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I have a drive in a laptop that was working fine, then all of a sudden stopped. Chkdsk is reporting "unrecoverable errors" and not even linux can manage to mount or see any filesystem structure. Is there a way to repair the filesystem so we can slave the drive and pull information off?

Edit: Drive is a Seagate and using their diagnostic utilities reports that SMART has not been tripped and the drive is physically fine.

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Better suited to – Izzy Nov 4 '09 at 16:59
@Izzy: It's a server laptop :-) – Bart Silverstrim Nov 4 '09 at 17:28
Sorry it's been awhile and I forgot about – Terry Nov 4 '09 at 21:30
+1 to Bart, that made me chuckle – Terry Nov 4 '09 at 21:31
If this is a corporate laptop, it is best suited here, if its not it should be on superuser – Sam Nov 5 '09 at 9:54
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I'd try booting with Rescue Is Possible Linux and running Testdisk to see if that can recover any partition data (or files, since there is an advanced function to pull individual data files; you will want to have a USB disk to mount and save files to or a working network connection to activate with RIP in order to try that if you're lucky enough that RIP can see the damaged drive, though).

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Ladies and gentleman, we have a winner. Testdisk, found on the Ultimate Boot CD, was able to find and recover the NTFS partition. Fixboot and/or fixmbr did not work, but MBRtool from Ultimate Boot CD did work. It was quite easy infact. Only issue is chkdsk took 2 hours to run after the repair. – Terry Nov 5 '09 at 17:47
Glad it worked for you! :-) – Bart Silverstrim Nov 5 '09 at 22:23


i've used it quite a few times over the last 19 years, with excellent success.

Notes: SpinRite doesn't require a filesystem. It forces the drive to read a sector over and over until it can get a good read (this is where ECC comes into play). The drive can then remap the bad sector with a spare one.

Since your SMART info shows no "reallocated sectors" or "pending sectors" (sectors that will be reallocated once the drive gets a good read of the sector), there are still plenty of spare sectors.

i assume chkdsk is telling you about unrecoverable physical errors, rather than logical errors. Because any logical errors can be fixed. Physical errors is where SpinRite is a viking.

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