Partitions suddenly gone
I installed PCLinuxOS earlier. It worked fine. I pressed the 'suspend' button on my laptop which suspended to RAM (I think it was RAM, because it shut down very quickly).
Later, I turned it on again and it booted up to the 'unlock' screen in PClinuxOS. I put in my password, then it crashed. I rebooted.
Upon reboot, the laptop could find nothing (no GRUB, no operating systems). I booted the PCLinuxOS liveCd, followed by ZenLive (for gparted). Both partition managers show there is nothing but a single large (whole hard disc) partition, formatted as ext3. What happened!
Previously, there was a 2.5gb ntfs partition (never used really), a 5gb linux partition (ext3) for root partition, a 768mb linux-swap partition, and a 20gb (approx.) ext3 partition for /home. These appear to all be gone.
I want to know what might have happened to my partitions and data, and how (if, but here's to hoping) I can get them back!
You could try using TestDisk to get them back. It comes with the Parted Magic LiveCD:
Just the sort of thing I wanted to hear - I read about testdisk but it wasnt clear how to get a livecd with it.
I also found something about 'gpart' running on knoppix (a LiveCD that I already have). Any ideas on whether this should work?
This is strange problem. There isn't any utility available that could merge all partitions automatically ( magically ) and Suspend can't do that at least.
Are you sure that Partitions are merged? Whats the output of fdisk -l command?
I just ran 'gpart /dev/hda' from knoppix, and it tells me what it thinks. Essentially, it has correctly identified the partitions that should be present! (well, it says ext2 when it should be ext3, but its a start).
The partitions must still be there, so I'll maybe download and run testdisk to try and recreate a partition table (since this should be possible, if the partitions are still technically present). My knowledge is limited, but it looks like the partition table and MBR are corrupted or something.
EDIT: It apparently guessed ext because it is older than ext3, so testdisk is definitely a better program to run, I think).
You download the Parted Magic Livecd and TestDisk is included on it. The entire download is only about 35 MB, so it's quick and easy.
Originally Posted by q4agbx
Sounds great! That should be just what I need to restore it - and hopefully find out somehow what on Earth caused the problem in the first place.
That must have done something right! The partition table seems to have been successfully recreated, but GRUB is still completely gone. Does anyone know if (the fantastic) parted magic can install GRUB again without doing anything else?
Yes, the livecd does have GRUB on it so you can use it to reinstall GRUB to the MBR, but I've never used that function so don't know exactly how it works.
Look around in the Help menu (icon on bottom-right) for info about it.
In case this helps anyone, I was able to install grub from the parted magic liveCD (though apparently just about any liveCD, including the pclinuxos one I had originally, would work).
find /boot/grub/stage1 (cant actually remember the filepath, but it was pointing at the file 'stage1' in a grub folder).
root x (where 'x' is the output of the previous command. x = the partition with linux on it that grub can see, e.g. (hd0,4) in my case).
setup (hd0) To actually put GRUB on the MBR
This worked perfectly, GRUB even found my original (slightly modified) menu.lst on the pclinuxos partition, so everything is fixed. I think I'll avoid the suspend button from now on though...
Thanks for the help with this. It made it really easy to fix, even though I hadnt a clue when I started!