I have a user with a dual boot workstation that contains Linux Ext3 (1 partition) and Windows XP (NTFS 2 partitions). The user is using Linux Mint.

Today I tried to check the partition using partition magic 8.0 but it showed this error:

Init Failed Error : 117 
Partition Drive Letter Cannot be identified. 

I'm still able to log into my Linux without a problem.

Is there a tool to check partitions? And why is the above not working? I tried to install new Ubuntu but it seems Ubuntu only detects as one partition (not as 3 partitions).

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Before trying these:
I would use partimage or dd to create an image of all the partitions. For example to back up your ntfs partition if it is partition three on the device sda:

 dd if=/dev/sda3 of=~/windows.img

To backup the MBR with dd:

dd if=/dev/sda of=~/mbr.img bs=512 count=1

You will of course want to copy these images to a safe place.

You could also use ntfsclone, see this serverfault question and answer. Basically I am saying, back everything up first:-)

Repair the MBR / Partition Table:
Since Ubuntu can't see the partitions, sounds like it might actually be the partition table that is messed up, not the partition table itself. I would use the fixmbr from the Windows Recovery console (See Option 1 from next section) and see if that fixes it. Then I would use the Ubuntu boot cd to try to restore the Grub boot loader which, I would guess, fix the dual boot system with Rajat's instructions.

You might also try Testdisk from Linux or try these instructions for a more manual approach.

If its actually the partitions that are broken:

  1. Use the XP Recovery Console:
    I would probably use recovery console from the windows XP disc as my first choice. To get there, boot to your Windows XP cd and the press 'R' and then 'C'. Here is a link with pretty pictures on how to get to the recovery console. From the recovery console run 'CHKDSK <drive_letter>: /F'. Now, this might overwrite the Master boot record as well, and make it so you can't boot Linux, but the Mint install CD might have a repair for the MBR as well (Ubuntu does anyways). I think it would only do this if you used the fixmbr command in the recovery console or did an automated repair, but it has been a while, so someone else can confirm in a comment maybe...
  2. Use ntfsfix from your Linux installation:
    This tool will fix common ntfs partition errors, but it is not a complete Windows chkdsk replacement. It is part of ntfsprogs. To use it, you just provide the device as an argument, such as: sudo ntfsfix /dev/sda3

1 boot from live ubuntu cd 9.04 (if you have) 2 system->Administrator->Gparted (http://gparted.sourceforge.net/screenshots.php) 3 you can create one slice of hdd to for you ubuntu and back your original grub.conf file to same location. 4 while you install ubuntu it ask for formating /boot partition there you say no 5 after installation of all os which your looking for after install of ubuntu it will change ubuntu grub will change all the entry your backup of you old grub.conf you can change all the entry

  • I want to keep my windows partition. I don't want to erase windows partition. When I tried to install on Hard drive .. gparted only recognized 1 partition (80GB it is total of my hd) so if i tried to use gparted it will destroy my windows partition as well ... :( – nightingale2k1 Aug 10 '09 at 9:29

I wrote a program called printpar some years ago which will not do any specific checks to verify the health of the partition table, but it can print out the details (in a few different ways) so you can inspect it by yourself.


Воот from Livecd (Like Hiren BootCD or Alkid). And use Partition tools.

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