FREE NTFS Partition Repair Data Recovery Software

NOTE FROM MICHAEL: Hey Everyone! Thanks for all the positive emails and phone calls. One email from Jim L in Dallas Texas asks: “you talk about partition repair, but the software doesn’t actually repair the partition, it recovers files from it. Is there anything out there that does repair partitions?” Well Jim while most people are happy to just get their data back from a damaged partition, we do have a tool for those brave souls that want to actually REPAIR a partition.

Dick Correa our chief programmer was kind enough to release a tool he created that does in fact REPAIR NTFS partitions. This software is free to our readers and can be gotten off of our website. The link is at the bottom of this post. Keep in mind that DTI is not responsible for any data lost from misuse of this tool. It is extremely powerful. Now that the lawers are happy, here is Dick’s post:

NTFS Partition Recovery with Free Partition Recovery All things must start somewhere, when it comes to operating systems’; the partition sector is the single most important component in the boot sequence. When the partition sector is missing, corrupt, or set up improperly it can wreak havoc with the booting of your operating system. The partition sector is vulnerable to virus attacks, operating system anomalies, bad sector reads, and an ever increasing set of tools, fdisk included, that when used incorrectly can and will totally destroy an operating systems boot sequence.

In order to more clearly understand how the partition sector fits into the boot sequence, the following is a standard garden variety boot up.

When you turn on your computer several things happen. The first of which is the BIOS (Basic Input Output System) is executed by the CPU (Central Processing Unit). The CPU knows to load the BIOS on power up as there is a flag set at power on. The BIOS then jumps to a set of routines that will execute the POST (Power On Self Test). The POST will look at memory, some peripheral devices, and do some other house keeping procedures. The most important of these is determining the boot device. The boot device is stored in non-volatile read/write memory. If the boot device is set to a hard drive, then an industry standard interrupt 0×19 is called. This routine loads the first 512 bytes of the boot device, which in this case the hard drive, into memory location 0x7C00. The 512 bytes is a standard sector size. It then jumps to that address (0x7C00) and executes whatever it finds there.

If all goes well, the set of instructions executed will look at the partition entry data. The partition entry data is used to determine which partition is the boot partition. If it finds a boot partition in the partition entry list the instructions will then load a secondary set of instructions which the partition entry has pointed to. In the case of Windows the OS (Operating System) pre loader is now loading itself into memory. This type of OS loader is called a two phase loader and is very common. Take a look at the table below to help better understand the role of the partition sector entry data.

The format of a partition sector entry is as follows:
1.) Byte 1 Boot Partition Indicator (0×80 is bootable, 0×00 is not)

2.) Byte 2 Starting Head of the partition (255 or less)

3.) Byte 3-4 Starting Sector and Cylinder of the partition
This is set up as 10 bits for the Cylinder and
6 bits for the Sector (Sector Max 63, Cylinders Max 1024)

4.) Byte 5 File System Type (NTFS, FAT32 etc)

5.) Byte 6 Ending Head of the partition (255 or less)

6.) Byte 7-8 Ending Sector and Cylinder of the partition
This is set up as 10 bits for the Cylinder and
6 bits for the Sector (Sector Max 63, Cylinders Max 1024)

7.) Bytes 9 -12 Relative Sector to the partition sector. In other
words, where the actual partition starts.

8.) Bytes 13-16 Total sectors for this partition.

If any of this data is outside the stated parameters the partition will fail and consequently the boot sequence will stop. In order to clearly understand what happens when the partition sector is corrupt or damaged, the following is a list of scenarios.1. Boot Failure: System Halted
An error message that comes from the BIOS. Certain BIOS versions, especially the most recent revisions, take a look at the partition sector. The BIOS will perform some preliminary tests and one of the tests is the Partition Identifier. At the end of every partition sector is the value 0xAA55. If this indicator is missing then the BIOS assumes that this is not a partition sector and the aforementioned error message will be issued.

2. System reboots over and over
Although this is not an error message, it can happen if the relative sectors point to an invalid OS pre loader. A trap is set and if the data that is loaded is not executable machine most BIOS’s will reboot.

3. Invalid Partition Table
This error message comes from the partition boot code. If there are no boot devices then the boot code will enter an infinite loop after this message is displayed.

4. Error Loading Operating System
After a valid partition is found the LBA sector pointed to by the partition entry table will be loaded using INT 13. This is the operating system loader. If the code cannot be loaded into memory then the above message is normally displayed.

5. Missing Operating System
Once the operating system boot code is loaded it is checked for the 0xAA55 identifier in the same manner that the partition sector is tested. If this test fails, then the above message will be displayed.

Over the years the BIOS writers have gotten smarter, personal computer as well as operating system standards have been set and are normally followed. So many of the messages, as well as error checking is now handled by the BIOS. The messages I have mentioned are just a few, but, are very common; however, from BIOS to BIOS the messages as well as the error handling can differ greatly.

As you can clearly see the partition sector is of primary importance in the boot sequence. Without it nothing happens. In the future there may be ways to overcome the use of a partition sector, one would be to store the partition entry data in the BIOS, this would eliminate boot sector viruses as well as the possibility that the boot sector goes bad and becomes unreadable. However for now, we will work with what we have. The next segment will discuss how to do partition recovery using a simple piece of software.

