Unbootable Windows Installation - Dell Laptop

Using TestDisk to repair the filesystem
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Cormy1
Posts: 5
Joined: 20 Feb 2021, 01:58

Unbootable Windows Installation - Dell Laptop

#1 Post by Cormy1 »

Some context of things I have attempted: https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/win ... d5341fdc47
When entering the Advanced menu, my only option is Image Creation for all of the volumes except 1, which is a Basic data partition for the OS. It is a Primary, MS Data partition.
Checking the Boot menu yields an OK Boot sector and matching Backup boot sector. I can also access files on the drive just fine.
Entering Analyze, I have 6 total partitions.
Under the first partition, it says No FAT, NTFS, ext2, JFS, Reiser, cramfs or XFS marker. That first partition is an EFI system partition.
There are 2 partitions labeled partition 2 with identical sizes and overlapping start/end positions, they are MS Reserved partitions.
Then there is the Basic data partition and 2 Recovery environment partitions.
The Quick Search completes just fine and it returns an EFI System Partition, and 5X MS Data partitions, one marked with OS and another marked Image.
Strangely, the 2 MS Reserved partitions shown before now have completely different starting positions, end positions and size. They now appear to be copies of the Recovery environment partitions, but their start positions have changed and now overlap with other partitions. When I try to list their files, I am told "Can't open filesystem. Filesystem seems damage."
However during the Deeper scan Testdisk got stuck on a Read Error at a particular address: 0/98/34 (lba=6207), 3884/121600 (03%). It always completely stops at this point, and hangs for a while if I try and Stop the scan.
Interestingly, while I'm scanning there are 2 Mac HFS partitions that appear, and I'm not sure why that is, there shouldn't be any Mac partitions on this PC, though in the Testdisk Recovery Examples they mention that Dell computers have a DellUtility partition, which I haven't yet seen.
Based on other threads in here, I'm also ready to run smartmontools to check my disk health, though when I used -h my disk seemed to pass fine. Though I may have run it wrong, the result was pretty instantaneous. The drive is in the database.
I've also been able to run chkdsk fine.

And that's where I'm at, trying to figure out what I should do next.

Analyze

1 EFI 2048-1026047 1024000
2X2 MS Reserved 1026048-1288191 262144
3 MS Data 1288192-1926456815 1925168624
4 WinRe 1926457344-1927538687 1081344
5 WinRe 1927538688-1953523711 25985024

QuickSearch

EFI 2048-1026047 1024000 ESP
MS Data 1288192-1926456815 1925168624
MS Data 1901553665-1927538688 25985024 <- Duplicate with damaged file system
MS Data 1925376001-1926457344 1081344 <- Duplicate with damaged file system
MS Data 1926457344-1927538687 1081344
MS Data 1927538688-1953523711 25985024

Deeper Search

EFI System 2048-1026047 1024000 ESP
EFI System 2048-1026047 1024000 ESP NONAME
MS DATA 2054-1026053 1024000 NONAME
MS Data 1288192-1926456815 1925168624 OS
Mac HFS 6324452-530612709 524288258
Mac HFS 21270206-344231871 322961666

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recuperation
Posts: 1192
Joined: 04 Jan 2019, 09:48
Location: Hannover, Deutschland (Germany, Allemagne)

Re: Unbootable Windows Installation - Dell Laptop

#2 Post by recuperation »

You have at least one, probable multiple unreadable sectors.
Duplicate your drive using ddrescue as described in the manual - you have at least one broken sector, keep the ddrescue log file.
For quick drive diagnostics you can post SMART parameters using smartmontools. Search the forum for "smartctl". Post the log file here.

Cormy1
Posts: 5
Joined: 20 Feb 2021, 01:58

Re: Unbootable Windows Installation - Dell Laptop

#3 Post by Cormy1 »

You don't believe Testdisk can repair any of the issues? Even when chkdsk has run fine?
What would be done with the disk duplicate? Recopied onto the drive after I format it to deal with the unreadable sectors?
I suppose ddrescue won't be able to read those sectors anyway so they will be lost regardless.

How can I post the log file here, I see no attachment option for posting.
https://pastebin.com/v4JL20nH

recuperation
Posts: 1192
Joined: 04 Jan 2019, 09:48
Location: Hannover, Deutschland (Germany, Allemagne)

Re: Unbootable Windows Installation - Dell Laptop

#4 Post by recuperation »

Cormy1 wrote:
20 Feb 2021, 18:21
You don't believe Testdisk can repair any of the issues?
Please refrain from allegations.
Even when chkdsk has run fine?
chdsk is not a tool to measure disk health.
What would be done with the disk duplicate?
The best thing would to be to duplicate it again and work on the second duplicate.
Recopied onto the drive after I format it to deal with the unreadable sectors?
Not at all. You would put the broken disc aside. Working with a broken disk is malpractice.
I suppose ddrescue won't be able to read those sectors anyway so they will be lost regardless.
This is correct but that does not matter anyway.
How can I post the log file here, I see no attachment option for posting.
https://pastebin.com/v4JL20nH
You might paste it into a block like .

