Scenario: Your partitions table is corrupt, unreadable or deleted. And you can't access your OS like Windows/Linux.
Solution: Use TestDisk. It'll restore your broken scenario back to how it was when everything was working.
In summary, TestDisk helps you:
- Fix broken partition tables
- Recover deleted/lost partitions
- Rebuild MBR (Master Boot Record)/Boot Sector
- Fix MFT (Master File Table)
- Make non-bootable disks bootable again
- Repair filesystem errors (First attempt to fix as stated in Step 4 of this article.)
Here's how to work with TestDisk...
Step 1: Launch Parted Magic. See instructions that came with your order on how to do this. Or see here.
Step 2: Go to: Start » System Tools » TestDisk
Step 3: Press "Enter".
Step 4: Select the drive you want to work with. Press "Enter". Below is sample screen shot...
Step 6: Select [Intel]. Press "Enter".
Step 7: Choose option appropriate for your situation as you see below...
If you want to fix MFT/MBR, then:
- Scroll to: Advanced
- Choose the drive partition with Up/Down keys. DO NOT press "Enter" yet.
- Use left-right keys to choose: Boot. Press "Enter".
- Use left-right keys to select either: Rebuild BS/Repair MFT
Here's an example screenshot that covers Step 2, 3 above...
When to choose "Rebuild BS":
BS or MBR as it's often called, has 2 purposes.
- It contains information about disks partitions. If it's erased or damaged, you'll loose access to data. There will be no disk present. It'll seem as if your hard-drive is "gone".
- It contains code to start loading up your OS (Windows/Linux/MacOS) when you turn on your computer.
Choose "Rebuild BS" fixes #1 only.
When to choose "Repair MFT":
This contains information about every single file and folder on your computer. It tracks everything about your files/folders like their size, their attributes, where they're located, etc...
Choose "Repair MFT" if your drives MFT is corrupt.
If you want to restore a lost/damaged/deleted partition, then:
- Scroll to: Analyze
- Press "Enter". This will search your drive partitions and present you with a screen like this...
- You can now select which partition to restore with Up-Down keys.
- When you're ready to restore it, press "Enter".
- Now you can either select with Left-Right keys "Deeper Search" if your partitions were NOT found. Or select "Write" to restore the selected partition. In which case, your problem is solved.
Step 8: When finished, restart PC: Start » Logout