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testdisk usage to recover laptop drive

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  • testdisk usage to recover laptop drive

    My Toshiba Satellite Pro running Win 8.1 Pro can't boot - or rather it keeps booting and going into diagnostics and just stays 'diagnosing system/hard disk' forever. I ran testdisk on the drive and the first option that shows up in Analyze is EFI GPT. If I choose that option I get a list of partitions - no duplicates, no overlaps as far as start/end - all marked P. The partitions are:

    1 P unknown
    2 P EFI
    3 P MS Reserved
    4 P MS Data
    5 P Unknown

    If I do a deeper search from there I see all 5 partitions but now they are marked as follows:

    1 P MS DATA [System]
    2 P MS Data [No Name]
    3 P MS Data (nothing in the far right column)
    4 P MS Data [T1....] (looks like Toshiba HDD ID)
    5 P Unknown [Recovery]

    I did yet a deeper search at this point and got all kinds of errors about:cylinder mismatches, sectors per track mismatches with one or another of bracketed [FAT], [EFISECTOR],[HD], [BOOT] after each line indicating the mismatch.

    In any case when I chose to see the files on the various partitions with the P command, I once again could see all my files on partition 4.

    I then ran testdisk again and chose the Intel option.

    The first screen showed one partition - P EFI GPT

    And a message:
    Bad ending head - CHS and LBA don't match.
    No partition is bootable.

    I did a deeper search and I again got 5 partitions but this time they were all marked D in the far left column. No overlaps

    The partitions were as follows:


    D FAT 32 [NO NAME]

    D HPFS NTFS (nothing in the far right column)

    D HPFS NTFS [T1....] (looks like Toshiba HDD ID)


    Once again partition 4 was the one that listed all my files when I browsed with the P command.
    A few more points I should mention.

    1) The computer started acting flaky after a dirty shutdown

    2) After that dirty shutdown I created two restore points. When I first started to troubleshoot this problem I was able to get into the Toshiba recovery screen but when I asked to restore from the restore points it indicated I had none.

    3) This system did not come with media - it has some kind of recovery partition built in for these kinds of problems. In any case I can not get into the system as it just keeps 'diagnosing' - so the zero key or F12 or F8 don't work.

    4) I did not add a partition since I purchased this laptop so as far as I know it only had a C drive - I can't recall if there was an additional drive letter that showed up in Explorer or Disk Manager but I can't exclude the possibility that there was indeed one there.

    So given the above what is my next step. Partition 4 looks like the correct one and I will back it up and ghost before doing anything. But as far as trying to get this bootable again what should I be doing? I am not sure what partition to mark what. How non-destructive is testdisk for this partition/boot sector tweaking - what are my go back options other than the backing up/Ghosting right in testdisk itself.

    Also when the program asks to create a log where is that log going to be created?

    Thanks in advance for any assistance with this.

  • #2
    Remove the HDD, connect it to another machine and then run HD Tune (trial version) on it to see if there are back sectors. If there is, make sure you have ALL your data and settings backed up and have made Recovery DVDs for a restore to a new HDD if one is required.

    I have one of these connectors and it is EXCELLENT! Damn handy to have.

    The log is sometimes in the root directory (why is not not called a Root Folder?) of the C partition. Alternatively, it may be in the folder that the diagnostic is installed in. Googled for an answer but my google foo is weak tonight.
    Last edited by JJKing; 5th February 2017, 12:12.


    • #3
      If you really, really need to recover data, just tell your local <insert government organisation of choice> that you think there may be terrorist related materials on the drive. Once they find out there isn't, and after they have finished waterboarding you, you should get the data back without problems.

      Note, if you think there actually ARE such materials on the drive, don't try this, for obvious reasons
      Tom Jones
      MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
      PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
      IT Trainer / Consultant
      Ossian Ltd

      ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **