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How to Recover from Lost Windows Partition with Ghost 2003 (Read 22569 times)
NightOwl
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Re: How to Recover from Lost Windows Partition with Ghost 2003
Reply #15 - Jul 17th, 2013 at 2:23am
 
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Brian

Quote:
If I don't abort out of Ghost it creates an image backup and boots back into Windows. So Ghost is happy with the TeraByte boot code.

Well, only because it apparently replaces the boot code before booting into DOS, does its procedure, and then before booting back to Windows, replaces the boot code that was previously originally there.

This appears to be an unknown (prior to now), undocumented behavior of Ghost 2003, and its use of the virtual partition.

Although I do not know the original source of my current MBR, I sure it's a standard MS MBR.  When I test, I can label my starting MBR and see if it gets replace in any fashion when I boot to the virtual partition.

I'm suspecting that if the MBR code is *std MS MBR* code, it just adjusts the partition table.  If it is something other than *std MS MBR* code, then it probably is copying the non-standard code, replacing it temporarily with the *std MS MBR* code that it needs to successfully boot to DOS (without danger of damaging your non-standard code), and then restoring it after the Ghost procedure is done, and ready to re-boot to Windows.

Quote:
If I abort out of Ghost and then delete the Virtual partition and make WinXP Active, it doesn't matter whether I write Standard boot code or TeraByte boot code, WinXP boots.

I wonder why the temporary MBR will not allow for booting back to the OS, but simply writing new MBR code does--whether it's standard MS MBR code or TeraByte MBR code.  The temporary code must lack some important information that the other MBR code supplies.  The temporary code must supply only the necessary jump code for finding the virtual partition--and nothing more.
 

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Brian
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Re: How to Recover from Lost Windows Partition with Ghost 2003
Reply #16 - Jul 17th, 2013 at 2:54am
 
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NightOwl wrote on Jul 17th, 2013 at 2:23am:
I'm suspecting that if the MBR code is *std MS MBR* code, it just adjusts the partition table.If it is something other than *std MS MBR* code, then it probably is copying the non-standard code, replacing it temporarily with the *std MS MBR* code that it needs to successfully boot to DOS (without danger of damaging your non-standard code), and then restoring it after the Ghost procedure is done, and ready to re-boot to Windows.


Maybe. I ran Ghost 2003 from WinXP with a Standard MBR and then aborted out of Ghost. The MBR did resemble Standard boot code I saw before running Ghost. At least the first two lines were as that's all I recorded. It certainly wasn't the strange code I posted above.

BUT, I still had to write a Standard MBR before WinXP would boot.

I'm leaving further testing to you. I'm interested to hear what you find.
 
 
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Re: How to Recover from Lost Windows Partition with Ghost 2003
Reply #17 - Jul 17th, 2013 at 4:51pm
 
I just had to do it. Starting with WinXP having a Standard MBR. Pre and post Ghost MBRs. They are different.

 

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Re: How to Recover from Lost Windows Partition with Ghost 2003
Reply #18 - Jul 17th, 2013 at 4:52pm
 
After aborting Ghost...

 

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Re: How to Recover from Lost Windows Partition with Ghost 2003
Reply #19 - Jul 17th, 2013 at 4:58pm
 
Of interest, the post Ghost MBRs are the same. It doesn't matter if you start with TeraByte or Standard boot code, Ghost writes its own boot code.
 
 
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Re: How to Recover from Lost Windows Partition with Ghost 2003
Reply #20 - Jul 18th, 2013 at 12:12pm
 
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Brian wrote on Jul 17th, 2013 at 4:51pm:
I just had to do it.

Grin  How well I know that symptom......

