Saturday, November 29, 2008

Partition and MBR Restore Using TestDisk

After a little poking around with my Windoze PC, the one that would not boot, I decided that either the partition table, or the Master Boot Record (MBR) were somehow corrupted. The machine would boot using other disk drives, so the motherboard was not bad. The manufacturer sent this machine without any restore disks, or Windows XP disks, so I was pretty much SOL in simply re-installing the OS.

After backing up the data that i needed from the drive, I decided I would try to rebuild the partition table and boot record using an open source software package called TestDisk.

Here is the general procedure, I booted the PC using an Ubuntu Live CD. I went to the menu: Sytem --> Administration --> Software Sources

and enabled the Universe Repository and re-downloaded the available software information. Then at a command line: sudo apt-install testdisk

Then ran testdisk from the command line by typing

sudo testdisk

Then I followed the step by step instructions for restoring a partition table here.

This utility worked like a charm! The computer is back up and my wife is happy. When the wife is happy, the husband is happy!

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