help recovering "Bad partition table", please

help recovering "Bad partition table", please

Post by chak » Sat, 08 Jun 1996 04:00:00


All of a sudden, my machine gives "hdb: Bad partition table" upon boot and
stops.  I suspect some bootsector virus, the DOS disk complains, too.  And
I was dumb enough to run untrusted and unchecked DOS software before.

It's a 1.2 GB disk, with boot parameters "hdb=2484,16,63" passed by LILO.
It has [had] 3 primary Linux partitions on it.  Once again, I was dumb
enough not to write down the partition information.  So I'm sure the
filesystems are still there, but in order to recreate the partitions I need
to rediscover their original sizes.

Ok, I have read man pages and FAQs.  If I understand correctly, both LILO
and ext2fs keep copies of the superblock (which should contain the data
needed, correct?)  Go find a superblock backup and "dd" it onto /dev/hdb,

Try 1: Defined a single partition on /dev/hdb (luckily, Linux root was the
first partition), mounted ro, found /mnt/boot/boot.0300 and dd'd it onto
/dev/hdb.  This worked fine, except it was the wrong backup with obsolete
partition info :-(  No other boot.NNNN file around, so no chance to find
LILO superblock copies (it this true?)

Try 2: (please help me here)  ext2fs should contain superblock copies, but
where do I find them?  The first partition was Linux root, all 3 partitions
were ext2, no e2fsck was run, so the data should be there..

Or am I completely wrong, lost and clueless?

summary or write a Mini-HOWTO.

thanks a lot,


1. summary: recovering "Bad partition table"

I'm up+running again 8-)  Here's a summary.

I'm not that familiar with DOS (well, I know how to start the games :-)
so I didn't follow this track.

This worked for me.  I was able to figure the original partition sizes
from the dredge output.  Fired up fdisk and recreated the partitions.
Booted, fsck'd, everything fine.  Now I'll do the backup ;-)

Many, many thanks to all who replied and a very special thankyou to
Bruce Elliott for the "dredge" program.
I love the way Linux is supported..


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