So, I fired up my old system to begin doing some testing--this is my old 2002 system that melted down with bad capacitors several years ago--I had the capacitors replaced--and recovered the system from Ghost 2003 backup files--had to go back multiple months prior to the melt down to find a functional image that did not have backed up errors from several months of gradually deteriorating BSOD, random errors, etc.--but I'm still looking over my shoulder that I may still have undetected errors lingering--this is all a background to the problem I discovered this morning:

I had lost the ability to use PartitionMagic's (v8.x) Windows interface when I was trying to recover this system.  Discovered that by deleting a test partition that I had created, the errors disappeared and all seemed to run fine.  But, this morning I attempted to run PartitionMagic and got the error:

Quote:
Init failed:  Error 100.
Partition table is bad

So, tried to run the Ghost 2003 gdisk program--the Windows based version *gdisk32* and got a whole series of errors, but the two main ones were:

Quote:
Processor exception
Access_Violation


So, tried to run the PartInfo program from PartitionMagic--the 32 bit version in Windows--the main screen comes up--but, all entries were blank and could not select either disk 1, 2, or 3--because that menu box was empty also.  But the *Preview* button worked--sort of--my disks were enumerated and the various data was present for my three disk drives, but I saw one anomaly that was out of place--all the partitions showed their respect *labels*, except my main OS partition's label was missing--the label does show up in my file management programs, and in disk management--so I don't know for sure what that means.

I have not done a lot of partition testing and changes in a long time, and as I mentioned above PartitionMagic was working fine the last time I played around with it.  I should also mention that DOS PartitionMagic would not work when that test partition was present, but worked fine again after I deleted it.

So, Brian, I did a little searching to see if BIBM can be used to *fix* an invalid partition table--but so far can not find a good answer--do you know if BIBM can examine the partition table and fix problems?

I searched for how to *fix partition table* errors, and there are some free and paid programs out there--but, so far I'm not ready to try those.

I will be firing up the system to DOS to see if any programs I have will work or what errors I get there--probably will boot BIBM as well--but, I have to delay testing the Ghost virtual partition errors until I get a handle on the current errors.
 

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Dan Goodell
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Re: How to Recover from Lost Windows Partition with Ghost 2003
Reply #21 - Jul 18th, 2013 at 3:01pm
 
NightOwl wrote on Jul 17th, 2013 at 2:23am:
Although I do not know the original source of my current MBR, I sure it's a standard MS MBR.

Anytime you install Windows it *always* writes new boot code, whether you need it or not.  That's always been a hoop multibooters have had to jump through when setting up multiboot systems because if you're not careful installing the second OS will overwrite your multiboot manager's MBR--and hence, why my SOP is to install the multiboot manager last, after all the various OS installs have had their way with the MBR.

Also, note there are different versions of a "standard Microsoft MBR".  Attached is a text format "cheat-sheet" to compare and quickly identify which version you have.  Brian's Reply #17 shows the XP MBR, while Reply #18 is a Win98 MBR.

ISTR that Ghost 2003 always used the Win98 MBR as a "standard" MBR, though it's been 10 years since I explored that so memory is fuzzy.  Bear in mind that in v2003's day the Win98 MBR was still a popular, fail-safe choice.


 

MBRs.zip (2 KB | 177 )
 
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Re: How to Recover from Lost Windows Partition with Ghost 2003
Reply #22 - Jul 18th, 2013 at 4:24pm
 
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NightOwl wrote on Jul 18th, 2013 at 12:12pm:
do you know if BIBM can examine the partition table and fix problems?


Boot from your BIBM CD and open Partition Work. Do you see *Errors Exist* or an E next to any partition?

Right click a partition and click Properties? Any mention of errors? Check each partition.

Click View MBR. Any errors?
 
 
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Re: How to Recover from Lost Windows Partition with Ghost 2003
Reply #23 - Jul 21st, 2013 at 11:19am
 
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Dan Goodell wrote on Jul 18th, 2013 at 3:01pm:
Also, note there are different versions of a "standard Microsoft MBR".Attached is a text format "cheat-sheet" to compare and quickly identify which version you have. 

Thank for the quick reference.  Question--is the Win98  the same for both *Win98* and *Win98se*?

Dan Goodell wrote on Jul 18th, 2013 at 3:01pm:
Anytime you install Windows it *always* writes new boot code, whether you need it or not.  That's always been a hoop multibooters have had to jump through when setting up multiboot systems because if you're not careful installing the second OS will overwrite your multiboot manager's MBR

I've seen this discussed many times.  If you install an older version of Windows after a newer version of Windows, multi-booting gets messed up.  So, it makes sense that somehow the MBR is being over-written with new code.

