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testdisk multi-os partitions windows vista

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#1 TheD

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 17:11

I'm running Ubuntu and Windows Vista on my laptop. I've recently had trouble booting Vista. I ran TestDisk from the Ubuntu side, but I don't know how to interpret the results. Can anyone help?
testdisk_shot.png


#2 +Karl L.

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 17:18

Why did you run testdisk? It is designed to recover your partition table. By virtue of the fact that Ubuntu still boots from the same hard disk, the partition table is probably OK. Even if it wasn't, you should NEVER use testdisk to modify the partition table on your system disk! Can you elaborate on why Vista is not booting? It might be more productive if we started this discussion from there.

#3 Hum

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 17:25

Might run Fix BOOT from Vista command prompt:

http://www.proposeds...covery-console/

Nevermind , that's gone from Vista -- probably need to do a Repair install of Vista.

Save, back-up important personal files first.

In order to start the Windows Recovery Environment you must boot your computer off of the Windows Vista DVD that you purchased or that came with your computer. To start this process, insert the Vista DVD into your DVD drive and turn your computer on. Your computer will start and you should see your BIOS listing your hardware and other information.

http://www.bleepingc...startup-repair/

#4 lars77

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 19:34

The Windows Vista disc can fix a lot of startup issues. Though honestly it's not clear what the problem is on your end, you haven't mentioned any errors, or even what happens when you attempt to start Windows on your computer.

The Testdisk output seems to indicate that all your partitions are there, but like xorangekiller mentioned you probably don't need Testdisk unless you specifically have an issue with your partitions(s) or need to recover data off the hard drive.

#5 OP TheD

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 20:24

I ran Testdisk because I thought there might be a problem with the Windows partition on the hard disk (I'm a novice). I get different behavior when I try to boot Vista. Sometimes I'm forced into a chkdsk that never finishes. Other times, the desktop loads, but if I click anything, the machine just hangs. I have to force shutdown with the power button.

Vista came already installed on the computer and I don't have a repair disk.

#6 Hum

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 22:04

Not much you can do then.

I think it's clear that your Vista partition is messed up.

Maybe you can borrow a Vista dvd from someone to repair it.

I don't know if something like Partition Magic would help.

Example:

http://www.partition-tool.com/

#7 +Karl L.

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 23:43

It sounds like your hard drive may be developing problems. Is Ubuntu installed on the same hard drive or a different one? If its on the same one, is it slow to boot or does it report any disk I/O errors?

In Ubuntu, open Disk Utility, select your hard disk, and click "SMART Data". That should tell you whether the hard drive is physically having problems (most likely developing bad sectors by your description), or the issue lies elsewhere. Particularly pay attention to the "Read Error Rate", "Reallocated Sector Count", "Seek Error Rate", and "Current Pending Sector Count". Those are the most likely attributes to indicate a problem. DON'T GO BY THE OVERALL ASSESSMENT! It will often say "Disk is Healthy" unless your disk is in VERY bad shape.

Also, testdisk is an expert tool. You definitely shouldn't be using it if you're not sure EXACTLY what you're doing. While it can be used to recover from complex failures, it can also very easily be used to cause damage that is difficult to repair.

#8 Hum

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 00:23

^

I'm running Ubuntu and Windows Vista on my laptop.


Hmm ... he does have a Recovery partition, so he should be able to Repair the Vista install -- right ?

Vista came already installed on the computer and I don't have a repair disk.



#9 +Karl L.

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 00:26

You're right Hum; I forgot the OP said it is a laptop. He may have two hard disks in his laptop, but its very unlikely. I should have assumed that Ubuntu is installed on the same disk as Vista. Consider my previous post amended accordingly. (I can't edit it anymore.) My main point and instructions are still valid, though. In context, its a fairly trivial detail.

#10 OP TheD

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 14:35

Thanks for your help! Here's the result of Disk Utility...looks like bad sectors. Is this the end for my laptop? Will the Ubuntu side die eventually too?

DiskUtil_shot.png

#11 +Karl L.

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 16:06

Bad sectors are "reparable" in some cases. Your hard disk has a reserved area where a very small number of sectors can be remapped. However, if a sector cannot be remapped, either because the reserved space is full or for some other reason, then its time to backup your data and get a new hard drive.

Try running HDAT2 to repair the bad sector. After it completes, reboot back into Ubuntu and check the "Current Pending Sector Count" in Disk Utility again. If it has dropped to zero, make sure there are no other errors reported by SMART, and try starting Vista again. Even if all the bad sectors have been repaired, its likely you will have to run chkdsk on your Windows partition before it will boot.

#12 lars77

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 16:45

Thanks for your help! Here's the result of Disk Utility...looks like bad sectors. Is this the end for my laptop? Will the Ubuntu side die eventually too?

You should really back up your data ASAP. The more you use the laptop the more bad sectors you're going to get.

Back up the data onto a USB drive or something similar. Ubuntu & everything else on the hard drive will eventually be unreadable.

The laptop itself is fine, you'll just need to have a new hard drive installed & then re-install Windows/Ubuntu from scratch.

#13 +Karl L.

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 16:59

It is definitely a good idea to backup your important data - which you should be doing regularly anyway - but a couple of bad sectors does not automatically mean the end of your hard disk. It is sometimes possible to remap bad sectors and for the disk to be completely usable for years after. However, the fact that your disk somehow developed bad sectors does make it more likely that you will get more, even if the ones you have can be remapped. If this is your primary computer, I would recommend preemptively ordering a new hard drive for it. Otherwise if you don't rely on it every day, I would wait to see if the sectors can be remapped before ordering a new disk.

#14 OP TheD

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 00:50

HDAT2 seems to have fixed the problem. This was awesome...posting from my laptop running Windows Vista.

#15 Hum

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 00:52

^ Great news.

It wouldn't hurt to get a new drive, and clone your present one, for future use. ;)