How To Use The Software

Free Partition Recovery is an extremely powerful tool for anyone to use but this statement must be caveated with the fact that with power comes a degree of responsibility. In other words, use this tool with extreme caution as it can destroy your file system to the point of massive and possibly permanent data loss. That being said lets take a look at how we can put this tool to good use.

First, the software should be run from a master drive. There should be two drives in the system, your boot drive from where the software is executed, and the damaged drive. The damaged drive being the one with the corrupt or missing partition. Free Partition Recovery is designed to work on Windows XP type operating systems, so make sure that you have unzipped the file onto that type of operating system.

Once the Free Partition Recovery has been executed you will see in Figure 1.

Figure 1

The top row displays all the physical drives currently active in your system. This will also include any external devices that can be mounted as a physical block device. An example of this would be the 80 GB Maxtor USB device. Once you choose a physical drive all partition entry data will be displayed as in Figure 2.

Figure 2

The partition entry data for this particular drive gives us a clear example of a drive that has been configured with one NTFS logical drive with the standard offset of 63 sectors, start head and sector of 1 and ending cylinder of 1023. These are classic values for a normal single logical drive setup.
The other three entries are clear and not in use. These entries will be ignored by the OS loader. There is one other important item in this configuration. On the far left of Figure 2 of the first partition entry is the boot flag “No”. This indicates that this partition is ‘Not Bootable’. You can change that value buy using the drop down list (Figure 3)

Figure 3

Once you have configured all of the partition entries to reflect the correct values all you need do is press the “Write” button. You will be presented with the following message box in Figure 4. A word of caution, once you write the data down to the partition sector, you must live with it. Please exhibit extreme caution.

Figure 4

Hopefully this information as well as the software will help you recover your data. If you have any questions email or call 727-345-9665 Ext 236. For additional help visit our hard drive recovery page.

You can download the free NTFS partition repair software here. For more info about freeware data recovery visit our free data recovery software page.

We have also just released a FREEWARE solution that will save your NTFS master file table to our secure servers for possible data recovery. It acts as a remote restore point and MFT backup.


  1. Terrence,
    It sounds like you have bad sectors on the drive. You can either try to run some data recovery software on your drive as a USB device, or you can clone the drive onto another drive and the try to read it. However, both of these suggestions can make the drive problem much worse. The software will force retries on an area of the drive that is already very sensitive to destruction and can actually destory data. Cloning the drive has the same affect and sometimes can be worse than the data recovery software.
    We have special equipment and specialized software to handle this type of situation.

    Hope this helps,

  2. terrence davies says:

    HI and thank you for your fast responce, i have tryed to recover whith my xp factory recovery disks and all was going well till the last disk it came up blue screen again but difrent one , it says that there is a damaged or currupt file \system 32\ hal dll and i should repair or replace it but do not no how to do this have tryed full system recovery again but get the same thing,it all so came up with some tec stuff that means little to me so thought i would inclued it also
    0X0000007A 0XE122E414, OXC000000E 0XBF8FC8F, O11D58860
    win32k.sys -BF8F5C8F Base at BF800000 Date stamp 3b7de698
    not to sure what it all means but was hopeing you could help me further with problem, as i live hundreds of miles out any town i need to try and get computer going as i need it for work i am very gratefull for your help so far it is very refreshing to know people like you mob are out there thank you if you think this is a problem that can not be fixed from home please let me know and will stop trying, it only been three days since problem started but have been working on fixing it for the whole three days and advice would be great thank you again
    kind regards Terry davies

  3. terrence davies says:

    sorry file name did not type out in full it is \system 32 \hal dll

  4. terrence,

    Your drive has bad area’s on it that will not allow the reload of your operating system. I would venture to guess that the disks you are trying to use for the system restore are not actually windows disk but disks that allow access to the “recovery partition” of the hard drive. Many manufacturers use this method now. Since the drive is going bad it would be impossible for the disks to read from the bad area of your hard drive. I would recommend getting a new drive and loading an operating system on it. You should then be able to slave this bad drive into the machine and move any valuable data off if it is not too far gone.

  5. terrence davies says:

    Thank you Jacqui how refreshing it is to find people that want to help you thank you very much you have renewed my faith in online help.
    since i last posted i was able to reformat bad drive and some what restore it now if i plug drive in as secondry drive from my old good drive i can accese it allthough i have lost all data my main aim now is to try and save bad drive if posible as new drives are not cheap and being a drouht strickin farmer in australia every cent counts, i can accese drive from my good drive and it seems fine windows is reinstalled it looks ok I performed reg scan and fix on bad drive but when i plug it in as main drive i get screen that says KERNEL_DATA_INPAGE ERROR the Windows root >\ system 32 \hal dll error seems to have been fixed but this new kernel error has come up , i apolagise for been such a pain, do you think or can you recomend a program that might fix this or should i do as you sugested and get new drive, when i purchast PC i it did not come with windows XP install cd it was just on system ? i thank you again for your time and help and look forwards to hereing from you
    kind regards terry davies

  6. terrence,

    I wish I had better news, but all of the problems you are having are indicative of the drive going and full failure being imminent. It is unfortunate but when a drive starts to obtain bad sectors the problem usually grows exponentially because the bad sectors are usually due to the loss of magnetism on the drive which continues to replicate once it starts to occur. Because you are in Australia I can not recommend and cheap distributors of hard drives but I would venture to guess you may be able to pick up an 40-80 gig for about $25-$50 USD. I am sorry I could not be of more help.

