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  1. #1

    [SOLVED] TestDisk has rearranged partition table.

    Hello. I first would like to apologise for posting seemingly Windows-related post in Linux forum, but since Linux is the reason I've ended up here, I hope I will be excused.

    To cut long story short (still not that short) after installing Linux Mint on one of my hard drives I was struggling to get Grub working, but all in vain. In the process of this struggle I accidentally installed Grub onto the MBR of my Windows XP hard drive. In attempt to remove grub I tried using repair console fixboot and fixmbr, but they didn't seem to have any effect. So I used TestDisk and wrote TestDisk MBR code into the first sector, which amazingly worked (!) and now I can load XP. The trouble is, the letter allocation in my XP system didn't follow logical order of partitions on the hard drive but was rather like this:
    Either messing with repair console or writing TestDisk MBR code changed the order of the disks so that now they follow their physical order on the drive (the way TestDisk sees them):
    This also has changed all the system and program pathways according to the new disk structure. So everything is functional, but the problems arise, when the pathway is written within the program (e.g. pathway to "Download" folder in Firefox, etc), which is bearable, but well annoying as I would need to get used to new disk structure and redirect a lot of internal pathways. This also means, that simply changing disk letters to what they were, using the disk management tool, won't solve the problem, but rather create another problem of a need to reinstall programs that reside outside of c: disk.

    I wonder therefore if anybody has encountered anything similar and whether there is an elegant way around this problem. Any help would be much appreciated.

    All the best.

  2. #2
    Linux User
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Idaho USA
    This also means, that simply changing disk letters to what they were, using the disk management tool, won't solve the problem
    For most programs if not all , will use the drive letter assigned by XP (HKEY Local Machine\System\Mounted Devices), so the drive letter change in Disk Management should work. Have you tried it ?

    Unless the start sector # of the partitions was changed, XP should not have changed the Drive letters. Looking at the testdisk outputs, does not look like they were moved but can not tell for sure. (Did some more thinking, when you rewrote the MBR code the Disk ID was likely removed so XP would rebuild the drive letters)

    You could manually edit the Master Partition Table and the Extended Partition Tables with MS's DskProbe but very easy to make a mistake and be worse off and would still have to reassign with disk management.

    I'm assuming that partition titled "tower" was a logical partition vice primary partition. I do not think using testdisk-write MBR would change the partitions around.

  3. #3
    Thanks for the quick response. Changing the disk letters did work indeed! Well, at least for the programs I've tried so far. Should have tried it myself before posting here. I think I was put off by the XP's warning that after changing the letters some programs may stop working. Now this is sorted I can return to my epic of trying to make grub work. Thanks again!


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