But, how is this different?--Long time ago, I used a Win95 fdisk version to partition a new HDD.  (I forget exactly why I used that older version of fdisk--I think I was following some set of instructions that recommended using fdisk--and I didn't know better than to make the assumption that all version of fdisk were the same--bad assumption!)  My intention was to set up multi-booting by using manual switching of which primary partition was active and un-hidden--so I had one active, un-hidden OS partition (empty), two primary partitions that were hidden and not active, and a final primary partition to create an extended partition for additional logical partitions.

I was installing WinXP at the time into that empty active primary partition.  Everything seemed to go well, but when I tested booting to the other OSs in the Hidden Partitions, I could not!  I always got a OS not found or something to that effect.  I fiddled with it for awhile, but never found an answer.

Some time later, I used *Kawecki's Trick* to erase the HDD id--which apparently forced a new WinXP MBR to be written.  Now, I discovered that those hidden parimaries could be unhidden, made active, and they booted fine.  Apparently, those primaries were beyond a 8 GB boundary that the older fdisk MBR could understand (probably did not use LBA locations), and the newer MBR could.

For whatever reason, the installation of WinXP did not over-write my existing older MBR with a new MBR.

You have made the generalization in the past, that any MBR can be used to boot an OS.  I'm guessing that may be true if you only have one primary OS partition and it is located below the 2 and 8 GB boundaries that impose limitations because of older MBRs on older OSs (DOS and Win95 (? not Win98se)).  If you have bootable partitions beyond those old boundaries, then it appears that you need the newer MBRs to function properly.
 

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Re: How to Recover from Lost Windows Partition with Ghost 2003
Reply #24 - Jul 21st, 2013 at 11:46am
 
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Quote:
Boot from your BIBM CD and open Partition Work. Do you see *Errors Exist* or an E next to any partition?

Right click a partition and click Properties? Any mention of errors? Check each partition.

Click View MBR. Any errors?

Nope--no errors.  The only thing I saw was:

Quote:
*Warning* File system ends at LBA xxxxxxxxxx
This Partition is not accessible by Win95a, DOS, WinNT, or OS/2.

This warning was present for all my FAT and FAT32 partitions.  But, I don't know what this warning means.  I have always been able to boot to DOS, and access all of these partitions.  DOS recognizes them all, and assigns an appropriate DOS drive letter to each!  It's only the NTFS that does not get a DOS drive letter--and that partition had *NO WARNING* about not being able to access it--go figure!

So, I did a test of the Windows Ghost 2003 interface to set up a Ghost procedure.  I first *customized* my MBR so I could follow any changes--see the attached image at the end.  I used the RoadKil sector editor to replace some of the existing text in the MBR with my customization--I made the assumption that replacing text should not have any effect on the functional code in the MBR as long as I did not change the length of the text string.

I used the *Advanced* Ghost procedure where I chose to run Ghost *Interactively*--this was so I could boot to Ghost's virtual partition into DOS and have the Ghost program loaded, but it stops there waiting for manual input at that point.  And, this allows you to exit Ghost and you are returned to a DOS prompt--but, you are not taken back to the Windows OS automatically.  You have to type *ghreboot* and enter at the DOS prompt to return to Windows.  This allowed me to play around in DOS looking at the MBR with various DOS tools.

Using Dan's above *cheat sheet*, my beginning MBR was a WinXP MBR, and once booted to the Ghost virtual partition it changed to the Win98 MBR--just as you have reported!  A DOS screenshot using Norton Utilities Disk Edit program shows the later half of the MBR where my customization was now gone--see second attachment below.

This is all *new knowledge* for me!  Now I don't know how exactly I recovered from being trapped in the Ghost virtual partition in the past--and how I help others recover as well!  I intend on doing a couple new test runs to see what happens. 

I'm still curious as to why you were prevented from booting back to WinXP without first writing a new MBR.


 

PreGhost-2.GIF (139 KB | 315 )
PreGhost-2.GIF

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Re: How to Recover from Lost Windows Partition with Ghost 2003
Reply #25 - Jul 21st, 2013 at 11:47am
 
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I could not get the forum to allow two attached screenshot in a single post, so here's the second one:

 

DISKED02-2.GIF (17 KB | 288 )
DISKED02-2.GIF

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Re: How to Recover from Lost Windows Partition with Ghost 2003
Reply #26 - Jul 21st, 2013 at 4:10pm
 
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NightOwl wrote on Jul 21st, 2013 at 11:46am:
This warning was present for all my FAT and FAT32 partitions.But, I don't know what this warning means.I have always been able to boot to DOS, and access all of these partitions.DOS recognizes them all, and assigns an appropriate DOS drive letter to each!It's only the NTFS that does not get a DOS drive letter--and that partition had *NO WARNING* about not being able to access it--go figure!


