Clone/restore first sectors of a disk or partition?

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Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:11 am

Clone/restore first sectors of a disk or partition?

#1 Post by CDuv2 » Mon Oct 17, 2011 1:33 pm


I'm looking for a way to clone and restore the beginning of an hard disk drive.

I'll quickly explain to you the context of why I'm trying to do such thing.

I used rawwrite on Windows to create some bootable floppy and it seems either I did a mistake either it has some bug: but in the end my computer hanged later in the night and refused to boot the OS since then.
I removed the SATA drive from my computer and plugged in on another computer only to notice that there is now only one 1.4MB FAT partition on my entire disk instead of some 300MB "SYSTEM" invisible partition and my two NTFS Windows and data partitions.

The fact that now my 320GB disk appears as a 1.4MB disk just after I used some image writer program to create a 1.4MB floppy can't be coincidental.

Using EaseUS Partition Recovery on my "broken" disk I can tell my datas partitions are still there, intact, just after the damaged MBR and 300MB SYSTEM ones.

My computer is a HP laptop and I do have another laptop of the exact same model: thus I thought I could clone the MBR+SYSTEM partitions from this one and put them on my disk over the damaged partitions.
I can't find the right tool for that: can UBCD help?

Here is a snapshot of Partition Saving listing partitions of the good/working disk:

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Re: Clone/restore first sectors of a disk or partition?

#2 Post by ady » Wed Oct 19, 2011 12:52 am

If what you have in your working disk is exactly what you should have in the "broken" disk, then "in theory" you "could" use the latest UBCD, then select (for example) Easeus DiskCopy and copy the first good partition over the "broken" first partition.

Since you only attached the info about the good disk, I don't know how the "bad" disk looks like. For Easeus DiskCopy to work correctly, the first sectors should be correctly identified, so the partition limits are exactly the same.

So instead of "playing around" with Easeus DiskCopy, you might want to try one of the following:

A_ TestDisk (latest UBCD -> latest PartedMagic -> TestDisk).

But, since the first sectors of the "broken" partition are probably going to give some trouble to TestDisk, the next second option could be more effective (by copying the start/end sectors from the good disk).

B_ Use Ranish (again, from the latest UBCD, which also uses the latest Partition Saving), you can manually insert (and save) the correct start and end values for the MBR for each partition (and also correct the partition type ID number).

Then reboot UBCD again and confirm that the values shown by Partition Saving 3.90 (in the latest UBCD) are the same for both, the good and "bad" disks.

After using Ranish and Partition Saving, use TestDisk to confirm all the values are still correctly identified.

After all those manual corrections and confirmations, Easeus DiskCopy should be able to copy (sector-by-sector) the partition that was "broken" from the good disk into the "bad" disk.

Using an HEX/Disk editor is also possible (also from UBCD).

For either case / method, you should be more careful than before. Selecting the wrong disk, the wrong partition, the wrong drive letter, the wrong sector values... will make all the recovery much more difficult (or impossible).

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