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I somehow messed up my partition and can't fix it

By jakejake678 ยท 13 replies
Nov 26, 2009
  1. Ok well, here's the scoop. I had Ubuntu 9.10 installed on my laptop, when, for personal reasons, I decided to return to Windows XP Professional SP2. So I popped in the install disc and proceeded to the installer. Everything was going fine, until i got an error message stating "No hard-discs found" or something like that. I figured that's because I was trying to install it on a EXT3 file-system, so I shrugged it off and tried to boot into Ubuntu so I could format the partition, but it wasn't that easy. I get the usual message that says I'm booting into Ubuntu, but instead i get a long message that looks like a disc check, and at the end of each line it says 'error, access denied', so the whole check freezes and no matter how long i leave it sitting/frantically try to type stuff to fix it, nothing works.

    I tried my BIOS, nothing wrong with that, i also tried an ubuntu live cd, which does nothing, and booting in recovery mode but nothing happens. As a last hope, I'm posting here to see if I just overlooked something stupid, but I'm pretty much giving up now. As we 'speak', I'm downloading a new ISO of Ubuntu to see if that helps, but so far to no avail.

    possible corrupt filesystem?
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Do you have valuable data on that drive that you need to rescue?

    Otherwise I would do a full boot... Removal of partition, the install new partition, and install Windows from scratch.
  3. jakejake678

    jakejake678 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    And how might one go about doing that? I only have access to the very basic console that supports like 20 commands
  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

  5. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,495

    After recovering files if need be, just load in a boot disk, partition, format to a windows friendly file system (NTFS, or raw unformatted) and start over.
  6. jakejake678

    jakejake678 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Alrighty well, i havent had a chance to work on it all weekenf, but last night i used the gparted live cd to format my partition to ntfs, and the win7 and xp install discs still dont do anything (i have enough sense to stay away from vista)
    anything else i could try? (i also tried formating to fat32 and unformatted but no luck)
  7. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Sorry missed your reply

    Instead of "formatting", try removing the partition ;)
  8. jakejake678

    jakejake678 TS Rookie Topic Starter


    That's what I meant, haha
  9. wavemaker

    wavemaker TS Rookie

    Did you get this fixed?

    Gooday JakeJake678, did you get this fixed. I know a little about linux, I may be able to help.
  10. Nothing to do with the file system. If you're still around, I'm afraid you were barking up the wrong tree.

    Easy way to fix this is to boot from a Ubuntu or similar livecd and use gparted to remove all partitions. Then create one partition and format the entire drive in NTFS or FAT32 and reboot (Back up valuable data first - you will have to mount the volume to do this).

    Next boot from the XP CD to the recovery console, then do fixmbr and fixboot, then reboot again. That sorts out any filesystem and/or boot sector issues - though as I said that's not your problem here.

    Finally boot into the Windows XP setup and it should now see the drive. If it doesn't then the answer is a simple one: You have an unsupported SATA controller. If this is the case you will have to put the driver on a disc and load it during setup (F6) or you can install a later version of Windows such as Vista or 7. That's it.

    (Personally I'd stick with 2009 Ubuntu over 2002 Windows XP - but that's up to you and depends largely on what you want to do with your PC)
  11. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    You can just as easily remove the partition using a cold boot to your windows disk, and don't forget Knoppix as another alternative.
  12. You could but seeing as the XP setup is not seeing the partitioner, my money would be on it being an unsupported SATA controller being the problem - which is not unusual for XP.
  13. normanepps

    normanepps TS Rookie

    Try Partition Magic
  14. WinXPert

    WinXPert TS Guru Posts: 445

    Puppy Linux, it's lightweight and has GParted.
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