Quote:
*Warning* File system ends at LBA xxxxxxxxxx


We see this situation quite frequently in the Norton Forum as Ghost 15 and earlier won't see a partition that has a File System/End partition mismatch. The partition can't be imaged or restored. We assume it's due to the partition having been created badly. There is a fix.

Quote:
Open the Properties window again, this time while holding down the left Shift key.  (Pressing the left Shift key while opening the Properties window allows you to edit the ending LBA.)
Change the End LBA to match the number shown in the warning message.
Click OK to save the change.
Open the Properties window once again (without pressing the Shift key) and verify that the warning message no longer appears.


Does this fix the Partition Magic etc issues?

 
 
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Re: How to Recover from Lost Windows Partition with Ghost 2003
Reply #27 - Jul 21st, 2013 at 10:04pm
 
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Quote:
We see this situation quite frequently in the Norton Forum as Ghost 15 and earlier won't see a partition that has a File System/End partition mismatch.

Is that what that warning is about?!  I thought it had to do with the old 2 and 8 GB size limitation for DOS.  The warning doesn't actually say there's a *File System/End partition mismatch*--I guess I have to be smart enough to look at that *File system ends at LBA xxxxxxxxxx * and compare that to the actual partition end positions   Roll Eyes --I'm not good at *seeing* those relationships unless someone points them out to me!

Quote:
The partition can't be imaged or restored.

Well, I've been imaging monthly or so for a long time with Ghost 2003 in DOS--but, Ghost 15 and its cousins are operating from within Windows.  I can not remember trying to restore an image--have not had the need to do so.

Quote:
We assume it's due to the partition having been created badly.

Well, the partitioning was done by Ghost 2003.  I know I restored a good image that was without all the errors that had developed during the system's melt down of its capasitors causing random power fluctuations.  At some point, I had changed from a 120 GB HDD to a 160 GB HDD, and I used Ghost 2003 to resize the partitions as part of the upgrade--but, I can't remember if I did that before the system started having problems--or after I had it repaired--and then had to restore the good image.  I did multiple restores until I found an image that did not have the errors that were saved as part of the image--so there was a lot of messin' around for awhile.

Quote:
There is a fix.


I'll check that out, now that I know its meaning, and let you know if it has any effect on those other errors.


 

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Re: How to Recover from Lost Windows Partition with Ghost 2003
Reply #28 - Jul 22nd, 2013 at 4:45am
 
NightOwl wrote on Jul 21st, 2013 at 11:19am:
But, how is this different?--Long time ago, I used a Win95 fdisk version to partition a new HDD.
[...]
Apparently, those primaries were beyond a 8 GB boundary that the older fdisk MBR could understand (probably did not use LBA locations), and the newer MBR could.

Gee, I might have known that 10 years ago, NightOwl, but that's a long time ago!  I no longer remember exactly which MBRs did what (and never used Win95 fdisk anyway), but your hypothesis is plausible.  Somewhere along the way the MBRs evolved from reading CHS only (e.g., the 8GB limit), to presuming CHS and switching to LBA if supported, to presuming LBA and switching to CHS if LBA *not* supported.  ISTR the 98 and 98se MBRs were identical, but no longer remember for sure.


Quote:
For whatever reason, the installation of WinXP did not over-write my existing older MBR with a new MBR.

Hmm... I've never seen that happen IME.


Quote:
You have made the generalization in the past, that any MBR can be used to boot an OS.

Well, that's a bit out of context.  What I really meant was the MBRs are not specifically tied to the OS.  E.g., you don't need a XP MBR just because you're running XP.  Any MBR that can reach the partition will suffice, but your partition layout may impose limitations on which MBRs those can be.  It's the partition layout that dictates which MBRs can be used, not the OS on those partitions.


