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Where'd my 200 GB Hard Drive go?

By Incarnate ยท 10 replies
Aug 3, 2004
  1. Hello everyone,

    Let me thank you all in advance if you can help me out with my dilemma here.

    Here is what happened, I had Windows 98 installed on another machine and decided I wanted to put Linux on there also. So, for some odd reason instead of using fdisk for Linux, I used partition magic and created a 25 GB partition for Linux. Well, when I rebooted and tried to install Linux, it could not mount. Not a big deal I guess, I'll try something else. I then went to boot windows back up and I had Error 1 when loading the OS and then the machine locked up. Eventually I got back into the system and realized that Partition magic had done something strange and I only had an 8 gb primary DOS partition and that was it. So, running out of options I deleted the partition and then tried to create a new one. All I could create was an 8 GB partition again. My question is, where did all of my disk space go and how can I get it back? I wouldn't mind if I still had some of the info I had on the Windows 98 partition but I bet that is gone. So, if there's anyway just to reset my hard drive and partition table so that it's all formated and I have my 200 GBs back I'd love to hear. Again, thanks in advance.

  2. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Maniac Posts: 2,244

    sounds like the partition table has been hosed. Since I know you made a rescue disk for PM, you can use that to fix the partition table, if you didn't make that disk you might be out of luck. Since you've been mucking around with it since, the disk prolly won't help anyway. The other option is to use fdisk to delete the whole mess and start over, that should give you your entire drive back. If that doesn't work you can do either a debug or a low level format which will completely wipe the entire drive of all partitioning and formatting and give you the entire usable space on the drive in raw space which you can then partition and format as you need.
  3. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    I have had many problems with Partition Magic. I've learned the hard way (several times over) not to trust it.

    While it may not be the cause of your problem for sure, I'm pretty certain it is.
  4. Goalie

    Goalie TS Booster Posts: 616

    I've had luck with Partition Magic, my only problems I had with it were a result of a bad ram stick (stuck bit, no repair disk == d*@&*(#&%it)

    FIPS is a good utility to repartition a drive, and is included with most distros. It doesn't like laptop HD's though, it prefers the LBA be consistently repoted. Laptops do screwy things with hidden partitions for system recovery, which causes endless issues there.

    Rick.. what software would you suggest for repartitioning?

    As for the original problem- You might be able to find a partition repair utility if you didn't make the disks. If you've not mucked with the data beyond the partitions tables, you might still be able to save the data. I'll try to find one later tonight, if I remember....
  5. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    8 GB is an old limitation of INT13H, usually resolved by setting the hard disk drive mapping to "LBA" instead of automatic, if possible.

    It might also be a bug in Partition Magic, maybe it can't see that your mainboard supports INT13H extensions correctly.

    Or are you using an extra PCI IDE card with that drive? Some old computers require those to get 48-bit addressing.
  6. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    Ironically, I use Partition Magic. :)
  7. PuzZah

    PuzZah TS Rookie Posts: 26

    I cant remember the thread which i spotted it but I read somewhere that the standard win98 boot disk's fdisk program is out of date and doesn't support larger hard drives. The thread also said find the updated one on the microsoft website but did not provide a link. maybe that's something worth looking into?
  8. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    Windows Me (I believe) provides the updated FDISK on the boot disk.

    You can get it at

    Coincidentally, they also have the updated FDISK program as a seperate program and there are other (free) partition managers out there.
  9. Goalie

    Goalie TS Booster Posts: 616

    Win98SE's FDisk has support for larger drives. I don't recall on the original Fdisk.

    Really, if you have Linux's Fdisk, and know what you're doing, I strongly suggest that.. it's much more robust, descriptive, and capable- you can activate specific partitions, create different FS partitions, etc.

    Now.. I've HEARD that you might be able to recreate an original partition structure on your HD if you've not modified data and be able to recover your old data assuming the partition type and block size and size and etc is exactly the same as the original.. but I have no proof of this, and have no intentions of testing it myself. :)
  10. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Did it once..

    Yes. If you are able to recreate exactly the original partition table you will get access to the disk. I recommend Ranish Partition Manager since it's interactive and it shows you in realtime what would result from your proposed change in partition table. Good knowledge of PC type partitions is required though.

    Of course there are automatic partition table recovery tools too but I have never used any of them.
  11. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    You should leave the area of the disk you want to install Linux on as free space, and then use the Linux installation program to create the Linux partition(s) you need. This way should ensure success.
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