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Kudos0

Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error

I ran into an error while resizing my boot partition, and now I can no longer boot. Using Partition Magic 8 boot disc, it tells me that there were partition table error that could be fixed. I agreed to let PM fix it automatically, but it did not solve the problem. Running pqmagic with /ipe switch, I can see that only the boot partition is damaged, the rest seem fine. I tried using PartInfo to get more details, but it outputs a lot of stuff quickly and I couldn't read anything. So my first question is : how to separate partinfo output in pages so that i could read them? I also tried running PtEdit, but it seems to hang the computer. Since it's the boot partition that's damaged, now I can only boot from the PM disc. (i am posting this from my phone.) Can anyone please help me correct this error? Thanks in advance

Replies

Kudos0

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error

I ran into an error while resizing my boot partition, and now I can no longer boot. Using Partition Magic 8 boot disc, it tells me that there were partition table error that could be fixed. I agreed to let PM fix it automatically, but it did not solve the problem. Running pqmagic with /ipe switch, I can see that only the boot partition is damaged, the rest seem fine. I tried using PartInfo to get more details, but it outputs a lot of stuff quickly and I couldn't read anything. So my first question is : how to separate partinfo output in pages so that i could read them? I also tried running PtEdit, but it seems to hang the computer. Since it's the boot partition that's damaged, now I can only boot from the PM disc. (i am posting this from my phone.) Can anyone please help me correct this error? Thanks in advance
Kudos0

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error


uly wrote:
I ran into an error while resizing my boot partition, and now I can no longer boot. Using Partition Magic 8 boot disc, it tells me that there were partition table error that could be fixed.

uly,

Hopefully this will be easy. Before we start, what partitions are on your HD? What brand is your computer? Is the OS Win7?

Kudos0

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error

Sorry, I should have mentioned this earlier. I didn't think it was relevant. Here are the details: Acer Aspire 5560 notebook. the original HD fried, and the HD now is a hitachi 150gb. os: Windows Vista SP2. there are 3 partitions, for boot, apps and page files respectively, at 72gb, 72gb and 5gb. all partitions are NTFS. Any other info I should provide?

edit: apologies for the terrible formating, I can't use the rich text input with my phone
Kudos1 Stats

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error

uly,

Thanks. See if this fixes it...

Download BootIt NG. There is a one month trial usage. Unzip the file and make a boot CD.

 double click makedisk.exe, next
 dot in I accept the agreement, next
  dot in Mouse Support Enabled, next
 dot in VESA Video, next
 dot in Partition Work (Don't put a dot in Normal), next
 don't choose any Default Device Options (if necessary, these can be chosen in BING), next
 leave Registration strings blank, next
 select your CD burner drive letter (you can use a CD-RW or a CD-R disc)
 Finish

Boot from the CD....

the BootIt NG CD boots to the Work with Partitions window
Using the radio buttons on the left side of the Work with Partitions window, select the appropriate hard drive if you have more  than one  HD.  (It should be HD 0)


 I expect you will see * Errors Exist * at the top of the window and an E next to one or more partitions
 click the first E partition to highlight it
 hold down left Shift on the keyboard and click Properties
 in Additional Information there will be *Warning* File system ends at LBA --------- (numbers here)
 copy this number to the LBA Information End field. Click OK

 click any other E partition to highlight it and repeat the above instructions

 the E next to each partition should be gone
 * Errors Exist * should be gone

 click Close on the "Work with Partitions" window
 click Reboot and remove the CD

Success?

Kudos0

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error

Thanks for your thorough responce. Unfortunately, the Acer is my only computer at the moment. I will try to borrow a computer to do as you suggest. I will report the result back. Thanks again and I hope this works!
Kudos0

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error

Kudos0

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error

Ok, I did as you said, but it didn't come out that easy.

Firstly, there isn't any error in BING. In the partition window, the boot partition is listed as "MBR entry 0". In properties, the LBA Info says Start: 2048 End: 151019519. In Additional Info, it says "Bootable: No. The location of this partition will prevent some operating systems from booting from it."

