Unknown Partition Type Windows XP

Posted on 2010-08-19
Last Modified: 2012-08-13
I have an urgent issue.  Power failure corrupted my boot partition.  I was originally getting a "boot, retry, ignore" error.  Booted into the recovery console.  Could not not see any files on the C:\ drive, so I ran a chkdsk /r.  It got to 26% complete, and then I got an unrecognizable disk error.  I booted up with ERD commander, and I can see the disk in disk manaager, but it says the partition is active and healthy, although it is an unknown type.  I can't see any files on the disk, and explorer in ERD says the disk is 0 bytes.  I have a lot of data that is not backed up on this partition.  Any ideas/ help would be greatly appreciated!
Question by:gcurtisgold
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Expert Comment

ID: 33481208
You may need to use an FDISK /MBR command to reset the master boot record. I would also tell you that it may be good time to stop doing too much with the hard drive and look to a data recovery service such as ontrack data recovery. This is not something I would tell you to do on your own if you don't have the right set of software/hardware and/or experience as you may make matters worse and lose any chance of recovery. They offer a few options and here is a link to them:

Also, you could try this outfit as we have had good luck with them too:

LVL 121

Accepted Solution

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 250 total points
ID: 33481270
remove the disk from the computer and connect to a work computer with working OS.

Don't mess with the disk anymore and run either of the following:-

1. Disk Internals Partition Recovery


2. iCare Data Recovery

install them on a USB flash drive or External Hard Disk,

DO NOT INSTALL them on the duff disk.

Both of the above software packages will scan the disk and find partitions and files, with the trial versions, so you can preview and see what files they can recover before you purchase.


Author Comment

ID: 33481280
Yes, I was definitely considering ontrack.  If I attempt the FDISK /MBR and it doesn't work, will that make matters worse?  I don't want to do something that makes it unrecoverable even for ontrack...
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LVL 121
ID: 33481565
LVL 121
ID: 33481575
remote it, put it in a box, and send to Ontrack if you want a good chance of them recovering data at a price! Otherwise

1. Disk Internals Partition Recovery


2. iCare Data Recovery

these only scan and read, they do not make any chanes to the disk!

FDISK /MBR does!

Expert Comment

ID: 33482965
Usually ontrack works very well. You can also try getdataback, which takes a lot of times but works also very well.

Expert Comment

by:Willy Van den Houten
ID: 33483250
Check this site :

Backup and recovery should help you a lot.

Try with the trial version first if you can see any data to recover.

Author Comment

ID: 33483942
Thanks for the info hanccocka.  I need to replace the PC anyway, so I went and got a new Dell from best buy. I will put the disk in that one and run the scans; otherwise it's off to ontrack..

BTW, got the dell home and it has a bad hard disk!  go figure.  I'm on my way back to best buy.

LVL 121
ID: 33483959
yeah, my Dell has just had two disks go bad, a new disk arrived yesterday from Dell under warranty, and now the other disk has gone bad!

Author Closing Comment

ID: 33497787
The key was to put the disk into a working Windows PC.  Chkdsk came up again on bootup.  This time it went through all of the files, and recovered all of the "orphans," almost the complete disk and took about 2 hours.  When complete, I lost only a few program files, and no data.


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