MBR Messup followed by "first sectors not identical"

How to use TestDisk to recover lost partition
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kamakazikamikaze
Posts: 5
Joined: 24 Apr 2012, 15:48

MBR Messup followed by "first sectors not identical"

#1 Postby kamakazikamikaze » 24 Apr 2012, 16:15

Info first!
Hard Drive:
ADATA HDD SH93 500GB
  • Use: 5 months
  • Partitions: One
  • Used space: Less than 100GB
  • Usage: Data Storage (No OS)
  • Format: FAT32 (LBA)


Current Computer (at an Internet Shop here in the Philippines):
  • Microsoft Windows XP SP3 Professional
  • Running with Deep Freeze (yeah, I know...)



Ok, here's the story. Last week I was using my HD and running some apps from it. I was using a number of programs from Portable Apps (only 3) and let them run in the background while playing a game. The game suddenly switched out and told me that the drive was no longer accessible and needed to save the data in another location. It turns out that the MBR was corrupted and the day was saved by copying the backup boot sector to the main one. Life resumed and I cut back on the apps running at once.

Two days ago the HD failed on me again, this time with the MBR intact. No problems with it. I ran testdisk and got this result: "first sectors (boot code and partition table) are not identical". I tried the same thing (copying the backup over the main) but it kept reverting back by changing a single byte from "00" to "01". I then tried the opposite. No success.

So here's the thing: Boot sector claims to be okay. Data is intact. Where I'm at I have a cheap DVD player that has a USB port. I connected it and it reads all my data without problems. The computer can't. Upon connecting it the computer (Explorer.exe) slows down significantly. TestDisk slows down too when trying to recognize the drives. The drive is reported as "corrupted and unreadable" by Windows when trying to open it and it takes FOREVER for it to try to open.

Any suggestions or additional things to post? I can do a search if needed and post some screenshots, I just don't know at this point as to what would be most useful. I'm only allowed net usage once or twice a week due to my schedule but I'll keep you informed as I can.

My ideas:
  • TestDisk wants to make the primary partition bootable. I have no OS. I should change it to just Primary ("P" instead of "*"). Upon trying (and reversing) it says parameter incorrect. Maybe I need to rebuild MBR.
  • I should stop running uTorrent on this HD and have it run on my flashdrive instead
  • Splurge on a new external HD, backup the data, reformat

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Fiona
Posts: 2839
Joined: 18 Feb 2012, 17:19
Location: Ludwigsburg/Stuttgart - Germany

Re: MBR Messup followed by "first sectors not identical"

#2 Postby Fiona » 24 Apr 2012, 19:10

TestDisk makes in Quick and Deeper Search each first primary partition bootable.
That's easily predefind.
Often helpful if users write a partition table and didn't consider to set a primary active partition.

It looks like that your file system is damaged.
Migt be advisable to copy/backup your data using TestDisk first.

If explorer and testdisk doesn't hang, a screenshot about your current partition structur in TestDisk / Analyse would be appreciated.
It's your partition table.

kamakazikamikaze
Posts: 5
Joined: 24 Apr 2012, 15:48

Re: MBR Messup followed by "first sectors not identical"

#3 Postby kamakazikamikaze » 24 Apr 2012, 19:21

Fiona wrote:TestDisk makes in Quick and Deeper Search each first primary partition bootable.
That's easily predefind.
Often helpful if users write a partition table and didn't consider to set a primary active partition.

It looks like that your file system is damaged.
Migt be advisable to copy/backup your data first.

If explorer and testdisk doesn't hang, a screenshot about your current partition structur in TestDisk / Analyse would be appreciated.
It's your partition table.

Thanks for your response.

I noticed that it automatically does so, but I didn't know if it made a difference if I changed it to Primary (non-boot) instead of primary (bootable). :oops:

This is the partition structure. I'm currently running "rebuild BS" to add to the log. About 44% done :|
table.JPG
First shot of partition structure
table.JPG (16.48 KiB) Viewed 3125 times



I guess I could do a backup in a week or two. I'd have to buy another drive. My dad won't be happy about that...but pictures of 1.5 years in the Philippines is pretty important. What's the odds that I can repair the filesystem without messing anything else up?

(EDIT)

By the way, I'm loving that avatar pic :D


(EDIT-2)
*facepalm* Does this mean I posted in the wrong section? If it's a filesystem error rather than a problem with the partition (which sounds like it branches off of the filesystem) I've posted in the wrong area :geek:

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Fiona
Posts: 2839
Joined: 18 Feb 2012, 17:19
Location: Ludwigsburg/Stuttgart - Germany

Re: MBR Messup followed by "first sectors not identical"

#4 Postby Fiona » 24 Apr 2012, 20:48

(EDIT-2)
*facepalm* Does this mean I posted in the wrong section? If it's a filesystem error rather than a problem with the partition (which sounds like it branches off of the filesystem) I've posted in the wrong area :geek:

Often during a diagnose, the result can be a damaged file system.
In case, I can move your topic to an appropriate forum.

