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Invalid Partition table


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#1 mike_bo

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 08:31 PM

I am running a small network at my house, and I have a Win2003 server that seems to have problems. It doesn't boot anymore. One suggestion was to take the hard disk, connect it to another computer and work on it. Ok, so I did that. Took the HD from the 2003 machine, got a connection kit for USB and connected it to my Win7/64 notbook. Of course, that blew up my notebook-- Help!!!

 

When I connected the HD, the laptop froze. Obviously, I had not choice but to remove the external hard drive and reboot. The reboot now ends up in a single line: Invalid Partition Table.

 

I have tried the system Recovery Options on the DVD, but the automatic options don't work. So I need to find another way to restore the partition table.

 

There is another thread in this forum where someone suggests to use a tool (pmagic), but the thread ends without a solution.

 

Can someone help me with this? I appreciate it.

 

I am currently downloading pmagic to see if I can do anything with that.



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#2 AustrAlien

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 08:42 PM

I'm watching your topic. Let us know when you are able to successfully boot to the PartedMagic Desktop.


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#3 mike_bo

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 11:41 PM

Hello AustrAlien (nice name :-)

 

I have booted into PartedMagic, and I have run TestDisk. Just got ready with the first run, but it couldn't find anything. I started the "deeper search". It's about 4% done (500 GB disk).



#4 AustrAlien

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 12:02 AM

Since you've already started TestDisk's DEEPER SEARCH, then let it continue.

Do you have an internet connection when using PartedMagic? If so, post the results from running TestDisk.

Did you choose to create a log? If so, I would like to see it (copy/paste) when finished the DEEPER SEARCH.
(Don't shut down PartedMagic unless you've saved the log somewhere or you will lose the log.)

You can also copy/paste the resulting screen that you see in TestDisk.

What I would really like to do, is to have a look at the MBR (MasterBootRecord), which includes the partition table.

step1.gif At the PartedMagic Desktop:

  • Locate the black screen/monitor icon (ROXTerm) along the bar at the bottom of the Desktop screen (third icon from the left-side edge).
  • Click on the ROXTerm icon to open a terminal window and at the prompt, type:

    fdisk -l

    Note: There is a space between "fdisk" and "-l".
    That is a lower case L as in Llama and not a ONE.
  • ... and press <ENTER>.
  • Drag your mouse over the output to select it all.
  • Right-click somewhere in the area selected > Copy
    (In the next step, you will paste this in a reply.)
  • At the PartedMagic Desktop:
    • Double-click on the Firefox icon to open the Firefox browser window.
    • Enter the BC forums address www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums in the address box and press <ENTER>.
    • Sign in to the forums and locate your topic.
    • Paste the text that you copied in the terminal window in a reply to your topic.
      • Note: Please enclose the pasted text in CODE tags so that the spacing/formatting is preserved.
      • Firstly, click on the "Insert code snippet" button Insertcodesnippetdetail2.png
      • You will then see the "start" and "end" code tags (highlighted in dark blue/selected in the image) in the text box.
      • Click between the two tags to insert the cursor between the tags and then press <Ctrl+V> to paste the text there.
    step2.gif At the PartedMagic Desktop:
    • Click on the ROXTerm icon to open a terminal window and at the prompt, type:

      dd if=/dev/sda of=mbr.bin bs=512 count=1
      • Note: Leave a space between the following:
        • dd ... the executable application used to create the backup
        • if=/dev/sda ... the device the backup is created from (the hard drive when only one HDD exists)
        • of=mbr.bin ... the backup file to create - note the lack of a path - it will be created in the directory currently open in the Terminal
        • bs=512 ... the number of bytes in the backup
        • count=1 ... says to backup just 1 sector
        • It is extremely important that the if and of statements are correctly entered.
    • ... and press the <ENTER> key.
      A file named mbr.bin will be saved to the system in the "root" directory.
      Note: This file is saved in memory only and will no longer exist when PartedMagic is shut down.
    At the PartedMagic Desktop, double-click the File Manager icon (on Desktop):
    • A new window will open.
    • In the "root" directory you will see the file that you just created called mbr.bin.
    • Right-click on the mbr.bin file > New > Archive.
    • Under "Archive Format", choose the format .zip from the drop-down menu.
    • Click Save.
    • You should now see the zipped file, mbr.bin.zip in the root directory along with mbr.bin.
    Please attach the mbr.bin.zip file to a reply to this topic.
    • When you click on Add Reply, you will see the facility to attach a file just below the box where you type your message.

Edited by AustrAlien, 08 February 2013 - 12:06 AM.

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#5 mike_bo

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 12:18 AM

Hello AustrAlien,

 

I did not set Testdisk up to create a log. Should I interrupt it and start again?

 

I did run fdisk and here is the output:

 

Welcome - Parted Magic (Linux 3.7.5-pmagic64)

root@partedmagic:~# fdisk -l

Disk /dev/sda: 500.1 GB, 500107862016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 60801 cylinders, total 976773168 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 4096 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 4096 bytes / 4096 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xdfc3c19f

This doesn't look like a partition table
Probably you selected the wrong device.

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1   ?  2881033868  2854285721  2134109575   2b  Unknown
Partition 1 does not start on physical sector boundary.
/dev/sda2   ?  1634045860  3332912129   849433135   b8  BSDI swap
Partition 2 does not start on physical sector boundary.
/dev/sda3   ?  4137868674  3168256007  1662677315   f7  Unknown
Partition 3 does not start on physical sector boundary.
/dev/sda4   ?   441549916  1766609821   662529953    9  AIX bootable
Partition 4 does not start on physical sector boundary.

Partition table entries are not in disk order
root@partedmagic:~#
 



#6 mike_bo

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 12:24 AM

... and here is the mr.bin.zip file

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#7 AustrAlien

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 12:27 AM

Thank you. I'll have a look at that now and get back to you on the TestDisk question.


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#8 AustrAlien

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 12:36 AM

Leave TestDisk run for the moment. I am going to check with James Litten if he is available and see what he thinks is best to do at this stage.

 

We might be able to get away without the log.


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#9 AustrAlien

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 12:43 AM

Can you provide a link to the topic you referred to in your first post,
where you saw the instruction to create a PartedMagic CD and run
TestDisk?

 

That might come in handy?


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#10 mike_bo

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 12:48 AM

do you know if I can used parted Magic also to do some file copying on a Win2003 Pc that has problems booting? I tried it but the PC does not seem to load the GUI, and I am not really that familiar with the Linux command line interface, especially with mounting devices.



#11 mike_bo

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 12:50 AM

Regaarding your question about where I found the instructions: It was on this site, in a closed thread that I found goofling. Let me see if I can find it again.



#12 mike_bo

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 12:54 AM

It might have been this one: www.bleepingcomputers.com/forums/t/461288/invalid-partition-table/



#13 AustrAlien

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 01:17 AM

I didn't have any success with the link you provided ... it doesn't seem to work.

 

There are some machines that will have hardware not compatible with PartedMagic, and it could be one of those. Could be not enough RAM ??

 

How far does the loading process get and what do you see happening on-screen when things stop?


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#14 AustrAlien

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 01:27 AM

Ah, I've got it: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/461288/invalid-partition-table/

 

You had an s on the end of bleepingcomputer !!!


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#15 mike_bo

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 01:29 AM

Sorry. I copied that by hand from another computer screen ...






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