can be trace by 2 diff log , 1st log you can see in BIOS log and 2nd windows event viewer
    Boot with Windows 2003 Standard Server CD, with proper RAID driver
    Select "r" for repair ,you get command prompt try following commands

    LVL 46

    Expert Comment

    Normally FIXBOOT corrects the Boot Record of the partition and in most cases the failure of correctly close all applications before restart causes boot record corruption. In NTFS the boot sector is is kept in both start and end of partition so one can easily copy the one from end to start and see if it boots. That is a safe copy of Boot sector.

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