Currently I recommend Testdisk 6.14WIP beta.
Your screen displays only your partition.
It's normal and standard, nothing wrong.
If your boot sector is ok, there will be nothing to do.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

I noticed that it automatically does so, but I didn't know if it made a difference if I changed it to Primary (non-boot) instead of primary (bootable).

On a disk, one active partition is allowed.
The significance is only to boot from.
Otherwise there is no difference to a normal primary partition.

What's the odds that I can repair the filesystem without messing anything else up?

Chkdsk is intended to have a try to repair a file system but not to recover files.
It can increase damage.
I've had a lot of cases after chkdsk.
But also cases where it was helpful.
I don't recommend it, to recover data.

You can test chkdsk without parameter first.
Might be chkdsk driveletter:
It will be executed in a write protected mode and doesn't change anything.
You can open your command prompt and test it.

By the way, I'm loving that avatar pic :D

Thanks, me too :)

Fiona

kamakazikamikaze
Posts: 5
Joined: 24 Apr 2012, 15:48

Re: MBR Messup followed by "first sectors not identical"

#5 Postby kamakazikamikaze » 24 Apr 2012, 21:02

Ok, downloaded it. I still have another version of it scanning to fix the BS. I guess I'll shut it down (only got to 67% anyways).

Here's what Analyse -> Quick Search brought up:
partition.JPG
Quick Search
partition.JPG (46.51 KiB) Viewed 3102 times


So yeah, nothing wrong. I guess it's really just a messed up filesystem :|

I'll run chkdsk real quick and post the results. I kinda tried earlier (until the first prompt menu) and chickened out. Might've been a good thing!


So, to help me a bit, there is a Partition Map Table that holds the listing of partitions which would be in the MBR, but the filesystem is separate (OS-based)? I'm not into this whole hardware-based programming stuff. Even with four years of programming down for applications/software I still can't understand the logistics with hardware... *headache and facepalm*

By the way, I got this:
chkdsk.JPG
ChkDsk non-fix?
chkdsk.JPG (33.41 KiB) Viewed 3102 times

Continue?

User avatar
Fiona
Posts: 2839
Joined: 18 Feb 2012, 17:19
Location: Ludwigsburg/Stuttgart - Germany

Re: MBR Messup followed by "first sectors not identical"

#6 Postby Fiona » 24 Apr 2012, 21:14

That's on your own risk!
Wouldn't you rather wait until you have another disk to have a try to copy your data first?
It's better to do nothing as to do something wrong.
It's in any case better than to precipitate something!

Fiona

kamakazikamikaze
Posts: 5
Joined: 24 Apr 2012, 15:48

Re: MBR Messup followed by "first sectors not identical"

#7 Postby kamakazikamikaze » 24 Apr 2012, 21:18

Fiona wrote:That's on your own risk!
Wouldn't you rather wait until you have another disk to have a try to copy your data?
It's better to do nothing as to do something wrong.
It's in any case better than to precipitate something!

Fiona


Decisions, decisions! I guess I'll wait until I can find a better answer. I dunno when cash will be in so I'll just have a useless drive for a while. Maybe I'll just offload anything I didn't already get and upload it to Picasa next week. Most of the important pictures have already been taken off, it's just the special ones and videos I really need.

Thanks for now. I guess I'll wait until someone else has any ideas or replies.


(EDIT)
Do I need to do a deep scan with [Analyse] to check for bad cylinders and such?

User avatar
Fiona
Posts: 2839
Joined: 18 Feb 2012, 17:19
Location: Ludwigsburg/Stuttgart - Germany

Re: MBR Messup followed by "first sectors not identical"

#8 Postby Fiona » 24 Apr 2012, 21:28

Do I need to do a deep scan with [Analyse] to check for bad cylinders and such?

No, there is no necessity to stress your disk and it's not advisable.
You can try to copy some important files.
Its not as easy either, because if a file system is damaged, TestDisk or windows could hang.

Fiona

kamakazikamikaze
Posts: 5
Joined: 24 Apr 2012, 15:48

Re: MBR Messup followed by "first sectors not identical"

#9 Postby kamakazikamikaze » 24 Apr 2012, 21:30

Awesome. Thanks for your help and suggestions. I'll figure something out sooner or later. Recover, reformat, return :)


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