Quote:
Now I don't know how exactly I recovered from being trapped in the Ghost virtual partition in the past--and how I help others recover as well!

ISTR it involved running ghreboot first or something like that, didn't it?  IOW, it's not enough just to change the active partition, you also have to get rid of the ghost virtual partition.


Your partition table looks okay--it's got a 23GB gap in the middle but I assume that's intentional and reserved for a future partition.  Here's your post-Ghost partition table with the Ghost virtual partition in the second slot:
    .partition table:
    ID  B   BEGIN CHS     END CHS  REL SECS   SECTORS
    -- -- ----------- ----------- --------- ---------
    07 00    0-001-01 1023-254-63        63  48130677 ( 23501 MB)
    0E 80 1023-000-01 1023-254-63  36596070     16065 (     7 MB)
    1C 00 1023-000-01 1023-254-63  95249385  20482875 ( 10001 MB)
    0F 00 1023-000-01 1023-254-63 115732260 196844445 ( 96115 MB)


            63 +  48130677 =  48130740 => CHS  2996/0/1
                  47118645 gap                         ( 23007 MB)
                              95249385 => CHS  5929/0/1
      95249385 +  20482875 = 115732260 => CHS  7204/0/1
    115732260 + 196844445 = 312576705 => CHS 19457/0/1

The three real partitions are CHS-aligned and all the numbers are internally consistent.

Remember, though, that the partition table merely outlines the partition boundaries.  Within each partition, the partition boot sector specifies the boundaries of the file system, and I assume what Brian is referring to is a conflict between those boundaries and the partition table's boundaries.



 
 
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Re: How to Recover from Lost Windows Partition with Ghost 2003
Reply #29 - Jul 22nd, 2013 at 9:27am
 
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Quote:
Gee, I might have known that 10 years ago, NightOwl, but that's a long time ago!

I understand!   Smiley  I'm having problems remembering a lot of that stuff myself!  It's only certain high points that linger.......


Dan Goodell wrote on Jul 22nd, 2013 at 4:45am:
Quote:

Quote:
For whatever reason, the installation of WinXP did not over-write my existing older MBR with a new MBR.

Hmm... I've never seen that happen IME.

Just out of curiosity, are you usually setting things up with multibooting vs single OS?

Quote:
Well, that's a bit out of context.  What I really meant was the MBRs are not specifically tied to the OS.  E.g., you don't need a XP MBR just because you're running XP.

Okay, that clarifies that.

Quote:
ISTR it involved running ghreboot first or something like that, didn't it?  IOW, it's not enough just to change the active partition, you also have to get rid of the ghost virtual partition.

Yes, the first step was to try ghreboot, and if that failed, then using a MBR utility to unhide the OS partition, make it active, and hide the virtual partition.

Knowing now that Ghost was backing up the original MBR, replacing it with its own MBR for the Ghost procedure, and then replacing that Ghost MBR back to the original--I was not smart enough to look at the MBR to see which one was actually present. 

So, I did not know if the ghreboot had been successful in restoring the original MBR, and somehow something else was preventing a successful reboot.  But, that seems unlikely--once the original MBR was in place, it should have acted just as it had before as far as successful booting.

Also, if I recall, one was stuck in an endless loop where the DOS prompt says if you want to return to your OS, press *x*, and the system would reboot to the same DOS prompt, which to me would suggest that the Ghost MBR was still the active MBR because one remained in the Ghost virtual partition.

And, it's that MBR (the Ghost MBR) that I must have changed the active partition from the Ghost virtual partition to the OS partition, hide the Ghost partition, and rebooted--successfully!  I forgot to look with my above experiment to see if the OS partition in the Ghost MBR was hidden or not.  I will take a look at that when I perform a couple more trials that I have in mind, and will report back. 

Quote:
Your partition table looks okay--it's got a 23GB gap in the middle but I assume that's intentional and reserved for a future partition.

Yes, intentional.  And thank you for that analysis of the partition table.



Here's the first part of the Ghost MBR--the DOS Norton Utilities Disk Editor does not show a full sector at a time (do any of the old DOS disk editors show a full sector at a time--anyone know?--I suspect not--I think DOS has a max number of lines it can display!):





 

DISKED01.GIF (22 KB | 286 )
DISKED01.GIF

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