All partitions deleted or all partitions Primary

How to use TestDisk to recover lost partition
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arlesterc
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Joined: 04 Feb 2017, 05:52

All partitions deleted or all partitions Primary

#1 Post by arlesterc » 04 Feb 2017, 06:43

My Toshiba Satellite Pro running Win 8.1 Pro can't boot - or rather it keeps booting and going into diagnostics and just stays 'diagnosing system/hard disk' forever. I ran testdisk on the drive and the first option that shows up in Analyze is EFI GPT. If I choose that option I get a list of partitions - no duplicates, no overlaps as far as start/end - all marked P. The partitions are:

1 P unknown
2 P EFI
3 P MS Reserved
4 P MS Data
5 P Unknown

If I do a deeper search from there I see all 5 partitions but now they are marked as follows:

1 P MS DATA [System]
2 P MS Data [No Name]
3 P MS Data (nothing in the far right column)
4 P MS Data [T1....] (looks like Toshiba HDD ID)
5 P Unknown [Recovery]

I did yet a deeper search at this point and got all kinds of errors about:cylinder mismatches, sectors per track mismatches with one or another of bracketed [FAT], [EFISECTOR],[HD], [BOOT] after each line indicating the mismatch.

In any case when I chose to see the files on the various partitions with the P command, I once again could see all my files on partition 4.

I then ran testdisk again and chose the Intel option.

The first screen showed one partition - P EFI GPT

And a message:
Bad ending head - CHS and LBA don't match.
No partition is bootable.


I did a deeper search and I again got 5 partitions but this time they were all marked D in the far left column. No overlaps

The partitions were as follows:

D HPFS NTFS .... [SYSTEM}

D FAT 32 [NO NAME]

D HPFS NTFS (nothing in the far right column)

D HPFS NTFS [T1....] (looks like Toshiba HDD ID)

D HPFS NTFS [RECOVERY]


Once again partition 4 was the one that listed all my files when I browsed with the P command.
A few more points I should mention.

1) The computer started acting flaky after a dirty shutdown

2) After that dirty shutdown I created two restore points. When I first started to troubleshoot this problem I was able to get into the Toshiba recovery screen but when I asked to restore from the restore points it indicated I had none.

3) This system did not come with media - it has some kind of recovery partition built in for these kinds of problems. In any case I can not get into the system as it just keeps 'diagnosing' - so the zero key or F12 or F8 don't work.

4) I did not add a partition since I purchased this laptop so as far as I know it only had a C drive - I can't recall if there was an additional drive letter that showed up in Explorer or Disk Manager but I can't exclude the possibility that there was indeed one there.

So given the above what is my next step. Partition 4 looks like the correct one and I will back it up and ghost before doing anything. But as far as trying to get this bootable again what should I be doing? I am not sure what partition to mark what. How non-destructive is testdisk for this partition/boot sector tweaking - what are my go back options other than the backing up/Ghosting right in testdisk itself.

Also when the program asks to create a log where is that log going to be created?

Thanks in advance for any assistance with this.

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Re: All partitions deleted or all partitions Primary

#2 Post by cgrenier » 04 Feb 2017, 09:51

Use Windows Disk manager to mark the correct partition as active/bootable.
If it doesn't solve the problem, you need to boot from Windows DVD (from Microsoft, not a full restore DVD from the desktop/laptop manufacturer) and try "bootrec.exe /fixmbr" from the Recovery Console and maybe "bootrec.exe /fixboot"

arlesterc
Posts: 2
Joined: 04 Feb 2017, 05:52

Re: All partitions deleted or all partitions Primary

#3 Post by arlesterc » 11 Jun 2017, 02:10

Sorry for the long delay but I had to get another system up and running so didn't have time to do recovery and I turned the system off. I have now gotten back to this project and am trying to recover. When I boot up into testdisk now the first option I see chosen is the GPT partition -

***** Does that make sense for a Windows 8.1 setup on this Toshiba laptop? Wouldn't it be the Intel/PC partition? If not which partitions would fall under the Intel/PC partition category?

In any case I chose the GPT partition default and ran a quick analysis.

At the top of the screen I see:

Disk01 750 gig 698GiB CHS 91201 255 63


****** What does: 698GiB CHS 91201 255 63 mean/refer to?

I see Analyze Cylinder with an increasing count of the cylinders being searched - it's going to take a while as the percentage is moving very slowly.

I get the following messages:

check_FAT: unusual number of reserved sectors 32 (FAT) - should be 1
check_FAT: incorrect number of sectors per FAT
check_FAT: unusual number of reserved sectors 32 (FAT) - should be 1
check_FAT: incorrect number of sectors per FAT

***** What does this mean? I tried looking up the error but could not find it in my search of testdisk docs.

Then I get:
MSDATA 103400 308199 204800 [NO NAME]

**** What does the [NO NAME] signify?


Any response is appreciated in advance?

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