If I click Details or Edit File, a popup says "Unable to mount the file system". If I click BCD Edit, it says "No BCD Store"

What should I do now?

edit: in View MBR, the same partition says:

Active, Starting C 0, H 32, S 33, FS 7h, Ending C 184, H 199, S 15, LBA 2048, Sectors 151017472

Kudos0

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error

uly,

That's not what I expected and it doesn't sound good.

"Unable to mount the file system"

I've seen that occasionally on my test computer and I haven't been able to fix it. It sounds like PM has done horrible things to your 2048 sector aligned partition. Corrupted the file system. Usually it alters the alignment. Your partition is still aligned.

What about your second partition, MBR entry 1. Does Details, Edit or BCD Edit work for that partition?

This page describes the problem but doesn't suggest a fix that will work for you.

http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/kb/article.php?id=091

From a WinPE CD, can you see your data files on the HD?

Edit. Will BING let you resize the first partition? I guess not with that file system error.

Kudos0

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error

The 2nd and 3rd partition both seem to work correctly. They are shown by their labels, and not "MBR Entry x". Detail shows the free and used space, Edit File shows a list of files, and BCD Edit says no BCD stored for both.

Either I don't have a WinPE disc or I foolishly left it in another country. If necessary I may try downloading WAIK, but that would take another day that I don't have...

if I try to resize the broken partition, it says "File system corrupt or unformatted"

For a bit more detail, my HD is has 3 partitions as I said. But since I was tweaking the partition sizes when the error happened, there are now an empty space of about 1GB between each partition.

Kudos0

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error

There is a trial use of this WinPE CD. 126 MB. It is one of the best.

http://www.ntfs.com/boot-disk.htm

Kudos0

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error

I mentioned that partinfo's output is too fast to read, but I took a picture of it and was able to read that it shows 4 errors:

err 105: partition didnt begin on header boundry, ucbeginhead expected to begin on 0 or 1, not 32

err 106: partition didn't begin on header boundry, ucbeginsector expected to begin on 1, not 33

err 108: partition didn't end on cylinder boundry, ucendhead expected to end on 254, not 135

err 108: partition didn't end on cylinder boundry, ucendsector expected to end on 63, not 15

similar errors are also shown for partition 1(the D drive, 2nd partition), which seems to be working fine otherwise. So perhaps these errors are due to partinfo's incompatibility with vista?

one thing that puzzles me is that, from the threads linked to, it see s that vista requires a slightly different partition set up from XP, but my notebook was upgraded from XP without making any changes to the partitions. Were these changes done invisibly?

i will try to get my hands on a WinPE cd if it will help fix the problem.

Many thanks for your patient help so far, I hope we can get this working soon.

Kudos0

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error

uly,

I can make my test computer show "Unable to mount the file system" by changing the File System. In BING, look at Properties of your Vista partition. Is the File System     7/7h: HPFS/NTFS     ?   If not, change it.

Kudos0

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error

The FS is already 7/7h HPFS/NTFS.
Kudos0

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error

I just realized it had to be NTFS otherwise you wouldn't have seen the BCD Edit button.

Kudos0

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error

Ending C 184, H 199, S 15

These are incorrect. They should be C 1023, H 254, S 63

Your start and end sectors look correct at 2048 and 151019519. This is a 2048 sector aligned partition.

You mentioned having trouble with ptedit. Could you try again? We need to know what ptedit sees as the Ending CHS.

Does Vista boot and freeze during loading? What do you see?

Edit... I changed my Ending CHS to your values and Win7 still booted. Oh well!

Kudos0

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error

Okay. What next?

I hope I haven't done anything too stupid:

Thinking that my D drive is seems to still be working, I tried installing WinXP onto D:. I soon realized that WinXP needs to write files onto C: even if the os directory is on D:. The installation shows C: as unformatted, and asks me to format the partition. I of course said no and cancelled the installation.

As far as I can tell, this hadn't altered anything on C:, but on D: and E: it now has the "LBA ends at xxxxxx" error in BING that you described earlier. I've left this untouched for now since it seems easily fixable. In BING, Edit File and Detail still work correctly on both partitions. The main problem remains with C:.

Let me give you more preamble, maybe it could help you diagnose the problem.