Testdisk has not been programmed to cope with broken sectors.
Working on a duplicate eradicates any interferences with unreadable sectors.

Cormy1
Posts: 5
Joined: 20 Feb 2021, 01:58

Re: Unbootable Windows Installation - Dell Laptop

#5 Post by Cormy1 »

Alright, the disk has been cloned.
In the end, it seems there was 89600 B of bad sector, 5 bad areas, out of a 1TB drive. Not even 1MB of bad sectors... 'causing all these issues =\
smartctl -H still says PASSED, despite Debian's Disk manager telling me it failed its self-test.

How should I now proceed with Testdisk? Should I go through gddrescue's fill mode before I continue?

recuperation
Posts: 1192
Joined: 04 Jan 2019, 09:48
Location: Hannover, Deutschland (Germany, Allemagne)

Re: Unbootable Windows Installation - Dell Laptop

#6 Post by recuperation »

Cormy1 wrote:
23 Feb 2021, 17:59
Alright, the disk has been cloned.
In the end, it seems there was 89600 B
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=10792 Point 2

of bad sector, 5 bad areas, out of a 1TB drive. Not even 1MB of bad sectors... 'causing all these issues =\
smartctl -H still says PASSED, despite Debian's Disk manager telling me it failed its self-test.

How should I now proceed with Testdisk? Should I go through gddrescue's fill mode before I continue?

Cormy1
Posts: 5
Joined: 20 Feb 2021, 01:58

Re: Unbootable Windows Installation - Dell Laptop

#7 Post by Cormy1 »

Point 2 being acronyms and gamer talk?
Neither things which I used?
Disk cloning is what gddrescue does... 1:1 copy of a disk, this is a common term for backing up the contents of a disk.
Or can I not say B, TB and MB because those are acronyms. So I must say bytes, terabytes and megabytes.
recuperation wrote:
20 Feb 2021, 08:50
Duplicate your drive using ddrescue as described in the manual - you have at least one broken sector, keep the ddrescue log file.
Done
Cormy1 wrote:
23 Feb 2021, 17:59
How should I now proceed with Testdisk? Should I go through gddrescue's fill mode before I continue?

recuperation
Posts: 1192
Joined: 04 Jan 2019, 09:48
Location: Hannover, Deutschland (Germany, Allemagne)

Re: Unbootable Windows Installation - Dell Laptop

#8 Post by recuperation »

Cormy1 wrote:
23 Feb 2021, 23:34
Point 2 being acronyms and gamer talk?
Neither things which I used?
Disk cloning is what gddrescue does... 1:1 copy of a disk, this is a common term for backing up the contents of a disk.
Or can I not say B, TB and MB because those are acronyms. So I must say bytes, terabytes and megabytes.
TB and MB are common computer terms. "B" is not.
Furthermore, the ddrescue log file describe sector ranges with letters. Not caring about avoiding confusion is not a smart idea.
Cormy1 wrote:
23 Feb 2021, 17:59
How should I now proceed with Testdisk? Should I go through gddrescue's fill mode before I continue?
You can apply Testdisk to the duplicate now.

Cormy1
Posts: 5
Joined: 20 Feb 2021, 01:58

Re: Unbootable Windows Installation - Dell Laptop

#9 Post by Cormy1 »

ddrescue prints "bad-sector: 89600 B", I am only repeating.
The sector ranges all start with 0x followed by 8 digits, nothing like 89600 B.
The byte is the base unit represented by B; kilo, mega and tera are just prefixes to shorten values, they aren't needed.

Code: Select all

Current status
     ipos:    4222 kB, non-trimmed:        0 B,  current rate:       0 B/s
     opos:    4222 kB, non-scraped:        0 B,  average rate:       0 B/s
non-tried:        0 B,  bad-sector:    89600 B,    error rate:    3584 B/s
Only ipos and opos are in kB, because those values are too large to fit the display format.

There seems to be many duplicate partitions, many identified as non supported Mac HFS filesystem.
There was still a read error but this time Testdisk didn't hang on it endlessly.
I received many head/cylinder and sector per track mismatches.

