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Thread: Acer Recovery Partition - missing NTLDR

  1. #1
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    Acer Recovery Partition - missing NTLDR

    This is what happened and where I am - ie, desperate!! (Knoppix Newbie)
    1. Acer without CD drive was infected with virus which caused BSOD.
    2. Loaded Knoppix to flash drive.
    3. Acer's internal drive with 2 partitions (hidden recovery partition and with crashed Windows XP partition)would not mount
    4. Copied (mirror image - using dd command) Acer internal drive with both partitions to external drive (which I still have set aside)
    5. Tried the following (as one last ditch effort before restoring to factory default settings): used Knoppix to fix NTFS partition on Acer drive:
    From root terminal as administrator: NTFSFIX /dev/sda2
    6. This failed twice with IO errors
    7. Decided to give up and restore to factory default settings
    8. Launched Acer's recovery partition
    9. It worked - until about 85% done.
    10. Aborted and went to BSOD (blue screen)
    11. Now get NTLDR missing - can no longer launch recovery partition - but ACER internal drive now mounts in KNOPPIX (though it is corrupted)
    12. Still cannot launch old windows partition. AND now cannot launch recovery partition. Please help. I am desperate.
    Corrupted recovery partition is sda1 - and is not NTFS, but FAT. Am afraid NTFSFIX command corrupted recovery partition? Maybe it was already corrupted?
    Believe hard drive is physically ok; just logically corrupted.
    Can I, should I copy hidden FAT partition from backup drive to sda1? If so, how?
    Other suggestions?

  2. #2
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    I"m no linux expert, but I rescue windows pc's all the time. I'd suggest you do the following, since you have already rescued your data:

    1) download an XP OEM iso file and reinstall xp using the license key on your sticker.

    or

    2) order a recovery CD from Acer. Some recovery CDs rewrite the recovery partitions, some don't. But the customer charge for them is under $30.

    In any event, by copying off your partitions first, you did the important part, so you won't lose data. Good work on that!

    PS the I/O errors worry me. I'm not as confident as you are that the HD is okay, but it might be. Do you have access to a copy of spinrite from grc.com? If not, I recommend it as a general purpose HD tool, regardless what OS you are supporting.

  3. #3
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    Since you obviously still have internet access, hunt down a copy of Hiren's BootCD. I searched a bit when I needed it, and eventually found a very fast Thai server that had the latest one. It's got several nice NTFS recovery tools, along with a lot of other good stuff for recovery and repair.

    Cheers!
    Krishna

  4. #4
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    Somehow I don't get the logic behind trying to use non-native tools to fix a window$ issue. Writing to a Windows NTFS partition is risky enough if using Windows. It can be disastrous using Linux, especially if you really don't know what you are doing. Many times, a few minutes in the recovery console might resolve your problem. There are specific "Windows" tools that can be used depending on the version of Windows you are working with. The best piece of advice I can give you, When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging!

    The suggestion to Download the "Hiren's Boot CD" as some sort of a cure all seems to be less than half an answer. Exactly WHAT would be the procedure to use it and what tool would you suggest? I've seen that suggested many times before and have never found it to be that useful, or any better than conventional Windows based tools. It might be why it's on some obscure server in Thailand. Why not suggest something that can help the original poster resolve the problem, without confusing the issue and making a suggestion that could make matters even worse for them. Sort of like giving them a bigger shovel.

    Windows is Windows and my suggestion would be to start with Windows tools and basic drive diagnostics. When a drive fails or becomes corrupted, the worst thing to do is make changes to the drive unless you know what the problem is. If the drive has failed, salvaging the data would be the primary goal. I would strongly suggest starting on the Micro$oft and drive manufacturer's sites and looking for an answer there. If the usual "Windows" tools do not repair the drive, then it's time to look at time tested tools like Spinrite. Contacting the system manufacturer and obtaining a set of recovery disks would be a great idea. Most often the disks can be made when you get the system. There is sometimes a tool that will allow you to produce one set of disks, if they were not supplied with the system. When the system breaks is not the time to be looking to do that.

    If you know the drive manufacturer, many of them have downloadable tools to test their drives. You can usually see if there is a major hardware (Drive) issue within a short period of time. Using "chkdsk" in Windows or the recovery console with the appropriate switches ( ie: /f or /r) will often be enough to "fix" a drive, provided it has not failed.

