Why can't I fix my partition table

Discussion in 'Computing and Networks' started by Llamarama, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. Llamarama

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Feb 1, 2010
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    Or more precicely why does it keep being destroyed?

    I've been using GParted as well as other tools to attempt to create some patritions on a hard drive for my Toshiba Libretto to circumvent the hibernation feature destroying the existing partitions.

    All I have to do is create 2x FAT32 LBA partitions ensuring the cylinders 1010 to 1050 are free and unpartitioned.

    However every drive i try to use has come up with an invalid partition table. Even one I pulled from a working laptop with XP on it.

    I've tried several programs, usb to ide converters, plugging the drive directly into the IDE ports on several motherboards but every time I get an invalid partition table.

    I've tried using GParted to create a new partition table, but nothing happens. I've tried fdisk under linux and the same happens. I am at a complete loss and I simply cannot afford to keep bricking hard drives like this. They're detected by the BIOS but no other programs.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated, many thanks.
     
  2. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    Have you tried running a ubuntu disc in live mode?

    If I'm understanding you correctly, it's not letting you access the partition table while you're logged in. In order to do that, you have to be isolated from the regular operating system, and running from the disc instead.

    I may be misunderstanding this completely. I'm only responding because I had a similar problem when I was working with my computer after both sides of the partition crashed.

    If this isn't wasn't what you mean, please ignore this post :D

    Regards,
    Matt
     
  3. Brownout

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2012
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    Why are you creating FAT 32 patitions? Shouldn't you be creating NTFS patritions?
     
  4. Llamarama

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Feb 1, 2010
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    Thanks for the quick advide Matt, sadly I still get the same errors, Gparted responds "unrecognised disk label". I had a similar message with windows 7.

    The drive is recognised by then BIOS and fdisk, I'm not sure what else I could try.

    How did you work around your problem? Did you have to re-write the partition table?
     
  5. Llamarama

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Feb 1, 2010
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    I'm using FAT32 because I wanted to install 95 or 98 to the disk to use in an old laptop that simply cannot support XP or 2000.

    Specs are 64mb or ram (maxed), Pentium 166Mhz, and a 40gb hard drive.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013
  6. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    As I mentioned, I used the ubuntu live disc I had to remotely access the HD and format/remove partitions.

    Brownout has a point. HDDs should be formatted for NTFS, not FAT 32. Not sure if that would cause the problem, but I can see how it might.
     
  7. Llamarama

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Feb 1, 2010
    62
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    I've done a bit of digging and it looks like the boot sectors have been over-written with garbage, effectively destroying the contents of the hard drive.

    This is not a massive problem - both drives were working pulls from computers and all the data on them was either backed up or not important.

    At the moment I cannot create a new partition table with GParted, it appears to be trying something, however afterwards it still says the partition table is invalid.

    Are there any "foolproof" ways of creating a new partition table? This is only the 2nd time I've attempted to partition any drives :)
     
  8. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    "foolproof"? Use GParted on a ubuntu live disc :D Reformat the drive entirely, remove partitions, whatever. Try reformatting in NTFS.
     
  9. Llamarama

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Feb 1, 2010
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    Sorry to be a pain, but I cant get Gparted to do anything.

    Got it loaded on a live CD on a seperate computer, drive all connected up, Gparted can see the drive.

    The whole of the drive is recognised at "Unpartitioned space". There is a small ! triangle next to the drive saying the partition table is corrupt and before I can do anything, I must create a new one.

    I let Gparted do this, and the blue status bar rolls across the bottom of the screen, but after that, nothing. No error messages, no fresh partition table, it's almost as though the program did nothing.

    Had a quick poke around the Live CD and found Disk Utility, tried to format the drive from there but I got the same error. *headdesk* Is there a way I can go into Terminal and FORCE the drive to write itself a new, blank partition table so I can get a couple of partitions stuck on it of any kind?
     
  10. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    You're not being a pain. You should be able to open gparted, right-click on the partition you want to format, and format it directly.

    Perhaps you could post some screenshots or something?

    Sorry, I'm always better when I can see what's happening first-hand :p
     
  11. Llamarama

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Feb 1, 2010
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    They always say a picture is worth 1000 words, hope this sufficiently explains then :)

    Screenshot 1 is the results from sudo fdisk -l

    Screenshot 2 is the opening screen from Gparted

    Screenshot 3 shows the error reported by Gparted, Hope this makes sense
     
  12. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    Oh, I see. None of the space is allocated. The computer can't read it as a hard drive.

    Unfortunately I'm not sure what to do in that case. I'd think you could format it, but you seem to have tried it and it doesn't work. What happens if you right-click on the "unallocated" space? What options does it give you?
     
  13. Llamarama

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Feb 1, 2010
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    The only things that are selectable are new (which then prompts me to create a new partition table) and Properties.
     
  14. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    I'll run my ubuntu cd when I get home from work and see if I can figure out what you can do. In the mean time, if you figure it out on your own, or if someone else wants to jump in, keep me posted :D
     
  15. Llamarama

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Feb 1, 2010
    62
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    Thanks :) Much appreciated, I'll keep bashing at it hoping something works :)
     
  16. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    Okay, I'm currently logged in with a Ubuntu Live CD. Under GParted, click the "partition" menu. What options does it give you? You will probably have to create a "new" partition, and just set its size to the entire capacity of the HD. It will probably ask you if you want to format it, click yes. Let me know if this works.

    Regards,
    Matt
     
  17. Llamarama

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Feb 1, 2010
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    None of the options are selectable I'm afraid. I think I tracked the problem's source to an IDE to USB converter not properly shutting the drive down though.
     
  18. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    The only reason I've come across that they wouldn't be selectable would be 1) you haven't selected the unallocated space, or 2) you're not running in live mode. Check that you've highlighted the unallocated space in the list, and see if that helps. If not, there must be some other reason. It's possible that the drive is completely obliterated and you won't be able to use it no matter what you do to it. Don't give up too quickly though. There must be something you can do....
     
  19. Llamarama

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Feb 1, 2010
    62
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    It's not having any of it I'm afraid. I'll give them to the computer support technicians at my uni as a challenge. Like I said there wasn't anything important on them so it's not an unbearable loss.

    Once again, thankyou for all the help and hints, if they are ever unbricked I shall let you know :)
     
  20. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    You do that. Wish I could have been more help. Good luck!
     
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