  7. terrence davies says:

    Hi and thank you Jacqui you are a gem and thankyou every one eles for all your help, what a great mob of people you are i very much apreciate your help i can not thank you enough, if there is anything i can do for you please do not hesitate to let me know i will bend over backwards to pay you back thank you, at least now i can stop trying to fix hard drive and get on with it i will purches new one when i get to town it is a some what of a relief as i was getting frustrate buggering aroud with it and was very close to trowing hard drive down the paddock and letting the horses play with it, but its all good now thanks to you and your good advice, as i did not have a clue where to start or finish thank you again, and dont forget if i can help you in any small way just let me know (email address removed by admin) I wish you all a very happy and safe xmass and a great new year, my door is always open and there is a feed on the table, all the best your friend in Australia Terry Davies

  8. chromewarrior says:

    To Michael on the wish to multi boot on your hard drive!

    I have found a link for you and others as I have been reading heaps on multi boot up hard drives.

    This Linux person has succesfully booted on 4 hard drives of two 200 gig and two 3oo gig hard drives 147 operating systems.

    Why ? why not same as climbing a mountain fixing hard drive issues ect.

    All \Windows must be on main partitions of which there are 4 per hard drive all other Linux >> Unix >> ect are on extended partitions,

    It is best to read lots and go over it agai nand again im about to try it on two 500gig hard drives IDE ones for the time being.

    I am going to install as directed in sequance my DOS 6.2 >> Windows 95 >> XP >> Vista>>> then as many Linux distros that I can install and use.
    I just like to be able to understand operating systems a little better and how to play with other software to see the Pros and Cons of each.

    Here is the link to the forum post

    Cheers Chrome

  9. HI, this is hopefully an easy fix :) New additional 1TB drive formatted in XP NTFS, k=40gb, the rest on L drive. K is empty, added data to L. On restart, L vanished from explorer (K still there – 40gb) and disk management shows a 1TB healthy formatted K drive with no partitions. Tried restarts, etc. no difference – OS has since been reinstalled for other reasons. The data is still there according to a trial version of a data recovery program. What happened? can a repair to the drive work? Thanks!

    • David,

      It is likely I could repair this drive back to how it was before what happened.. happened. It would be a remote logical recovery. It is likely that the partition got smoked.. how I have no clue. I would be happy to walk you through a few things if you want to give me a call 727-345-9665 ext 236

  10. Hi, I have an Acer Laptop that had 3 partitions on a 320G hitahi SATA drive I imaged off the original 80 gig drive to make room for a multi-boot linux install. Here are the 3 partitions. The first was a hidden partition used by Acer to backup the factory defaults. The second was a FAT32 Vista boot partition (C:) and the third was an NTFS data partition(D:). All 3 were primary partitions with the second set as bootable.

    Where the trouble began was that I wanted to remove the first hidden partition and resize the two others. I did this using GParted Live CD as it was simple and effective and worked better than my other tool Partition Commander for this. Upon reboot I couldn’t get into my windows desktop. Got into windows but the partition changes swapped drive letters and crippled the OS to a degree. Researched online and found I needed their Vista Recovery CD to fix these issues due to new boot loader structures in Vista. I used this and it appeared to fix the problem because I booted just fine and could get to everything but then the D drive was missing. The Windows drive managment could see it but the volume label was missing and the only option was Format. At this point I decided to cut my losses.

    So, I decided to set everything back the way it was. I rebooted in GParted Live. Re-created the first hidden partition and re-sized everything back the way it was. Then I rebooted into Partition Commander and mistakenly used the reset generic MBR option.DOH! Now both Windows partitions are no longer seen as FAT32 and NTFS like they were and the Vista recovery disk can’t see any copy of Vista to fix (Gulp) and the computer won’t boot. I know the data is still there and hope just fixing the MBR or Partition table(s) will correct this. Right now these partitions look like FAT and Other and don’t appear to have a filesystem is any of the tools I look at them with. How do you suggest I go about getting these 2 partitions back or is it a lost cause?

    • Todd,

      I cant be sure without eyes on the drive, if you would like you can call me and we can set up a time for me to remote in to your pc and take a look at the drive. No cost for me to take look only would cost if I fix it but would allow me to better figure out what can be done to fix the drive enough for you to be able to reload Vista becuase you definitely need access to the Vista load on the box to be able to fix this.

  11. I have an NTFS drive that has died & I am hoping for some insight on what I can do to recover information from it. This is not a boot device. This is all happening on a Windows XP (sp3) system that has 3 physical drives in it & 1 USB drive attached (1 160Gb, and 2 80Gb) . All drives are NTFS. I have lost access to a physical drive (80Gb) that is partitioned in 2 parts.

    I was in the process of preparing files to move to a new computer (of course) and had just loaded a copy of Symantec’s Save & Restore. After I re-booted, the system said that delayed write to $MFT had failed and data bad been corrupted. At the time I could still see the hard drive in XPs manage drives & I could still see the 2 parttions. In file manager I could see the 2 partitions shown as disks & the folder tree would expand, but if you clicked on anything below the immediate 1st level of the folder tree the system said no access.

