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Windows 7: Partition Issues - Possibly MBR related

12 Sep 2011   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Partition Issues - Possibly MBR related

Hello everyone. It's a long story and I'll try to explain my problem in detail. So, please bear with me if it's long.

First of all, the OS I was using was Windows 7 ultimate, 64 bit.


The Background
I had four partitions on my 1TB hard drive and I wanted another one to install Ubuntu. So, I googled a bit and realised Windows 7 itself can create new partitions without losing data unlike XP. The method was shrinking a volume by a specific amount so it turns into unallocated and a new partition can be created of it.

So, I googled around and saw that windows 7 doesn't allow more than 4 partitions on home, home premium etc but it does on ultimate. So, I decided to go ahead with it. While creating the new partition of 10gb from the unallocated partition, it prompted me this message:

http://media.techtarget.com/rms/misc/Win7desktop13.jpg

First big mistake when I clicked yes.

It asked me to reboot and I promptly did it. To my shock, I see the OS won't boot and the BIOS got stuck at "Loading New Operating System.."

So, I plugged in my bootable flash drive containing ubuntu and loaded the live cd. At this point, the data was still with me and showed up in the ubuntu file system.

I researched a lot and decided that re-converting dynamic to basic would fix everything (how stupid of me).

A bit of researching and I reached How to non-destructively convert dynamic disks to basic disks | My PKB

Reading the comments, I saw a lot of positives for testDisk, albeit for not so similar issues. So, I went ahead with it (without a backup. Arghh!). Another reboot and now no partitions show up on ubuntu live disc. I panic a bit. That's 700 GB of data gone right there, I thought!

I installed Win 7 on my other disc and frantically start going through recovery tools and try to get my data back. At this point, my new drive's OS showed just a single drive "F" which was inaccessible. I formatted it (another mistake but didn't cost me at all, thankfully). Now, while running EASEUS data recovery, it listed down 4 partitions of the exact same size as my partition sizes before everything got messed up. I googled more and realised these were partitions that got hidden.

I found a tool called MiniTool Partition Wizard (thank god I did!)

Ran a detailed scan on my messed up hard drive and restored all the four partitions. And voila! all my data is back!

Actual Problem
Now, I plug out my working OS disk and try to boot my messed up - partially fixed drive and it won't boot and take me straight to "Boot from CD" option. At this point I tried the recovery option reading this: MBR - Restore Windows 7 Master Boot Record

But the OS doesn't show up at all. So, after this long, long, very long story, I'd like to know if there is a way I can get my OS back without losing any data and settings?

I know if I install Windows 7 on C drive again of my 1Tb disk, it won't mess up with the existing files there and just fix the boot issues. But I'll lose my program files and settings, installed folders etc. (Same thing happened with my other disk, that's why).

Thank you for your patience and I hope this detailed summary of my issue can help out someone who ends up going through this in future.

Regards,
rgsilent

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

12 Sep 2011   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

A repair install may get you out of trouble. You may need to run it three times.

Repair Install
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Sep 2011   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

information   Information
Boot up using the Startup Repair CD or Windows 7 DVD. (not the OEM manufacturer's Recovery Disk) If you have a Netbook, you will need a CD/DVD drive.

NOTE: Make sure no USB drives are plugged in.
Do not use a USB Pendrive for Startup Repair.
startup repair disc-create


1) Use the Rebuild BCD in this tutorial:
How to use the Bootrec.exe tool in the Windows Recovery Environment to troubleshoot and repair startup issues in Windows

Partition Issues - Possibly MBR related-startup-repair-4.png Partition Issues - Possibly MBR related-startup-repair-5.png

2) FixMBR.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


12 Sep 2011   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by seavixen32 View Post
A repair install may get you out of trouble. You may need to run it three times.

Repair Install
The OS itself doesn't get detected by the BIOS, so I don't know how I'll be able to do a repair install.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by theog View Post
information   Information
Boot up using the Startup Repair CD or Windows 7 DVD. (not the OEM manufacturer's Recovery Disk) If you have a Netbook, you will need a CD/DVD drive.

NOTE: Make sure no USB drives are plugged in.
Do not use a USB Pendrive for Startup Repair.
startup repair disc-create


1) Use the Rebuild BCD in this tutorial:
How to use the Bootrec.exe tool in the Windows Recovery Environment to troubleshoot and repair startup issues in Windows

Attachment 175038 Attachment 175039

2) FixMBR.
"5. Click the operating system that you want to repair, and then click Next."

^The OS doesn't get detected, so I'm stuck here.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Sep 2011   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

If you have another pc with windows 7, you can make a recovery disc using one of my little apps.

You don't need to add any programs - you can just create it as is.

Boot it up.

Select BOOTREPAIR. Try the automatic boot repair section - you just to need to select your Active partition in one dropdown , and your Windows partition in the other.

You might have a look at the drive with the explorer, take a screenie , and post it up.


If the Windows 7 machine you are creating it on is 32 bit , use this:

New free system imaging program

If the Windows 7 machine you are creating it on is 64 bit, use this:

New free system imaging program

They were originally made for including Macrium and Todo - but you don't need to have either of those. There are other tools already in there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Sep 2011   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

The issue is solved now and my hard drive has been restored to its previous state completely.

Here's what I did:

Installed Norton partition manager and it automatically fixed my boot issues. When I rebooted I was in my old OS. So, I see that only the c.drive shows up. Turns out, the other three partitions got lost again. So, I used the awesome minitools partition software and recover the lost partitions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Sep 2011   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

The thing I need to know now is, can I create a fifth partition from the 10 gb unallocated space I have? Should I used some partition manager for it so that the drive doesn't get messed up again?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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