As I mentioned, I was tweaking my partition sizes before the error. I had just installed vista, and I wanted to enlarge my E drive, which is dedicated to page file, to accomodate the larger page file for Vista. I was going to use PM, but found that PM doesn't support Vista, so I bought Acronis Disk Director for the job. DD worked fine for a few move/resize runs. I realized at one point that DD left a small space before C partition, so I moved C back to the beginning of the drive. That was probably a bad move, since the error occurred right after.

Kudos0

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error

I didn't catch your last post.

When I boot from C:, after POST screen, it only shows a weird ASCII character and hangs. No Vista, no nada.

when I run ptedit, it simply stops for a long time without any response. I will try it again now.

Kudos0

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error

Is this correct? You have a fresh install of Vista and not too many programs installed. You have a lot of data files in your D: drive, acquired since the computer was new?

Edit... No issues but was it DD that caused the problem and not PM?

How much space was present in front of C: drive before you moved it with DD?

What are the start and end LBAs for your D: and E: drive? (from the Properties window)

Kudos0

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error

That's not entirely correct. Both C and D were about 2/3 full. C was mostly occupied by Vista, a few big apps and lots of data, mostly in my Documents directory. D is mostly apps.

Another update: now View MBR in BING shows, very strangely, that C's ending is CHS 1023/254/63, just as the "correct" values you described. Also strangely, now both D and E have start and end CHS of 1023/254/63. Also, as I said, there are blank spaces between C/D and D/C, but now in MBR view, the first blank space btween C/D is gone. This space is still visible outside MBR view though.

Anyway, I will try ptedit and report back.

Kudos0

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error


uly wrote:
Also strangely, now both D and E have start and end CHS of 1023/254/63.

That is correct.

OK. I understand about your Vista partition now. You would certainly like to keep it.

Any chance of screenshots of View MBR and Work with Partitions? Camera? Upload it to Photobucket or elsewhere. Images take too long to appear in this forum as they have to be approved by a moderator.

Kudos0

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error

Indeed it was DD that caused the problem. In hindsight I should have paid a lot more attention to the incomprehensible error message. Alas I grew up with the "when in doubt, reboot" mantra.

I've now left ptedit running for 5 minutes, the command line cursor blinks and blinks but nothing happens. I can't even ctrl-alt-del to reboot and had to do a hard reset

I do have most of my data backed up, but not the latest and, at present, the most valuable.

I tried uploading images here but it didn't work on my iPhone. I will try photobucketright away.

Kudos0

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error

Just out of interest, was it DD ver 10? I recall it had problems with 2048 sector aligned partitions. I'm not sure about ver 11.

Kudos0

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error

No, it was DD 11, freshly purchased. The photos are uploaded, but I can't figure out how to share it. The photobucket mobile app is a bit limited. My photobucket account is ulysseh, can you find it with that?
Kudos0

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error

No, I can't find it.

Kudos0

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error

I give up with photobucket. Please go to http://m.flickr.com/#/photos/8968562@N07/

Kudos0

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error

Thanks. I viewed the 7 images. I'm still scratching my head. Do you have a USB flash drive that boots into DOS?

Kudos0

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error

No, all I have is the DOS that PM boots into.
Kudos0

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error

I think your best bet at present is to use a WinPE CD and see if you can access your Vista partition. I'm not hopeful but if you can, you can backup the files that haven't been backed up recently.

Edit... I made a USB flash drive bootable with the HP Utility, added partinfo.exe, no other files and booted from the flash drive. At the C: prompt you run

partinfo > partinfo.txt

then shutdown. Connect the flash drive to a good computer and you can read the partinfo.txt. I don't know whether this will help your situation but it would be nice to have.

Kudos0

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error

Ok, I will do that... It'd take another while to get that.

Oh, to answer your previous question, I can't remember the size of the space before C that I removed, but it was very small and possibly 2048.

I know next to nothing about file systems, but I am guessing that the file table is stored at the beginning of the partition. My guessing is that, when I moved C:, DD managed to either write to MBR to point to the new C: file table yet fails to write the actual table, or it succeeded in writing the table yet fails to update the MBR. Either way the MBR is now pointing to a wrong file table. The problem might have been coumpounded by the "auto-fix" by PM the first time it ran.

