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Thread: Cannot mount NTFS : doesn't contain a valid partition table

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Cannot mount NTFS : doesn't contain a valid partition table


    I am using Knoppix/linux for the first time but am not new to computers/unix general troubleshooting. And I have spent a considerable amount of time searching the current threads but haven't found anything closely related to my problem. I'm currently a bit stressed about getting my hard drive back... Hope someone can help me!

    My problem is that my external USB hard drive crashed (connected by firewire) and I really need that data (300Gb). If it helps: at the time of the crash I was simply moving files around, trying to gather them in 4Gb folders so I could burn some stuff to DVD, cause my drive was just about completely full. At the same time, there was a virus check in the background, reporting a find, which file I deleted (belonging to some software folder I wasn't really using). Think I was also burning one folder at the time of crash as well. In the midst of my file-moving, my explorer window stopped responding, so I rebooted the hard drive and couldn't access it again (says corrupted filesystem). I am using Windows XP Home and the partitions were NTFS, made with Disk Mgmt console. When I tried to access my partitions with Windows Disk Management console, I could see my 3 NTFS partitions, each of the right size, but Windows didn't recognize the filesystem type anymore, describes the partitions as healthy but empty.

    Now after some Google research I found that Knoppix has some good chances to recover crashed drives, so I downloaded the latest version I found: 5.0.1. When I boot from the CD it can see the partitions as existing but cannot mount them. When using "mount -t ntfs /dev/sdb1 /media/sdb1" it comes back with:
    Failed to startup volume : Invalid argument
    Couldn't mount device '/dev/sdb1' : Invalid argument
    Mount failed.
    So I used "fdisk -l" to see the partition information and got back:
    Disk /dev/sdb: 300.0 GB  ...
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 36481 cylinders
    Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
    Disk /dev/sdb doesn't contain a valid partition table
    The smallest of the 3 partitions has been successfully reformatted in Windows after the crash, there was no data in it (3Gb kept for future linux install...) but even that one I cannot mount with the CD. I can see all 3 icons for all 3 partitions but none can be mounted.

    Appreciate any help you can give me!

    Yes I know prospects don't look too good but I really want to recover my data, and hopefully without having to pay huge amount of money in the process.

  2. #2
    Senior Member registered user
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    You look like you have a corrupt partition table (which might have been caused by a virus). You should try to recover the partition tables first, and then do a virus scan. In the mean time, do not do anything drastic like reformating the remaining 2 partitions which have data. Disk rescue needs patience.

    I have used the program testdisk (which is included in Knoppix) successfully in similar circumstances to rebuild a damaged partition table. Simply type the command testdisk at the root shell and follow the prompts.

    It's kind of hard to describe all the steps, and anyway, it is wise to read more about testdisk before using it. So I attach a couple of links for you to see:


    P.S. the moderator may wish to consider moving this thread to the MS Windows section -- the poster has not done a HDD install of Knoppix, and doesn't need to for this rescue purpose.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    I am also facing

    I am installing new UNIX 5 server. I have two SCSI HDDs and One Tape Drive. My problem is my disk is 73 GB but it showing just 4GB!! WHERE IS THE REST! When i am reformatting it then server is taking 4 hrs to formate the disk!!

    What this? Would any body can help me that what I am missing.

    Pls help i need it very urgentlly


  4. #4
    Senior Member registered user
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    I don't have much experience with SCSI drives. I will try to help but need some information. First of all, have the disks been partitioned? What is the partition structure on the disks? What file system is on the disk? When you say "it is showing just 4GB", what program is showing you this information? You have done a few operatons like formating and so on, what is the present situation of the disks?

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