    I have tried removal of the Symantec s/w thinking maybe it put a driver or something on the device, but that had no effect & on re-boot I can still see the partitions in file manager, but drive manager does not recognize that the disk is connected (neither partition shows) and now I can’t see any of the folder tree in file manager.

    Looking at this site & several other data recovery sites I think the MFT has become corrupted. I have a 23Gb directory of Photos that I REALLY would like to recover from one of the partitions on this. I have not tried any recovery s/w yet. I ran a product called easeus data recovery in read mode & at 1st it could see the lost partitions in partition recovery mode also, but then it also lost the ability to see them – w/o access to the partitions it is lost…

    If it matters, there are 2 partitions on the drive that is lost. One is a boot partition for a dual boot config, the other is a logical partition that has the data I lost on it. Both partitions are for WinXP. Out of concern that I will screw something else up I have not tried to boot under the boot partition – not sure it would if the MFT is in fact corrupt.

    Any help or suggestions would be Greatly appreciated!

  12. Robin Lanigan says:

    Having run Partition Magic I discovered several errors on the three partitions located on my laptop. Here’s the error log….hopefully someone here will know of a fix…I’m hoping to get the partitions all sorted out so that I can install Windows 7b on a seperate partition using a dual-boot setup….

    Thanks in advance for any assistance!

    Symantec PartitionInfo 8.0 — Windows NT/2000 Version
    Date Generated: 01/11/09 21:19:32
    Copyright (c)1994-2004, Symantec Corporation
    Permission is granted for this utility to be freely copied so long
    as it is not modified in any way. All other rights are reserved.

    Symantec, makers of Norton PartitionMagic(r), Drive Image(tm), and DriveCopy(tm), can be reached at:
    Voice: 801-437-8900
    Fax: 801-226-8941
    Web site: tech support

    General System Information:
    Total Physical Memory (bytes): 2,112,065,536
    Used Physical Memory: (bytes): 742,260,736
    Maximum Page File Size: (bytes): 4,047,597,568
    Current Page File Size: (bytes): 831,254,528

    Disk Geometry Information for Disk 1: 15505 Cylinders, 240 Heads, 63 Sectors/Track
    System PartSect # Boot BCyl Head Sect FS ECyl Head Sect StartSect NumSects
    0 0 80 0 1 1 07 1023 239 63 63 181,757,457
    Info: End C,H,S values were large drive placeholders.
    Actual values are:
    0 0 80 0 1 1 07 12020 239 63 63 181757457
    0 1 00 1023 239 63 07 1023 239 63 181,743,616 40,973,984
    Info: Begin C,H,S values were large drive placeholders.
    Info: End C,H,S values were large drive placeholders.
    Actual values are:
    0 1 00 12020 19 20 07 14729 239 63 181743616 40973984
    Error #105: Partition didn’t begin on head boundary.
    ucBeginHead expected to be 0 or 1, not 19.
    Error #106: Partition didn’t begin on head boundary.
    ucBeginSector expected to be 1, not 20.
    0 2 00 1023 239 63 12 1023 239 63 222,717,600 11,718,000
    Info: Begin C,H,S values were large drive placeholders.
    Info: End C,H,S values were large drive placeholders.
    Actual values are:
    0 2 00 14730 0 1 12 15504 239 63 222717600 11718000

    Partition Information for Disk 1: 114,470.5 Megabytes
    Volume PartType Status Size MB PartSect # StartSect TotalSects
    C: NTFS Pri,Boot 88,748.8 0 0 63 181,757,457
    E: NTFS Pri 20,006.8 0 1 181,743,616 40,973,984
    Error #113: Primary partition starting at 181743616 overlaps previous partition.
    Utility Pri 5,721.7 0 2 222,717,600 11,718,000

    Boot Record for drive C: (Drive: 1, Starting sector: 63, Type: NTFS)
    1. Jump: EB 52 90
    2. OEM Name: NTFS
    3. Bytes per Sector: 512
    4. Sectors per Cluster: 8
    5. Reserved Sectors: 0
    6. Number of FATs: 0
    7. Root Dir Entries: 0
    8. Total Sectors: 0
    9. Media Descriptor: 0xF8
    10. Sectors per FAT: 0
    11. Sectors per Track: 63 (0x3F)
    12. Number of Heads: 240 (0xF0)
    13. Hidden Sectors: 63 (0x3F)
    14. Total Sectors (>32MB): 0 (0×0)
    15. Unused: 0×80008000
    16. Total NTFS Sectors: 181743272
    17. MFT Start Cluster: 786432
    18. MFT Mirror Start Clust: 13919846
    19. Clusters per FRS: 246
    20. Clusters per Index Blk: 1
    21. Serial Number: 0xD2F4D2D8F4D2BE43
    22. Checksum: 0 (0×0)
    23. Boot Signature: 0xAA55

    Boot Record for drive E: (Drive: 1, Starting sector: 181,743,616, Type: NTFS)
    1. Jump: EB 52 90
    2. OEM Name: NTFS
    3. Bytes per Sector: 512
    4. Sectors per Cluster: 8
    5. Reserved Sectors: 0
    6. Number of FATs: 0
    7. Root Dir Entries: 0
    8. Total Sectors: 0
    9. Media Descriptor: 0xF8
    10. Sectors per FAT: 0
    11. Sectors per Track: 63 (0x3F)
    12. Number of Heads: 240 (0xF0)
    13. Hidden Sectors: 181743616 (0xAD53000)
    14. Total Sectors (>32MB): 0 (0×0)
    15. Unused: 0×80008000
    16. Total NTFS Sectors: 40972287
    17. MFT Start Cluster: 786432
    18. MFT Mirror Start Clust: 2560767
    19. Clusters per FRS: 246
    20. Clusters per Index Blk: 1
    21. Serial Number: 0xECCC3464CC342B6A
    22. Checksum: 0 (0×0)
    23. Boot Signature: 0xAA55

