Lost my NTFS partition

Today while in the process of burning some downloaded TV shows to DVD, my second computer's D: drive somehow got "lost". It's a 160GB with a single NTFS partition on it. Now Windows XP insists the partition is "raw". Chkdsk will not run on it because XP believes it's unformatted. Ubuntu (dual boot machine) says "read_ntfs_boot_sector(): Primary boot sector is invalid."

This drive has nothing completely irreplaceable, but a lot of stuff I would really really like to keep. Is there any way that you guys know of that would let me recover the drive? Like, rebuild the file tables in any way?

try Fdisk /mbr. You'll probably have to make a boot disk. It sounds like your master boot record is corrupted. Does this D drive contain a system drive for another OS (from your post, it sounds like the machine is dual boot)?

Hemidal wrote:

try Fdisk /mbr. You'll probably have to make a boot disk. It sounds like your master boot record is corrupted. Does this D drive contain a system drive for another OS (from your post, it sounds like the machine is dual boot)?

No, this partition is just for storage and apps.

Hemidal wrote:

try Fdisk /mbr. You'll probably have to make a boot disk. It sounds like your master boot record is corrupted. Does this D drive contain a system drive for another OS (from your post, it sounds like the machine is dual boot)?

Where exactly am I supposed to try this? There's no fdisk as part of Windows as far as I can tell, and Linux fdisk doesn't support an mbr option (/mbr isn't a Linux style argument either).

I've tried a couple of different "recovery programs" without any success.

Have you tried any of the Sysinternals tools?

http://www.sysinternals.com/FileAndDiskUtilities.html

That link is for their file and disk utilities.

Older versions of Windows had FDSIK as part of the boot disk for the OS. FDSIK can create or kill a partition, but it can also rebuild the master boot record (MBR). Some digging on the web will find you sites that provide older OS boot disk images. The site I used to use, Bootdisk.com, now charges $4 for access. Basically, you need to boot off the floppy (or CD) and run fdsik /mbr on your fixed drive. I'm not sure of the syntax if the drive ins't your first fixed drive.

Sorry if this isn't helping too much, it's been a really long time since I've had to troubleshoot drive problems like this. The past 5 years have been corporate America's verison of fixing these problems... wipe it out and start from scratch. I do get some twisted pleasure from telling a user (especially the arrogant VPs) that their data is gone and the should have saved critical info to the network servers.

Edit - Original link was based off of a search that keyed on text in the page, which linked to a non-freeware product.

Quintin_Stone wrote:

Where exactly am I supposed to try this? There's no fdisk as part of Windows as far as I can tell, and Linux fdisk doesn't support an mbr option (/mbr isn't a Linux style argument either).
I've tried a couple of different "recovery programs" without any success.

You could try the FDISK if you have a win98 startup disk laying around but that wouldn't work on NTFS as far as I know. Have you tried using the recovery console?

If you have Windows NT / 2000 / XP, you can boot from startup floppy disks or CD-ROM, choose repair option during setup, and run Recovery Console. When you are logged on, you can run FIXMBR command to fix MBR.

But if this drive isn't a system/bootable disk then it may not be an MBR issue. The other option is to try third party tools to repair the partition but it doesn't sound like you've had luck. I would recommend if you haven't tried:
Highest price - Winternals AdminPak
Free - BartPE with some plugins and google searching.

Thanks, Eezy, I'll give them a shot.

Quintin_Stone wrote:

Thanks, Eezy, I'll give them a shot.

Keep in mind that Winternals is the corporate side of Systernals and systernals tools that Hermidal posted may help you too. There are also some tools inbetween the ranges I specified but I was at work and just did a quickie post if you're still not having luck I can come up with more stuff in the middle of AdminPak (it's like 200 or 250 for an 'emergency' license that will last a week) and the free stuff.

Eezy_Bordone wrote:

...that Hermidal posted...

I'm not a hermit, I swear! Think Norse god, who happened to mispell his name on his first MMO. Should have been Heimdal, but I didn't notice for about three weeks and it stuck. Although, Hemi works as well.

I'm a dork. I'm sorry, I even scrolled up at the time to make sure I spelled it right and still failed.