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I have seriously screwed up my partitions/bootloader setup: 1. After installing Debian, my pre-existing Windows XP partition appears in the boot menu but won't start up. 2. I eventually I ...
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  1. #1
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    30

    Is there any hope for saving my partitions?


    I have seriously screwed up my partitions/bootloader setup:
    1. After installing Debian, my pre-existing Windows XP partition appears in the boot menu but won't start up.
    2. I eventually I try to run 'grub-install' but accidentally do it to my windows (NTFS) partition. Now debian won't mount it, as well as not booting.
    3. In desperation I try the windows recovery console commands fixmbr and fixboot. It ends up thinking that both the ext3 and NTFS partitions are actually FAT, and when I try to boot it "Can't find NTLDR". When I boot from a knoppix cd, it can mount and read the linux partition without problem, but the windows partition now just shows a bunch of unnamed gibberish files.

    Was it fixboot or grub-install that caused the NTFS partition to turn to gibberish? How do I change the partition map so that It knows what filesystem everything is? And most importantly, is there any way to save data from the NTFS partition?

    Oh, and feel free to laugh at me.

  2. #2
    Linux User
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    290
    the only thing i can think of is get a non-destructive recovery software to recover whatever important files in your NTFS partition and do a fresh installation later. To utilise this type of recovery tool, you need another *healthy* hard disk, preferably an OS on it (most recovery utility i know runs on windows, sad to say) and do a non-destructive scanning on it.

    good luck...

  3. #3
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    30

    found out what's going on (sort of)

    It turns out that my partition table says (correctly) that it's NTFS. the Boot sector says (wrongly) that it's FAT 16. Using a third-party recovery floppy I got from my neighbor, I can see everything on the drive. By now, this is pretty much an issue with microsoft filesystems, and of not much concern to this forum. Thanks adam!

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