Testdisk screwed up my external HDD

How to use TestDisk to recover lost partition
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FixingProblems
Posts: 8
Joined: 29 Apr 2012, 16:11

Testdisk screwed up my external HDD

#1 Postby FixingProblems » 29 Apr 2012, 21:18

Ok...I hate to be the bearer of bad news about your software, but unfortunately, it appears as if Testdisk screwed up my USB 250 GB Iomega Ego external HDD, and I don't know how to fix it.
You see, originally I could only see the partitions on the external HDD that I had setup on it a while back from my boot manager & partitioning software (BootIt Ng), and not from either XP or Ubuntu (which I have setup in a multiboot on my computer), or Win 7 on another computer. I wished to solve this problem by using Testdisk from Ubuntu, so I booted into Ubuntu, opened up the Terminal, and started up Testdisk. Selected "Create a new log file", selected my USB hard drive, hit Proceed, and on the next screen, selected "Intel/PC partition", and then hit "Analyze" to search for lost partitions. Once it was done (and yes, it did locate the three partitions on there, which previously it wasn't seeing), I figured that probably wouldn't be enough for the OSes to see the partitions, and access their filesystems, so I next exited back to the main menu, and selected the "[MBR Code]" option to write Testdisk MBR code to first sector of the hard drive, which said it completed successfully. So next I rebooted, hoping I would now be able to get into my partitions from my operating systems, but alas...now the problem is much worse!! :?
Now I cannot even see the hard drive (much less its partitions) in my boot manager/partitioning software with the USB drive connected. I have also tried booting directly from my USB HDD by putting it first in the boot order of the BIOS, but all that happens is, the BIOS skips the external hard drive, and does not chainload it (probably because it can't even see it), and instead loads up my main internal hard drive. And of course, now I can't even see the hard drive from my OSes. :x

So does anyone have any idea how to solve this problem, which testdisk appears to have caused?? Also note that now my USB hard drive makes a weird clicking noise when I connect it to my computer, and it turns on, almost as if there was some writing operation or something that failed to complete on it, and now it keeps trying to finish it without suceeding...but that's just a guess. So I'm certainly open to any suggestions or thoughts to a solution for the problem.

Thanks in advance.

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

Re: Testdisk screwed up my external HDD

#2 Postby Fiona » 29 Apr 2012, 22:11

Bootmanager usually modifying the MBR.
Overrridding of an boot manager modified MBR can cause a pretty good mess.
Also IOMEGA uses harware encryption pretty often.
That's why don't put it out of your enclosure (it's only intended as info).
I will show you what you did, writing the TestDisk MBR code to your external drive;
http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/Menu_MBRCode
So you used TestDisk to write only a boot code of an MBR.
But note that your boot manager manages your partitions and partition table.
If you write into your boot manager, it can cause such strange behavior.
Can you start your OS without your external HDD?
How is your disk listed in your BIOS?
Can you use it on USB in Windows?
Also note that now my USB hard drive makes a weird clicking noise when I connect it to my computer,

That's why I suggested to diagnose it on another Windows as an exernal disk.
In case if you Windows hangs or anything like that, we should consider to safe your partition table and then delete your faulty partition table.
Also check like your hard disk is listed under windows in your disk management console and device manager also.

Fiona

FixingProblems
Posts: 8
Joined: 29 Apr 2012, 16:11

Re: Testdisk screwed up my external HDD

#3 Postby FixingProblems » 30 Apr 2012, 03:22

Fiona wrote:Bootmanager usually modifying the MBR.
Overrridding of an boot manager modified MBR can cause a pretty good mess.
Also IOMEGA uses harware encryption pretty often.
That's why don't put it out of your enclosure (it's only intended as info).
I will show you what you did, writing the TestDisk MBR code to your external drive;
http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/Menu_MBRCode
So you used TestDisk to write only a boot code of an MBR.
But note that your boot manager manages your partitions and partition table.
If you write into your boot manager, it can cause such strange behavior.
Can you start your OS without your external HDD?
How is your disk listed in your BIOS?
Can you use it on USB in Windows?

Ok, hold on...my boot manager (BootIt NG) is not installed on my external USB hard drive.
It is only installed on my main (internal) hard drive, so yes, I can start my OSes through my boot
manager without my external HDD. As for whether my external hard drive is listed in BIOS,
it shows a "USB Bootable Device" or some such option in the boot menu, but it doesn't actually
identify my USB hard drive (but I don't think it was even doing that before I screwed it before either).
I believe that option is just a generic option for any USB hard drive I may decide to connect at any time.
Fiona wrote:
Also note that now my USB hard drive makes a weird clicking noise when I connect it to my computer,

That's why I suggested to diagnose it on another Windows as an exernal disk.
In case if you Windows hangs or anything like that, we should consider to safe your partition table and then delete your faulty partition table.
Also check like your hard disk is listed under windows in your disk management console and device manager also.

Fiona

I'm about to go check right now to see if the hard drive shows up in Windows, but I don't think the hard drive is going to show up in my disk management, since Ubuntu does not see it at all (even with fdisk).

Thanks for the reply though.

FixingProblems
Posts: 8
Joined: 29 Apr 2012, 16:11

Re: Testdisk screwed up my external HDD

#4 Postby FixingProblems » 30 Apr 2012, 04:06

Ok...I got a little surprise here. :) It DID show up in Disk Management (yay)!
Though it shows the drive as only having a single unformatted volume, so I'm running testdisk on it now from Windows XP, having it search for lost partitions again, and once more its locating the partitions. I'll just have to figure out how to do something better this time, I guess...

