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  1. #1
    Linux Newbie
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    In me spaceship... ORBITING THE PLANNET!

    HDD has no partition table...

    anyway, me hard drive says it has no partition table... it contains alot of errors (this was before it lost the table)... anyway, i want to know if there is anyway of compleatly whipping and fixing the hard drive (of course not physically)...

    its not that olda hard drive (its only 80GB, so it'll be 4 years i recon)...

    thanks for all your help

  2. #2
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    Howdy chris-harry,

    It has been a while since iv'e been here, and your post is around a month or so old. But may be of some use none the less.

    Your not providing much to go on but i just go with the following...

    You mean ...

    cfdsk /dev/hda

    comes back blank .... ?

    What errors did it come back with before the 'no table' was noticed ?

    Yes there are ways to wipe the drive, but that is a bit drastic. Besides being uneccessary. You might want to see if you can recover what might be there instead. You would need to mount it from another Linux, or from a LiceCD boot to do that.

    There is a utility called 'gparted', i think thats its' name ... I have it on another install, so i'd have to go and search for it to be absolutly sure on the name. But in any case, it is something like that . It will be on any knoppix LiveCD.

    It has an option to do a scan over the drive looking for fields that look like 'partition' starts. It will dump info on the sector start and size of suspected partitions. And can be quite large so directing it to a text file is a good idea.

    With that info you might be able to recreate your table !

    It will provide info on partitions that may have been deleted, and/or overridden with new ones, so some fiddling will likely be required. All you need is the primaries you had and the 'extended-primary'. Once you find the correct 'extended-primary' all of its' 'logicals' will just magically reappear.

    You must have some idea of where the likely starting locations are. So even without a gparted dump, it can't hurt to try some educated guessing, so to speak.

    Try to work in cylinders too. The numbers are a lot easier to juggle/remember. Look at what the sector count per cylinder is too, either from 'hdparm -i or hdparm -I or fdisk/cfdisk, just to be sure, but it will likely be '16065'.

    Obviously meaning to divide that into any sector output from gparted to get a cylinder count.

    Anyhow ...




  3. #3

    Smile Wiping HD

    Hi Chris-Harry. I do not know much about finding and restoring a partition table, but wiping the HD to create a new partition table and partitions is not really difficult. There are a number of software applications for this available on the net, some free, some demos and some you have to pay outright. My personal favorite is "Linux System Rescue CD" I Believe this is a Knoppix based tool and it includes some partitioning software. It can be downloaded and is free. You can also buy it from a number of sites selling Linux Distros.

    Its home page is

    Qt_parted is the application I use; its a graphical partitioning agent and not difficult to use. The CD's Home page may have a tutorial. Getting to the application goes like this.

    *reboot with cd in player
    *at first prompt you need to type in a frame buffer [I use fb640]
    [not sure what a frame buffer is but it is required]
    *the boot will stop and ask for your keyboard [enter for english]
    *at the final command prompt type in run_qtparted
    *it stops again and asks about your mouse type

    If there is anything on the HD you want to save, do it first because there is no going back if you wipe the HD.

    Another CD available free is Ultimate Boot CD . It also can be downloaded or bought. Its home site is
    With this CD you can prepare a HD with its manufactures software for installing whichever system you are going to install.

    Also, most Modern Linux Distros upon installation or reinstallation will either automatically partition for you or give you the option to control each step.[when they call this expert, they mean it]

    If you are running Suse Linux you can boot from the 1st cd and go into a System repair mode that is fairly intuitive and has several options.

    Remember, a new partition table ain't much good without an operating system. Be sure you are prepared to reinstall your OS before you wipe it out.

    Finally, you may go through many steps correctly and find out that the problem is/was the hard drive all along, but, hopefully not.

    Good Luck

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