Broken partitions, recovering data from dying laptop disk

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Broken partitions, recovering data from dying laptop disk

Postby Kail on Tue Sep 11, 2012 5:26 pm

I've encountered(or should I say created) a biiig problem. After forcing windows shutdown by pressing power, I've loaded linux and waited until it loaded. It popped up some problem which I don't really remember(but i think it requested to pres a or m key). I've pressed those keys but computer did not responded, so I was forced to turn it off using power. Next time errors with grub started to appear.
"Error: Unknown filesystem" at first
Later randomly things like mentioned unknown file system or
"Error: hd0 out of disk"
"Error: Unknown filesystem"
"Error: No such device"
"Error: No such partition grub rescue>"
Live cd used to load slowly, trying to load linux mint loaded first at grey screen which switched to white box on black background. Box was in top left part of screen. And later was /sbin/blkid/ was killed. Memory test caused laptop to restart, comptability mode worked same way, loading grub twice loaded grub options, but it failed to load linux mint. I've then tried to run Super Grub Disc but it did it things really slowly like 20-30 minutes for checking for avaible partitions. I've given up and tried to use windows 7 cd to repair windows 7, but it went really - 30 minutes before it had checked partitions. I've managed to wait that time and pressed to repair, and got a nap beign discourage by waiting. It apperantly finished as computer restarted itself and tried to load grub which failed. I've restarted computer again and tried to use ls. ls worked this time(before it did not detected anything) and showed me
(hd0), (hd0,msdos7), (hd0,msdos6), (hd0,msdos5), (hd0,msdos3), (hd0,msdos2), hd0,msdos1).
I've used ls on them and:
hd0 - hd0 read error
msdos1 - hd0 read error
msdos2,3,5 and 6 - no such partition
msdos7 - unknown filesystem
I've decided to try again with live cd and this time after waiting for long time it loaded. However If I have tried to install new mint it did not saw any partitions. I don't want to delete them as windows was originally OEM(I had windows7 cd from other source than computer provider).
@edit Ah right! msdos6 is linux partition.
gparted does not see anything same for fdisk

I can bear losing most of my data, except from one file and that oem thing.

@edit2
I managed to run windows installer. Windows found out all partition so i decided to reinstall it. It didn't worked as "installer does not have access to files" or simillar, I've opened installer again and this time it said that hard drive is about to fail. Great...
Now is there any possibility to recover that file from hd?

@edit3
I dont know how but live cd managed to find hard drive, access it and say that disk is imminent to fail. I've managed to restore needed data from it. For me it feels pretty strange cause the more I operate on hd the more it seems to work(as earlier it did not even see filesystem, now it diagnoses it properly). I don't know if its just using its last resources before death or something strange happens.
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Re: Broken partitions, recovering data from dying laptop dis

Postby oobetimer on Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:30 am

Kail wrote:@edit Ah right! msdos6 is linux partition.
gparted does not see anything same for fdisk

I can bear losing most of my data, except from one file and that oem thing.

@edit2
I managed to run windows installer. Windows found out all partition so i decided to reinstall it. It didn't worked as "installer does not have access to files" or simillar, I've opened installer again and this time it said that hard drive is about to fail. Great...
Now is there any possibility to recover that file from hd?

@edit3
I dont know how but live cd managed to find hard drive, access it and say that disk is imminent to fail. I've managed to restore needed data from it. For me it feels pretty strange cause the more I operate on hd the more it seems to work(as earlier it did not even see filesystem, now it diagnoses it properly). I don't know if its just using its last resources before death or something strange happens.

Warranty has expired - you could wipe the HD using dd program and then re-partition the HD.

http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distri ... artedmagic
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Re: Broken partitions, recovering data from dying laptop dis

Postby Kail on Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:38 am

You mean that my warranty went void now? Or if warranty has expired I can use this program?
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Re: Broken partitions, recovering data from dying laptop dis

Postby Reorx on Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:56 am

Wow. what a FUBAR! It looks and sounds unrecoverable (for me at least). If it were me, I would boot a live medium and try to recover as much data as possible. After that I would wipe the HD and do a re-install or 2... and then restore the data.

For future reference - most systems don't like hard shutdowns. From another user (Lolo Uila) in another thread >>>

If your system hard locks, that is, locks up to the point that nothing seems to be able to get you out of it, you really should not just turn the power off. There is a little "backdoor" safe reboot/shutdown built into Linux, and this is how it works.

Hold both the ALT and SYSRQ (Print Screen) keys.
While holding those keys, type the following keys (with a few seconds pause between each keystroke).

For a safe reboot (spaces & CAPS are for clarity only):
R E I S U B

For a safe power off:
R E I S U O

Usually it will look like nothing is happening until the last key (U or O), and then your system will reboot or turn off. It's almost impossible to lock a Linux system to the point that this will not work (although I've managed it once or twice in my many, many years with Linux). So what does this magical key sequence do?

R = unraw (take control of keyboard back from X),
E = terminate (send SIGTERM to all processes, allowing them to terminate gracefully),
I = kill (send SIGKILL to all processes, forcing them to terminate immediately),
S = sync (flush data to disk),
U = unmount (remount all filesystems read-only),
B = reboot (or O = turn off)


So how do you remember this magic trick?
Use the acronym: Reboot Even If System Utterly Broken
And remember to substitute "O" for "B" to turn the system off.

EDIT: I should mention that this is a "last resort" sort of thing. You should always shut down or restart the normal way if possible (although I know you all are going to try it at least once). Also, on some notebooks and netbooks the SysRq key is access by using the Fn (Function) key. In that case you would hold Alt, then hold Fn, then hold SysRq, and then you can release Fn and continue with reisub. And another way to remember reisub is to use the word "busier" backwards.


Good Luck...

- R -
Procrastinate now!
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Re: Broken partitions, recovering data from dying laptop dis

Postby oobetimer on Thu Sep 13, 2012 4:17 am

Kail wrote:You mean that my warranty went void now? Or if warranty has expired I can use this program?

You misunderstood - It was a parable.. :wink:
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Re: Broken partitions, recovering data from dying laptop dis

Postby gladsonvm on Fri Sep 21, 2012 5:29 am

if u want to recover you may try testdisk. It is available with ubuntu rescue remix live cd. Incase it is not working try foremost or scalpel to recover file by file.
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Re: Broken partitions, recovering data from dying laptop dis

Postby DataMan on Sat Sep 22, 2012 7:12 am

After you have stored whatever pertinent data you can salvage off line from the questionable hard drive, I would strongly recommend running hard disk diagnostics on the drive itself before doing anything as far as a re-build. If the drive is, indeed failing - you're just wasting your time by re-building it. See your h/d manufacturer or google for bootup tools for diagnostics.

My thoughts.

-DataMan
Linux'd since 2005 Linux ID 422356 Ubuntu ID 15015
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