Do you think I am anywhere close?

Kudos0

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error

I don't know. I've never seen an OS become "Bootable: No" after using PM or DD. You have seen the thread on PM and Vista. It is no-where near as nasty as your problem. Just one thing I need to ask via a PM.

Kudos0

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error

One thought. Have you tried booting from the Vista DVD and trying a Startup Repair? You probably need to do it twice.

I'll do some tests on Win7 and see if I can make it "Bootable: No".

Kudos0

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error

Yet another option not quite within reach... I installed the Vista from my company's network. (Actually, the tech admin did it.). So I've never seen a Vista CD. I'd have gone to him for the fix but I'm now a continent away from him. I will ask around for a vista cd, tho. Doesn't seem too common, though... Would any OEM disc do?
Kudos0

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error


uly wrote:
. Would any OEM disc do?

Yes.

There is a downloadable (via Microsoft) repair ISO for Win7. I'm not sure about Vista.

Kudos0

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error

I forgot about this Acer Aspire thread. Your laptop partition table may have been "damaged" before you started using the partitioning software.

http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=185731&page=3&highlight=acer#75

Kudos0

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error

Hmm interesting. However I don't think I'm affected by this, because 1. My Aspire was preloaded with XP, and 2. My HD isn't the one that came with the computer; I bought and formatted this HD myself.
Kudos0

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error

It certainly doesn't apply to you.

Kudos0

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error

Okay, I finally got my hands on another PC (incidentally, this PC is also broken: the graphics card is totally screwed and the screen looks like a pointillist painting made by a blind man with shaky hands, but at least it works otherwise).  Haven't been able to get a Vista disc, yet, though.

So I booted with Active Boot Disk (Win ver.)... very impressive piece of work.

Playing around with ABD, I've noticed a few things:

1. No, file recovery doesn't work.

2. I took a look at the partitions with the Hex Editor, and it seems that C: doesn't begin with the proper boot sector.  The address 0 of C: begins with " rdata", whereas all other partitions with "  NTFS".  On the other hand, I find an "  NTFS" block at address 3584, sector 7.  Any idea what this could mean?

3. In Partition Recovery, I could see an Unallocated Partition before C:, between C/D, D/E and after E:.  The first unallocated partition  is from sector 63 to 1985, and C: is 2048 to 151017472.

4. Doing a whole disk SuperScan from sector 0 to 20480, for NTFS partition, Iit quickly found 2 partitions.  Both of the partitions seem very similar, both reflecting the C: content.  The first partition, C#0, begins at sector 63 (like the unallocated space) and spans  154089400, the second partition, C#1, starts at 2055 (corresponds to the NTFS header I found in HexEditor), and spans 151017465.  I can't determine which is newer, they both contain the same last modified/accessed file timestamp.  They seem almost identical.

If my guess is correct, it would seem that the current C: partition begins in the middle of nowhere, it should rather begin at either of the NTFS tables found in the super scan.  Could this be the final fix?

Kudos0

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error

I'm unfamiliar with those scans. Sorry.

I gather you can't see the files in your Vista partition using the "Explore My Computer" button at the bottom right. Can you see the files in your D: drive? It may have a different drive letter.

Kudos0

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error

Nope, no exploring C:.  D: and E: are both fine, though, and I can browse the files without any problem.

Kudos0

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error


uly wrote:

Nope, no exploring C:.  D: and E: are both fine, though, and I can browse the files without any problem.


uly,

I was afraid of that. I'm out of ideas. Good luck. Please keep us informed and if you have further questions, just ask.

Kudos0

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error

Reviewing the partition in detail, I've come to the conclusion that the C: partition simply starts at a wrong place; it should start at either one of the partition tables that could still be found on the HD. I've taken the dive and bought the Active Boot Disk (Win ed.), but unfortunately, I can't find a way to edit just the partition's starting sector. Do you know of a way I could do that?  That is, other than ptedit, since I can't seem to access that.