EDIT: Forgot to mention the drive is no longer clicking now either, so maybe that has something to do with it.

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

Re: Testdisk screwed up my external HDD

#5 Postby Fiona » 30 Apr 2012, 09:01

It sounds better if your disk doesn't click anymore!
I'd need a screen from Analyse to diagnose your current partition structur (partition table).
Also from Quick and Deeper Search.
If your partitions are found, please have a try to list your data.


Fiona

FixingProblems
Posts: 8
Joined: 29 Apr 2012, 16:11

Re: Testdisk screwed up my external HDD

#6 Postby FixingProblems » 30 Apr 2012, 14:24

Fiona wrote:It sound better if your disk doesn't click anymore!
I'd need a screen from Analyse to diagnose your current partition structur (partition table).
Also from Quick and Deeper Search.
If your partitions are found, please have a try to list your data.


Fiona

Ok, just selecting "Analyze" does not show any partitions on the hard drive.
However, when I run a Quick search, it finds the 3 partitions on there.

I have uploaded a screenshot showing the details:

Image

EDIT: And I have hit P on both the NTFS and FAT 32 partition to list the files on there, and it shows everything the way I remember it, so it looks like the filesystems are still intact. :)
But I still have no idea what to do to make the partitions accessible from my OSes. Any ideas?

Thanks in advance.
Attachments
testdisk.JPG
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Fiona
Posts: 2839
Joined: 18 Feb 2012, 17:19
Location: Ludwigsburg/Stuttgart - Germany

Re: Testdisk screwed up my external HDD

#7 Postby Fiona » 30 Apr 2012, 15:17

Ok, just selecting "Analyze" does not show any partitions on the hard drive.

Looks like, that you don't have any partition in your partition table.
To make your partitions accessible to your OS you should register them to your partition table.
Currently I've no idea about your FreeBSD-partition and it does'nt start right after your FAT32-Partition.
But if it's ok, easily at your last screen hit enter;
download/file.php?mode=view&id=421
Mark Write and confirm with enter and y.
Close TestDisk using Quit and restart your PC.
Please let me know.

Fiona

FixingProblems
Posts: 8
Joined: 29 Apr 2012, 16:11

Re: Testdisk screwed up my external HDD

#8 Postby FixingProblems » 01 May 2012, 00:51

Fiona wrote:
Ok, just selecting "Analyze" does not show any partitions on the hard drive.

Looks like, that you don't have any partition in your partition table.
To make your partitions accessible to your OS you should register them to your partition table.
Currently I've no idea about your FreeBSD-partition and it does'nt start right after your FAT32-Partition.
But if it's ok, easily at your last screen hit enter;
download/file.php?mode=view&id=421
Mark Write and confirm with enter and y.
Close TestDisk using Quit and restart your PC.
Please let me know.

Fiona

Ok, I did that, and now on the Analyze screen, it shows the 3 partitions without searching for them.
However, in Disk Management, it only shows one 232.89 GB partition with a drive letter I
on the hard drive. And when attempting to access I: from My Computer, it asks if I want
to format it, which I obviously don't, so I hit No.
Now what?
Attachments
Disk Management.JPG
Disk Management.JPG (153.32 KiB) Viewed 7808 times
testdisk.JPG
testdisk.JPG (42.52 KiB) Viewed 7808 times

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

Re: Testdisk screwed up my external HDD

#9 Postby Fiona » 01 May 2012, 16:21

Would it be possible to use version 6.14-32bit?
TestDisk 6.10 is a pretty old one.

Might be possible that your partition table is messed up.
In any case, windows disk management console displays a wrong partition.
Normally TestDisk should display only that partition?
Could you delete your unformatted partition from your disk management console?
Can you make a backup from your partition table in Testdisk?
You'll find at at Analyse.
Please close any background process like Antivirus etc.. which can prevent TestDisk from writing a partition table.
Repeat your diagnose and Write your partitions again.
Please let me know if this one was working for you?

Fiona

FixingProblems
Posts: 8
Joined: 29 Apr 2012, 16:11

Re: Testdisk screwed up my external HDD

#10 Postby FixingProblems » 02 May 2012, 21:54

Fiona wrote:Would it be possible to use version 6.14-32bit?
TestDisk 6.10 is a pretty old one.

Might be possible that your partition table is messed up.
In any case, windows disk management console displays a wrong partition.
Normally TestDisk should display only that partition?
Could you delete your unformatted partition from your disk management console?
Can you make a backup from your partition table in Testdisk?
You'll find at at Analyse.
Please close any background process like Antivirus etc.. which can prevent TestDisk from writing a partition table.
Repeat your diagnose and Write your partitions again.
Please let me know if this one was working for you?

Fiona

Ok, I created an image for each partition shown by Testdisk (selecting to append to file, instead of creating a different one for each partition), just to be on the safe side, then I deleted the partition from Disk Management (in W7 of my other computer) which brought the disk to 232.89 "unformatted space" from DM's perspective. Next I started up Testdisk again, which now didn't show any partitions at the Analyze screen, so I ran Quick search again, and it located the 3 partitions again. Then I selected "Write" to the partitions to the partition table of the disk, and was instructed to reboot, which I did. Next, I opened up DM again, which now showed there being once more a 232.89 healthy RAW F: partition (??), which of course wants to be formatted when trying to open it in Computer. So I have attached two screenshots showing where I'm at now.

Any further help would be much appreciated.
Attachments
Win7DiskManagement.png
Win7DiskManagement.png (204.2 KiB) Viewed 7778 times
testdisk.PNG
testdisk.PNG (88.65 KiB) Viewed 7778 times


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