NTFS partition resize woes.
August 5, 2006 9:38 AM   Subscribe

While trying to install Ubuntu Linux, I used their installer's included partitioner(gparted) to try to resize my NTFS windows XP partition. In doing so I ran afoul of this bug.

Is there a way to get either the partition to be recognized and working again, or well enough to get some files off of it? I attempted to use fdisk to set the drive's tag back to ntfs after the resize failed, but now I've just got a big empty partition that won't boot.
posted by apathy0o0 to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Depends on exactly what's wrong with the disk at this point, as to whether anything is still readable. You could try downloading any of several third party utility packages such as fixboot, prepare a recovery disk installation, mount the munged disk as a read-only slave to the recovery disk, and see whether the MBR and MFT are still readable, and if so, if the MFT info still includes valid file chains. You could try running chkdsk from Windows installation media in a recovery mode, but that's not likely to recover a badly munged partition system, and it will try to change and update MFT data, so it can make things worse than they are at this point, if the MFT is strangely corrupt.

Low level recovery is time consuming, and you can easily do more damage trying to "fix" a munged disk. Better if you can mount it read only, recover what data, if any, may be still readable, and once that phase is done as best it can be, then worry about repair, recovering, or reformatting the disk with tools which will inevitably make changes to the disk.

If the disk contains information with a monetary value greater than a few hundred dollars, you can engage professional data recovery services.
posted by paulsc at 11:14 AM on August 5, 2006

FIXMBR has saved my butt a few times (it's on your xp disk), and it will allow you to reset your master boot record and retry the installation.

As for recovering data in the NTFS partition, you can certainly try paulsc's sage advice, but don't hold your breath. If what was on that NTFS partition was really valuable to you, remove the harddrive asap and take it to a specialist.
posted by rinkjustice at 11:43 AM on August 5, 2006

I'm guessing (because you were able to write this) that you have another computer you can use, right?

If so, I have a program you can use to restore the files. Email is in the profile.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:22 PM on August 5, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks. It's not full of really valuable stuff, I just wish i'd have gotten some of my school stuff off of it. I'm running off a livecd, so I don't have another machine. I tried to run it in the recovery console, and it came up as a wholly blank NTFS system, i.e. just all blank space. Thanks again.
posted by apathy0o0 at 3:17 PM on August 5, 2006

Aw, that stinks.

I'm a Ubuntu user, but I've never tried using gparted to resize an NTFS partition; I've always used qtparted from the SystemRescueCd since it's worked well for me in the past.

Sounds like your data's gone to the big bit-bucket in the sky, barring extraordinary measures. Sorry to hear the Ubuntu installer failed you like this; I hope, if this is your first try with it, you'll give it another chance.
posted by musicinmybrain at 10:17 AM on August 6, 2006

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