Repair partition table using testdisk

By in Software Reviews on January 3, 2010

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You have work to do. So, you open your PC and suddenly you notice that one of your partition is missing or can’t be accessed. That is still OK. How about the missing or damage partition is the partition that contains your Operating System (such as XP, Vista, Linux)? And sometimes computer can’t be formatted due to partition table issues. Would not you throwing your hard disk because you think that the hard disk already broken.

That is what some people always do. They never know that the hard disk maybe not broken, but only has damage partition table.

What is partition table?

Partition table works as a connector between OS and hard disk. In certain circumstance, partition table could be damaged because of virus. As the consequences, the partition could not be seen or the partition may either show 0 GB in sizes. Don’t panic because I gone through the same problem too.

It took me 2 days to find the working solution but the working solution only took 2 minutes to repair the partition table. Ha ha.

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For case that computer can’t be reboot

For my case, the damage partition table is the partition that contain Windows XP operating system. How can I use TestDisk if I can’t even go to the windows desktop? That’s is quite easy. You can either use the TestDisk as bootable disk or open your hard disk and placed it as slave inside your friend’s PC. Since I am not comfortable to use boot disk yet, so I just plug out the hard disk and ask my friend to put it in his PC. Then, you can use testdisk.

How to use testdisk

After download TestDisk,  extract it and open a file name TestDisk_win.exe (for Windows user).

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Choose ‘create’ and then TestDisk will show you all of the hard disk that available at your PC. Proceed by choosing the hard disk that contains partition problem.

Then you need to choose the partition table type for your hard disk. Most PC use Intel type. So, proceed by choosing ‘Intel’.

TestDisk offers 6 features that is ‘Analyze’, ‘Advanced’, ‘Geometry’, ‘Options’, ‘MBR Code’, and ‘Delete’. However, I am going to go through about ‘Analyze’ only since it’s the only feature needed for most partition problem.

Proceed by choosing Analyze and then go for Quick Search. For the next screen, type Y to search for partition under Vista.

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Now TestDisk will show you all of available partitions contain in your hard disk whether the working partition or the missing partition. Choose the missing partition and press ‘Enter’. After that, choose ‘Write’ to write back the partition table.

Then you need to restart your PC in order for the changes to take effect. After restart, the missing or damage partition should be accessible.

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