    Boot Record for drive *: (Drive: 1, Starting sector: 222,717,600, Type: FAT)
    1. Jump: EB 58 90
    2. OEM Name: MSDOS5.0
    3. Bytes per Sector: 512
    4. Sectors per Cluster: 8
    5. Reserved Sectors: 36
    6. Number of FAT’s: 2
    7. Root Dir Entries: 0
    8. Total Sectors: 0 (0×0)
    9. Media Descriptor: 0xF8
    10. Sectors per FAT: 0
    11. Sectors per Track: 63 (0x3F)
    12. Number of Heads: 240 (0xF0)
    13. Hidden Sectors: 222717600 (0xD4666A0)
    14. Big Total Sectors: 11718000 (0xB2CD70)
    15. Drive ID: 0x9E
    16. Dirty Flag: 0x2C
    17. Extended boot Sig: 0×00
    18. Serial Number: 0×00000000
    19. Volume Name:
    20. File System Type:
    21. Boot Signature: 0xAA55

  13. Joseph Whitehead says:

    Interesting reading. I came to this site from a link in Google when searching for why a drive had sector 63 (and ONLY #63) become unreadable in the MBR area. I’m kinda wishing that my drive was formatted as FAT32 in the first partition since I know how to get it back using “diskedit” from Norton’s old MS-DOS toolset. Over the last 5 or so years, I’ve found myself using Windows programs or bootable CDs that do the same thing, with a much faster transfer rate thanks to a larger cache. ;)

    A USB-to-IDE adapter has become essential when fixing PCs, it seems. I’ve got some 2.5″ to 3.5″ converters but those aren’t nearly as convenient nor do they have keyed connectors most of the time… Which is a shame.

    Is it normal for the first sector of the first partition to just fail like that? It’s really weird because I haven’t had other sectors do the same on that drive. I can access the second partition just fine, and oddly, Windows go so far as to give me the NTLDR error, and offer to let me go to safe mode. It just can’t load NTLDR’s binary image. I guess I’m going to check the S.M.A.R.T. records on the drive and continue getting the files off the second partition. Luckily I put my “Documents and Settings” folder on the 2nd partition. Heh, clever me.

    Too bad that I now have to try to guess the ending sector of the partition so that a rebuild using the disk image/virtual drive method will work. Since I know the start of the 2nd partition, I can work backwards, but is there some (mathematical) way to verify if I got it right? The partition I think is NTFS, but I’ll need to double check. I may have another copy of this drive’s MBR from before I cloned the old laptop’s drive but it’s likely changed since I added the second partition into the extra space? Or is only the first 2 sectors modified and sectors 63-64 are left alone?

    Went like this: Laptop came with 30GB drive, used a boot CD to clone it to an 80GB drive. Added a second partition (NTFS) to take up the rest. Made a list of all applications and backed up ‘Windows/Program Files/Documents and Settings’ folders. Installed newer version of Windows into another folder and deleted the older one after everything was working. Moved ‘Documents and Settings’ to 2nd partition and used Registry Replacer to ‘fix’ it so that it works. Yes, I know now to use a slipstreamed installer CD but back then… heh I learned a lot about Windows XP after that fiasco.

    I’m thinking that I should be hunting down my old drive’s image files ASAP. I didn’t even remember having the image until now! Thanks for the great site, Joe

  14. chromewarrior says:

    Michael and to Dick Correa ,

    I have left info here before about multi boot operating systems.
    Go to Justlinux with a lot of reading (I have done) I have bought two 500gb hard drives ide an two 750 hard drives.
    With this hardware I have found how you can put a bootloader into the very first part of a hard drive makes no differance which one but then boot up to 147 operating systems1

    But like I said there is a lot of reading on “Installing 147 operating systems or more”

    Also you have on the Primary partitions any of Microsift Operating Systems total amout is 4 choices, say Dos 6.2 – Windoes me or 98 – xp – vista,
    then you can install in the other 143 operating systems in Linus / Soloris ect with a Single Swap – Single Home Folder.


    It is very simple and why (why not :) )

    Hope this helps some people and even make this company learn some new stuff as always man made or should I say human made stuff is bound to stuff up wether we like it or not.

    Cheers Chrome

    • Thanks for the info! I can’t imagine needing 147 operating systems, but maybe the technicians might. I would like to be able to switch between operating systems without having to reboot the machine, now that would be cool : )

  15. Joseph Whitehead says:

    VMWare player… Slow but it works. ’nuff said. :)

  16. Joe Wannemacher says:

    Maxtor 120 GB (6Y120P0) formatted NTFS, single partition. I accidently deleted the partition with qparted (thinking I was deleting a USB drive).

