Messed up my hard drive :(

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by lisbakke, Oct 30, 2005.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2005
    On my winXP box I used Partition magic to make a separate partition for installing Gentoo Linux on it. I thought partition magic did it fine, but after it rebooted it said No OS found.

    I tried to plug my HD into a buddy's computer so that I could get my data off, but it wouldn't assign the drive a letter. Then, when looking at the HD in one of the utility's, it said that my HD was partitioned into 3 parts, each part an unknown partition filesystem.

    Is there any way to recover my data? I really need some of it.


    (p.s. i know this forum is for macs but I know you guys know more)
  2. macrumors regular

    Jul 20, 2005
    dude...linux has its own built in partion tool when you install it, for future notice.

    and, there are a lot of bootable disks you can download.
    check that out.

    you could always use windows to boot up and enter repair mode.
    type fixmbr
    then reboot
    see if that helps.
  3. macrumors 65816


    Jan 27, 2005
    One Endless Loop
  4. Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    It sounds like you removed either:

    1) Removed the Windows (NTFS probably) partition and created 3 empty unformatted partition. In this case you are screwed.

    2) Resized the NTFS partition and created 2 unformatted partitions. In this case you Windows Boot Loader is probably confused and you should be able to recover with your Windows install CD.
  5. macrumors regular

    Jul 20, 2005
    its the truth though...
    when i ran windows every day it seemed like there was something not working right.
    ever since i got my imac. everything has been pure bliss.
    :knocks on wood:
  6. macrumors 6502


    Nov 8, 2003
    When you run partition magic it asks if you want to create a restore disk in case this happens...probably would have been a good idea!
  7. macrumors regular

    Jul 20, 2005
    my exact thoughts...
    i actually had this problem happen to me many a time.
    i kept manually partitioning my hd to install linux and it
    kept messing up each time. i never created a rescue disk either.

    finally i booted the linux cd and it partitioned it for me.
    then, i switched to mac.
  8. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2005
    Thanks guys for all your replies.

    Actually, I made a recovery disk when it asked me to. I have two floppies, but I can't boot from either of them. Maybe it screwed up when making the recovery floppies?

    Anyway, I can't figure this out... is there any place that I could send my HD to try to get them to recover the data?

    Thanks again!
  9. macrumors 6502


    Sep 14, 2005
    Have you tried booting from your windows XP disk?
  10. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2005

    No. Do you mean go into the bootup and try to "repair" windows... or to resintall just the OS?

    Or do you mean actually booting into windows from the disc (how do you do that)?

    Even if I could boot in, would it help? I had my HD attatched as slave to a bootable windows, and it recognizes the HD but it won't assign drive letters because they are "unknown partitions".
  11. macrumors 6502


    Sep 14, 2005
    I mean stick the cd and turn the computer on- if it's a relatively modern pc it should boot from the cd before it tries the hard disks. If it doesn't, you need to change your boot settings from the bios. Usually you do this by starting up and then pressing Delete or sometimes F1- it should tell you on the bios screen somewhere. Once you've booted into XP set up you should be able to get a detailed run down of what's happened to your disks.

    What version of Windows is the bootable one you mention? If it's earlier than XP or 2k (ie. Win 98) then it won't recognise an NTFS-formatted drive and that's probably why it doesn't see your hard disk.

    If this isn't the case and you think you should be able to read the drive, then I'm not sure what's happened. In theory you should be able to retrieve some if not all of your data from the partitioned disk if you take it to a specialist. I can't recommend anyone because I've never had to do it myself, but I've heard happy stories of data being recovered even from completely re-formatted disks, so it's worth making some enquiries.

    I suppose it's possible that Partition magic formatted your drive in a Linux file system (I don't know much about Linux so not sure) and now Windows doesn't see it...

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