No option to repair the boot sector—am I doing something wrong?

Using TestDisk to repair the filesystem
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kropotkin
Posts: 2
Joined: 27 Nov 2023, 20:23

No option to repair the boot sector—am I doing something wrong?

#1 Post by kropotkin »

I have a 2TB external HDD that no longer mounts. The drive is NTFS; it had one single partition; I use it with Linux machines. I believe about half the drive has data on it. The SMART report is attached to this post. I believe my next step ought to be imaging the drive and working on the image, but I would be curious to know whether the information I currently have suggests that this will be at all successful.

However, my main question is about a missing option in the advanced menu.

An initial run of TestDisk analysis found one partition, listed twice, and no filesystem marker. See image below. An attempt to run QuickSearch analysis did not proceed past the menu (didn't even get to analysis screen; I left it running overnight to see if it would manage).

testdisk1.png
testdisk1.png (50.94 KiB) Viewed 12149 times

From the TestDisk manual section 7.5, it seemed that it would be worth attempting to repair the boot sector. However, when going through the Advanced menu, the expected option "boot" is not available to me. See image.

testdisk2.png
testdisk2.png (39.25 KiB) Viewed 12149 times

Am I doing something wrong, or am I missing some crucial fact about the state of the drive? And should that crucial fact make me pessimistic about recovery via an image?
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smartreport.txt
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recuperation
Posts: 2702
Joined: 04 Jan 2019, 09:48
Location: Hannover, Deutschland (Germany, Allemagne)

Re: No option to repair the boot sector—am I doing something wrong?

#2 Post by recuperation »

Your smartmontools logfile shows 2017 unreadable sectors.
You have to make a choice between consulting a professional lab or continuing on your own.

When continuing on your own, try to duplicate the disk to another disk as described in the Testdisk manual to avoid stressing your broken disk.
Afterwards duplicate the duplicate again. Use the second duplicate for your experiments.

Read this:
https://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk_Step_By_Step

Use the "list files" function to check the found partitions vor readable content.
If that fails use a commercial recovery tool or Photorec.

kropotkin
Posts: 2
Joined: 27 Nov 2023, 20:23

Re: No option to repair the boot sector—am I doing something wrong?

#3 Post by kropotkin »

Thank you. 2017 does not seem many on a disk that size, but I guess they are the crucial ones that contain(ed) the boot sector and that's why there is no boot option in TestDisk.

I am definitely going to image the disk as my next step—I am waiting for delivery of an external HDD big enough to have the image and a copy to work with (as you suggest).

I appreciate your response and your time, and I will only post follow-ups if I have a question that I really cannot find the answer to elsewhere on the forum/internet.

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