    Ideally I’d like to restore it to bootable w/all previously installed programs operating, all data still available, etc. I have the free NTFS partition repair… software. The only thing it doesn’t show is the total number of sectors. Do I need to provide that info before I “write” the repair data to the drive? If so, how do I calculate it? MFG drive specs show Logical CHS as 16383/16/63. I cannot find the total number of sectors on the manufacturer’s site.

    If I cannot restore the drive, what is the best way to recover the data?


  17. Hello, I have a hp pavilion 533w with windows xp home. My problem is I tried to do a complete system recovery using the hp system recovery and all it shows is recovery partition not found. When I do a f10 boot it shows restore.log missing and then c:\minint\system32\restore.log missing I just want to restore that computer back to the way bought it 7 years ago, it had a trojan that i had removed by circuit city. I don’t do much with it but surf the net

    • Howard,

      Could be that Somewhere along the line someone removed that recovery partition on you. I would call HP and request an OS cd. This is one of the squeaky wheel situations.. they may tell you no at first.. be persistent.

  18. Dillip Nayak says:

    I want creat a recovery disk of my laptop installed win xp & supported drivers and other softwares how i can creat a recovery bootable disk of total image of drive C: kindly suggest me.

  19. Michael Duffy says:

    I had an unregistered copy of XP pro. It forced me to upgrade to a legal copy of XP. The problem is that I could only spring for XP Home. I now have twooption when booting for booting, and have lost access to the previous 30GB of my HD. (I now have a limited 10GB available partiton. These are NTFS partitions. How can I access my first 30GB under XP home?

  20. I had windows corruption and try to do recovery with -R option after booting from CD but no joy. I installed windows in anoter directory ie c:\window and now from the bootloader i can go to the windows i installed but not to the previous version.
    I have data on it and want to recover. The partition shows healthy but I cannot assign a drive letter or enable it.

    When I boot again now from CD and with -R optioon and with utilities both partition shows good and healthy

    How can I recover my previous windows XP and recover the data.

    Thanks in advance.

  21. darian1007 says:

    I did a very stupid thing, I was in process of re-install windows XP pro to my laptop and forgot I had my external drive still connected. Of course I was doing this at 3AM and was not clear int the head. My problem is when ask to delete the partition I did, but deleted my external drive and not my laptop one, good new I think is that I did not format. I have about 300G of information that I need to recover. Anyway I can restore the partition and keep my data. I’m just getting back to work too so a free or very cheap solution would be nice.


  22. OTHELLO3 says:

    ditto for me
    darian1007 on March 25th, 2009 3:32 pm

    April 3rd, 2009
    00:40 hr is my mistake event, and I was exhausted at the time.
    Hundreds of OS installs on all kinds of boxes and over networks; and this one time I thought I was looking at a 2ndary factory partition, after cherry picking files and bkng up to my 250GB USB Seagate. Clicked it into the void life? I think so. I am moving on and hope find out if your app will recover the partition. I will let you know

  23. Darian and Othello,

    The probelm you are going to run in to is that you will need the exact size or sizes of the paritions that were deleted. I have a walkthrough on the blog with the #’s you need to punch into our software to write down the partition information.

    How To Replace Partition on a single partition hard drive

    Write down any settings that are there BEFORE you change anything, that way if it doesnt work at least you can put it back the way it was.

  24. David Throckmorton says:

    Weird Problem:
    I was running my PC, just fine then realized my CPU was pumping at 190deg F, for a while the computer would boggle up and just not do anything and then a couple of seconds later it would just pick back up where it left off. I was in the process of doing a Disc Cleanup and had to cancel to do a reboot. I turned my PC back on and my computer started rebooting for no reason. I tried using safemode but it still would not boot. Then i tried using the option of rebooting with last known configuration and the computer would finally get to the load screen. But would stop within a couple of seconds and reboot. I then hooked up my drive to my friends computer as a slave, and the computer is showing the slave as unformatted and there is no space being used. 74g free with 74g max. I figured there might be a partition issue so i recovered the partition with the tool. No change. For a while i thought well maybe it was because the CPU was so hot it caused problems, but now being my friends computer is in perfect shape, there has to be something wrong with the harddrive. I could use a data transfer program and get my data back, but i am still curious as to what happened with the drive.
    Now when i pull up properties on the drive, it shows 0/0 free and used space. using Computer Managment and Disk Managment the drive is showing Max 74/Free 74 space, and the drive is set to active. i cannot access anything in the drive because the computer is telling me the drive is not formatted but i know it is.
    Im worried, i have done my best in trying to explain the details so you can better understand what is going on. Thankyou

  25. Anonymous says:

    I had an ex-b/f put a second partition on my computer so he could monitor my moves as well as hide his own… How do i change everything to make it back to its original factory state? I am only a user not the administrator, its currently on ntfs system with self installing files… Any help would be greatly appreciated….

  26. I was using a video editing software that was reading/writing to my external disk (put a internal in a enclosure). I lost power and when I got everything back, I saw my drive listed in windows explorer. However, the drive name is lost. When I click on it, it says the file system is corrupted or damaged. When I drive chkdsk, it says direct access is not possible.