Full log: https://pastebin.com/KBt9Wufb

Initial terminal prints:

Code: Select all

Disk /dev/sdb - 1000 GB / 931 GiB - CHS 121601 255 63

The harddisk (1000 GB / 931 GiB) seems too small! (< 2051 GB / 1911 GiB)
Check the harddisk size: HD jumpers settings, BIOS detection...

Read error at 51207/143/28 (lba=822649491)

The following partitions can't be recovered:
     Partition               Start        End    Size in sectors
   Mac HFS                119966216 2267417097 2147450882 [k@]
   Mac HFS                148910952 4007671401 3858760450
   MS Data                172854560 2098023183 1925168624
   Mac HFS                186030384 2333481265 2147450882 [k@]
   MS Data                194930400 2120099023 1925168624
   Mac HFS                220453136 2367904017 2147450882 [k@]
   MS Data                223605024 2148773647 1925168624
   Mac HFS                260765872 2408216753 2147450882 [k@]
   Mac HFS                337096272 2484547153 2147450882 [k@]
   MS Data                49861430
   Mac HFS                591927453 2290620830 1698693378
   Mac HFS                609078343 2164041746 1554963404
   MS Data                701852320 2627020943 1925168624
   Mac HFS                964273168 3111724049 2147450882 [k@]
   MS Data                965832000 2891160895 1925328896
   MS Data                989846464 2915175359 1925328896
   MS Data                990643968 2915972863 1925328896
   MS Data                991524160 2916853055 1925328896
   MS Data                991935776 2917264671 1925328896
   MS Data               1926456815 3851625438 1925168624
   MS Data               1953523711 1979508734   25985024
Total Partitions after Deep Search finished:

Code: Select all

 D MS Data                     2048    1026047    1024000 [ESP]
 D MS Data                     2054    1026053    1024000 [NO NAME]
 D MS Data                  1288192 1926456815 1925168624
 D Mac HFS                  6324452  530612709  524288258
 D Mac HFS                 21270206  344231871  322961666
 D MS Data                155869424  155872303       2880 [EFISECTOR]
 D MS Data                157772592  157775471       2880 [EFISECTOR]
 D MS Data                158920496  158923375       2880 [EFISECTOR]
 D MS Data                159411376  159414255       2880 [EFISECTOR]
 D Mac HFS                159729754  692812928  533083175
 D MS Data                167011616  167014495       2880 [EFISECTOR]
 D MS Data                180093475  180099648       6174
 D MS Data                180099648  180105821       6174 [Boot]
 D MS Data                186969083  186975256       6174
 D MS Data                186975256  186981429       6174 [Boot]
 D MS Data                187183547  187189720       6174
 D MS Data                187189720  187195893       6174 [Boot]
 D Mac HFS                192216740  716504997  524288258
 D MS Data                225779896  225782775       2880 [EFISECTOR]
 D MS Data                240935808  240938687       2880 [EFISECTOR]
 D MS Data                240938688  240941567       2880 [EFISECTOR]
 D Mac HFS                337468804  861757061  524288258
 D MS Data                378454235  378460408       6174
 D MS Data                378460408  378466581       6174 [Boot]
 D MS Data                412239931  412246104       6174
 D MS Data                412246104  412252277       6174
 D MS Data                412351512  412354391       2880 [EFISECTOR]
 D MS Data                478540096  478542975       2880 [EFISECTOR]
 D MS Data                572653843  572660016       6174
 D MS Data                572660016  572666189       6174 [Boot]
 D Mac HFS                692812925 1225896099  533083175
 D MS Data                985947219  985953392       6174
 D MS Data                985947283  985953456       6174
 D MS Data                985953392  985959565       6174
 D MS Data                985953456  985959629       6174
 D MS Data                986369504  986372383       2880 [EFISECTOR]
 D MS Data                997534552  997537431       2880 [EFISECTOR]
 D MS Data               1004875579 1004881752       6174
 D MS Data               1004881752 1004887925       6174
 D MS Data               1901553665 1927538688   25985024
 D MS Data               1925376001 1926457344    1081344
 D MS Data               1926457344 1927538687    1081344
 D MS Data               1926759579 1926765752       6174
 D MS Data               1926765752 1926771925       6174 [Boot]
 D MS Data               1926867331 1926873504       6174
 D MS Data               1926873504 1926879677       6174 [Boot]
 D MS Data               1927538687 1928620030    1081344
 D MS Data               1927538688 1953523711   25985024
Do you have any additional advice for me based on these results?
I will try my best to work with this but it seems there's an awful lot wrong with the filesystem on this drive, I have no idea how the partitions could've ended up this messy.

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