Kudos0

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error

YES!!!   I've managed to get the C: file system back!!!  All is not over, though, but let me first recap.

So, as I thought, the problem was indeed that the MBR was pointing to a wrong starting LBA for C:.  I tried to find a way to edit the MBR, but neither Active@BD, BING, or PM allowed me to do this.  Finally, I used A@BD's Hex Editor to hexedit the MBR directly on the disk.  With the help of Wikipedia's article on MBR, I found the location of C:'s starting LBA, and simply changed it from 2048 to 2055, and voila! the file system is back.

Now I can explore the partition without any problem, and all the files seem indeed intact.  Unfortunately, if I try to boot to Windows, I get the message "Error loading operating system" right after POST.  Well, not a huge improvement overall, but at least I know now that the drive is working.

I'm at a loss at what to do next, though.  I suspect the current problem has to do with Vista's 2048-aligned requirement.  Should I try to move the partition up to 2048?

Kudos0

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error

I think you should backup your important data before doing anything else. But I'm sure you already done so?

I been following this thread and I have to say I'm impressed and you have done a heck of a job so far.

Dave

Kudos0

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error

All thanks go to Brian_K's kind guidance, I'm just faffing about.  Back up?  Of course!  That's the first thing I did!

So, I've made some more edits to the MBR, fuxing the ending LBA for all partitions, so that all of their PBS and CBS (Primary/Copy of Boot Sector, I'm not sure if these are standard abbreviations) are matching and correct.


Otherwise, I'm still stuck at the same step.  Vista won't boot and I can't figure out why.  I'm still guessing that it's this alignment thing that's screwy, since 2055 seems to be a weird starting sector for C:.  I've downloaded the Vista Recovery Disc from Neosmart, but I'm not sure what I can do with it just yet.  The System Recovery option doesn't recognize any OS installed, so I'm just playing around in command prompt.  At least all partitions are accessible through the command prompt, so it's really just a matter of getting Vista to recognize them correctly.

Any suggestion on how to re-=align the partitions?

Kudos0

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error

I knew you would backup your important data at first chance, just making sure.

I didn't (and still don't) want to make any suggestions.  Brian is the expert, easily one of the most knowlegable in the world.

He should be around soon.

And I'm sure he remembers your post saying it was originally installed as  XP and upgraded to Vista.

Dave

Kudos1 Stats

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error

uly,

You have made amazing progress. You are ahead of me in using the Hex Editor and I'm just hoping something will click. Not yet in my brain.

Kudos1 Stats

Re: Partition Magic: Fixing partition table error

I'm very happy to announce that all my problems are solved!  Well, not exactly, there's still the matter of Vista not recognizing my DVD drive and the ongoing global economic crisis, but this isn't the thread for that.

I ended up using Gparted to re-align the partition.  Being the (somewhat overly adventurous) novice that I am, I chose Gparted simply because I found a tutorial for it.  The realignment *almost* did the trick, and afterward I was able to boot into Windows...  Only to have it tell me that winload.exe was not found or corrupt or something.

During the realignment process, Gparted forced a chkdsk/f on C:, which "fixed" a whole bunch of errors.  I've always been suspecious of chkdsk /f's fixes, but whatever the cause, now there were some serious corruption in my Windows system files.  I used a Vista Recovery disc, downloaded from Neowin, to do a recovery.  But this only got me a little bit further: Windows now booted to a black screen with a white mouse cursor and then hangs.

At this stage, it was no longer a partition problem, but a simple OS corruption.  In the end, I decided to just go ahead and reinstall Vista.  Borrowing a Vista disc took me another day.  I was rather annoyed that I couldn't do an "upgrade" installation -- simply overwriting the current install -- if I booted from the disc.  So I ended up doing a clean install, at least I still have my user files intact.

I am now typing happily away on my resurrected computer.  All is well except for my DVD drive mysteriously not working.  I've tried the common fixes found on the net without success.  But, well, I can't remember the last time I used a DVD/CD before this crisis, so it's not an immediate concern.  I'd like to express my sincere gratitude to Brian.  Despite the frustrating problem, this is easily the most pleasant and informative tech support experience I can recall.  Thanks!

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