    I am sure the files are intact, just my directory listing is damaged. Will this software fix this scenario too?



    it may be unic one

  28. Marian Wnuk says:

    There will be only question,I HAVE 7 MONTHS OLD wINDOWS VISTA,about a week ago I triad to install new program,but I couldn’ becouse,there was no driver E, PLEASSE HELP ME SOLVE THIS PROBLEM Iam waiting fot solution.
    thank you
    Marian Wnuk

  29. I have a WD Passport Elite external HDD which was recently connected to my laptop. While the laptop was shutting down, and installing MS updates, my youngest unplugged it. Being helpful, his sitter plugged it back in and told me “some kind of error message popped up”. Now the drive is non-responsive, Windows doesn’t recongnize it and the recovery software I’ve tried to use says my 500 GB drive is now a 2199 GB drive.

    I’m a DJ and had my music library on the drive along with other files that have disappeared into the ether. Any suggestions on resurrecting the drive?

    Thanks for any help you can offer.

    Best Regards,
    Bill Brado

  30. Marian Wnuk says:

    I have Widowa Vista and Juno internet provider.For past few monts Itried to install Norton antyvirus program without luck,also I HAVE VIRUS IN MY COMPUTER,PLEASE CAN YOU HELP ME TI SOLVE MY PROBLEM? YHANK YOU SINCERELY
    marian wnuk

  31. Marian Wnuk says:

    I have Widowa Vista and Juno internet provider.For past few monts Itried to install Norton antyvirus program without luck,also I HAVE VIRUS IN MY COMPUTER,PLEASE CAN YOU HELP ME TI SOLVE MY problem,thank you SINCERELY
    marian wnuk

  32. Thank you very much for teh NTFS Partition Repair Data Recovery Software.

    I was able to get back a Western Digital drive that I’d stupidly deleted the partition from, since my PC would never boot up unless is was plugged into the USB port.
    Anyway, deleting the partition in Disk Management made it so I could not get to the files. Now I can do my backups again and all is well. Thanks again!

  33. Hi.
    This is the scenario:
    1) I have an external HDD (simpledrive 250KG), its HDD is wroken
    2) IMy desktop PC has a second HDD 160GB, it was working fine. It has 4 partitions.
    3) I take off the 160 GB HDD from the destop PC and replace the 250GB HDD of the external drive

    I did all alone, without any help, I was proud of myself !!!!. But of course something wrong happend …..

    4) After turned on the external drive a got a message (don’t remember it), it ask me
    to partition the 160GB HDD.

    I answer YES. After this a got a message to format the HDD, of course I didn’t format it.

    5) Trying to solve the problem, I re-instaledl the HDD on the desktop PC and also get a message to format the HDD

    The question.
    What should I do ?
    This program is the solution ?

    Tks in advance for your help
    from Buenos Aires, Argentina, South America

  34. manikanta reddy says:

    tank you very much intol i owe u man!…………………tanx for the recovery of hard disk trick …tanx tanx tanx

  35. Adam-n-eve says:

    Thanks!! It worked like a charm! recovered my drive letter and all 80gigs of data I thought lost… I had a slave drive that had thousands of drivers that I accumulate when I fix or set up friends/customers computers, and also dozens of images of cd’s, systems. Was workig one day then the next, no drive letter and winxp disk management showed no partition, unallocated… When I ran this program it showed no parameters for this drive… 0′s accross the board.. I just googled the model number + specifications and used those numbers to input into this program and rebooted and viola!! Same drive letter and all data there and available… doing a backup as I type this… WHEW!! Scared the bleep out of me. Nothing like this has ever happened to me and I got real lazy with backing up… NEVER again… So I thank you for the free program and as soon as I have some spare funds I WILL come here an buy SOMETHING…

  36. HEY, i got western digital 160GB…and i have 70% important files…when my external hard drive put on my desktop and save something small files, after i remove my external harddrive and check to my laptop…ITS TOTALLY ALL MY FILES GONE!!!!! WHAT SHOULD I DO=(

  37. Hi Dick,
    I have a 500GB portable hard drive connected via USB. Only one partition was on the drive and I had used about 300GB of the space. My system sees the drive but, when I try to access it, I get a message telling me that “The disk structure is corrupt and unreadable.” I assume that my partition table has been corrupted or deleted. When I try using data recovery software (like the Easus DRW product), it sees 15 folders and many thousands of files but is taking forever to recover. I tried installing your free tool to recover the partition table, and it too sees the drive, but I don’t know what entries to use in the table, so I can push the “write” button to execute.

  38. I had tried something like 5 recovery programs, finally giving up. A friend suggested Recover It All, and I tried that to no avail. I started to do some online searches into how to recover my data from a failed HD. I came upon this website, which finally ended my journey. Your free program helped me 100%. I am now copying all my data to a safe location. I am not sure how it worked, but it worked! Thanks so much!

  39. Hi just started pc up and my slave sata drive ( samsung green 1.5TB f2 ) drive is now empty, using windows 7 pro, it had all my photos, camcorder tapes of my children etc but now says empty. I have tried a couple of recovery software but all recover files but they are unable to open them please help me

  40. Mark Turner says:

    You Rock!
    I am an old DOS 3.3 dude also but for the last 10 years have gone totally Hardware and have lost all the TRICKS of the trade! I just recently had a VISTA (Groan) system loose the Boot Sector/Partition. Your little article tickled my synapsis and i remember some of what you taught. Unfortunately i have to go out of town for another week before I can put much of this to use but am stoked!
    I do have an old Bart PE CD but need to make a new one as I have a few apps to add like your FREE Partition repair! My system has two 500G Western Digital HDD’s formatted with NTFS and I am hating it that it crashed the night before I leave! Ugh. I was able to manually get some data but really want to be able to boot that system again!
    Your instruction and app will make that happen!
    I will be reading all week to learn some good stuff! Heck without the software the Hardware is just a paper weight!
    Thank you!