    The original post appears to have been placed some months ago, so I would hope that there was a success for him somewhere down the line.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckamin View Post
    Somehow I don't get the logic behind trying to use non-native tools to fix a window$ issue. Writing to a Windows NTFS partition is risky enough if using Windows. It can be disastrous using Linux, especially if you really don't know what you are doing. Many times, a few minutes in the recovery console might resolve your problem. There are specific "Windows" tools that can be used depending on the version of Windows you are working with. The best piece of advice I can give you, When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging!
    I agree, especially with tools that might have been damaged by the original crash.
    The suggestion to Download the "Hiren's Boot CD" as some sort of a cure all seems to be less than half an answer.
    It's far from a cure-all, as you say. But it's got some useful stuff gathered together in a very usable way. Have you ever tried it?
    Exactly WHAT would be the procedure to use it and what tool would you suggest?
    You have to look at the documentation to see what all it has (using the link I supplied?), and play with it a bit to get a sense of what's applicable for a particular need - just like messing around with Windows tools.
    I've seen that suggested many times before and have never found it to be that useful, or any better than conventional Windows based tools.
    A number of those tools are on there - they're simply usable, where tools from the original partition may not be.
    It might be why it's on some obscure server in Thailand. Why not suggest something that can help the original poster resolve the problem, without confusing the issue and making a suggestion that could make matters even worse for them. Sort of like giving them a bigger shovel.
    FYI, Hiren's BootCD is available all over the web; I merely needed a fast download server at that time. (I had a problem with torrents and wanted to just download.) I thought it worth noting that there were multiple options for getting "ahold" of it. FWIW, a "bigger shovel" has often been exactly what I needed, and I tend to believe that other people can choose for themselves what tools to arm themselves with, how much to swing them around, and when to stop.
    Windows is Windows and my suggestion would be to start with Windows tools and basic drive diagnostics.
    I felt that (since the original poster had probably already handled their situation) people reading this with interest would usually have tried Windows-based options and tools, as I had when I needed NTFS help, so a nice collection of utilities that can help in a lot of sticky situations would be appropriate.
    When a drive fails or becomes corrupted, the worst thing to do is make changes to the drive unless you know what the problem is. If the drive has failed, salvaging the data would be the primary goal.
    Agreed! Since HBCD has some nice tools for doing that, perhaps it WOULD have been better to stress that (I often do, but I was remiss in this case.)
    I would strongly suggest starting on the Micro$oft and drive manufacturer's sites and looking for an answer there. If the usual "Windows" tools do not repair the drive, then it's time to look at time tested tools like Spinrite. Contacting the system manufacturer and obtaining a set of recovery disks would be a great idea. Most often the disks can be made when you get the system. There is sometimes a tool that will allow you to produce one set of disks, if they were not supplied with the system. When the system breaks is not the time to be looking to do that.
    Each situation is unique. In my own case, the Windows-supplied tools failed to correct the problem, and the version of chkdsk on Hiren's BootCD did it. Since there are other potential causes, I agree it's worthwhile to consider tools like Spinrite - and there are quite a few on HBCD.
    If you know the drive manufacturer, many of them have downloadable tools to test their drives. You can usually see if there is a major hardware (Drive) issue within a short period of time. Using "chkdsk" in Windows or the recovery console with the appropriate switches ( ie: /f or /r) will often be enough to "fix" a drive, provided it has not failed.

    The original post appears to have been placed some months ago, so I would hope that there was a success for him somewhere down the line.
    Yeah, I noticed that, too - the post was before my time on this board. But since someone had "put the ball in play" I thought a follow-up was worthwhile for the benefit of others who'd seen it.

    Cheers!
    Krishna

  6. #6
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    krishna.murphy

    Your suggestion to download the Hiren's Boot CD should be investigated THOROUGHLY before someone actually does so. There are at least a dozen and a half "unlicensed" commercial programs contained on that disk. As a "moderator" in any forum, you should refrain from such suggestions until you have determined that the disk is properly licensed for such distribution. It is a poor reflection on the reputation of the forum in general. I have worked in numerous corporate environments where such a disk could result in the immediate termination of any employee that used or had it in any corporate asset. I've seen it happen. I purchase licenses for software and applications that I use, and have had my employers do the same when it is required.

    I am familiar with the disk and do not recommend it for the licensing issues. Even some of the "freeware" or "shareware" apps can be outside of their legal usage restrictions. I would suggest that anyone looking to use one of the applications, go to the original author's site and download it according to the license agreement contained therein. If you need a commercial program, it's best to purchase it. that way you can get a "current" version and make use of their support options if you need to.

    I have also had at least two people that downloaded the Hiren's Boot CD, as recommended on some "forum", do serious damage to what was left of their data. In those cases, a few simple efforts with windows based tools might have done the trick in the first place.

    I would also be very careful on the site you linked to. There is at least one link that offers a trojan or two.

    Like I first said, if you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

  7. #7
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    ckamin, this isn't an "official" Knoppix forum and advice given by members here is given in good faith, to the best of their knowledge and is done voluntarily. As such neither I nor anybody else guarantees it's the best information, 100% accurate, or perfect advice. I'm sorry you feel that someone's opinion/advice is a poor reflection on this forum.

    But I agree wholeheartedly with you in that faults on a Windows disk are best dealt with first within Windows before trying Linux. In fact, the advice I give is that even before they follow your suggestion of using Windows tools to repair the drive that they first take a copy of it using something like Norton Ghost. That, any way, is just my advice based on what I tend to do when I run into problems.

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