  41. Need to repair a 40 gig or 38204MB NTFS partition. All my drives are set up with partition magic like this. SH 1 SS 1 SC0 NTFS EH 254 ES 63 EC 1023 Sectors 63
    and Total Sectors ? So on a 40 gig – what would be the total sector amount to enter?

  42. how can i run this application if my windows xp to my laptop is not working??? what I mean is if my OS can’t run properly.. it ends up into blue screen after windows xp loading.. what should I do???

  43. Ryan Yzquierdo says:


    Trying to recover data from a bad hard drive. I’ve been learning a lot about recovery systems, Ubuntu, Knoppix, testdisk, etc over the past 10 days but nothing has helped me restore my files.

    The most important thing that I want to save from this hard drive are 6 months of videos and pictures of my 11 month old daughter that I had just moved from my camcorder to this hard drive a few weeks before it crashed. I had not had an opportunity to back up the videos yet. The pictures we had just copied over from another computer as well and didn’t have time to back them up. I have since backed up everything else that I had from another computer but I do not want to loose these files of such a precious time in my daughter’s life.

    The failed hard drive in question is 750GB which has a Vista operating system on it. About ten days ago, the drive simply wouldn’t boot up. The computer’s BIOS shows that it’s a bad hard drive with 0MB capacity. I have tried connecting it with a USB SATA enclosure as well as directly via SATA but it does not show up properly.

    I just spent an evening burning an ISO of Ubuntu to a CD and playing around with Testdisk. I didn’t run any scans with Testdisk after doing some research on Google regarding the incorrectly reported size of the drive.

    Disk /dev/sdb – 2199 GB / 2048 GiB – CHS 2097152 64 32

  44. thanks for free data recovery tool!

  45. After installing Windows XP,
    one of my drive (F:/ = 40 GB), while clicking, shows
    “This drive is not formatted. Do you want to format it?”
    This drive contains the data that I collected from last 5 yr.
    And my all documents(32000), photos(57000), and books (around 18000)..
    And I don’t want loose all my life’s stuff…
    plz help me…
    how to recover this drive or data…

    I beg pardon for my poor english..
    Thanking you in advaance…

  46. Hi Friends,

    I lost my Data :(

    yesterday I downloaded Windows 7 Enterprise Evaluation DVD.
    My system has 320GB hard Disk, almost full. just 20GB left. It has XP on it. So thought of installing windows 7 on it.

    Today I booted from Windows 7 installation Disk and got the screen to select the drive to install.

    There were around 5 partitions in total.
    C: 20GB
    D,E: 100GB
    F: 50GB

    So I selected C Drive of 20GB and clicked Delete partition. Thats it. My data is gone. I could see only one drive listed there of 100GB. all the other partitions are lost. I shows as 117GB unallocated space. and one more of around 80GB. Not sure what caused this. I am a server admin and am much careful in these kind of installations. But stil I lost my data. Not sure what to do.

    I rebooted my system 3 times but I stil see the same. I can neither boot into windows nor I can install 7 on my disk by creating a new partition as I will pemanently lose the data. So I thought of buying a new hard disk and installing windows 7 on it and trying to recover the data from the OLD one. I have hopes from this forum that I wil get a resolution.

    The data I lost is valuable Softwares, Educational Study materials and much more.

    I cannot spend many for recovery softwares. If it could have been linux i would have simply rebuilt the partition tables but here I am not sure how to..

    Please please help me.

  47. Harjit Singh says:

    I was using 40GB SATA HDD as additional drive and swaping it on a number of PCs. It has two partitions but no OS. It was working fine. Suddenly it stopped being detected. Although on one PC it is detected but in Disk Managemnet it is being shown as NOT initialised. I am an ordinary Home PC user. Request suggest how to fix it. It is clarified that I am not comfortable with DOS commands. Additional details: OS winXP Pro. Motherboard Intel 865. Thanks

  48. i accidently deleted a partition on a ntfs drive…the hard drive only have a partition..what should i do? and how? tq

  49. Dear Author,
    My brother was using the computer yesterday and he came on saying that some of the data are lost. I have 2 hard disk in my computer. And the oldest one contained Local disk drives C, D & E.
    E is NOT the CD/DVD Drive. It’s a normal NTFS partition where I used to save all my data. But after what happened, I can’t find any of my data saved in that partition and can’t even open it. I tried to recover data using some data recovery software and even they do not show the disk drive E. So I couldn’t recover any. I immediately need a solution for this because all my important data was saved in this disk drive E.
    When I click on it there is a pop up message indicating that the disk E is NOT formatted and I have to format it. But I didnt format because I was afraid of losing my data.
    The thing is my brother Formatted the pc and re installed the operating system (which is Windows XP we’re using) after the crashing happened.
    He said before it happened the processor fan didnt work and it was getting stuck time to time and after he restarted the PC all this has happened.
    I need help from any one immediately.

  50. CHIRAG M SHAH says:

    Invalid Partition Table
    This error message comes from the partition boot code. If there are no boot devices then the boot code will enter an infinite loop after this message is displayed.


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