testdisk usage to recover laptop drive

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  • arlesterc

    My Toshiba Satellite Pro running Win 8.1 Pro can’t boot – or rather it keeps booting and going into diagnostics and just stays ‘diagnosing system/hard disk’ forever. I ran testdisk on the drive and the first option that shows up in Analyze is EFI GPT. If I choose that option I get a list of partitions – no duplicates, no overlaps as far as start/end – all marked P. The partitions are:

    1 P unknown
    2 P EFI
    3 P MS Reserved
    4 P MS Data
    5 P Unknown

    If I do a deeper search from there I see all 5 partitions but now they are marked as follows:

    1 P MS DATA [System]
    2 P MS Data [No Name]
    3 P MS Data (nothing in the far right column)
    4 P MS Data [T1….] (looks like Toshiba HDD ID)
    5 P Unknown [Recovery]

    I did yet a deeper search at this point and got all kinds of errors about:cylinder mismatches, sectors per track mismatches with one or another of bracketed [FAT], [EFISECTOR],[HD], [BOOT] after each line indicating the mismatch.

    In any case when I chose to see the files on the various partitions with the P command, I once again could see all my files on partition 4.

    I then ran testdisk again and chose the Intel option.

    The first screen showed one partition – P EFI GPT

    And a message:
    Bad ending head – CHS and LBA don’t match.
    No partition is bootable.

    I did a deeper search and I again got 5 partitions but this time they were all marked D in the far left column. No overlaps

    The partitions were as follows:


    D FAT 32 [NO NAME]

    D HPFS NTFS (nothing in the far right column)

    D HPFS NTFS [T1….] (looks like Toshiba HDD ID)


    Once again partition 4 was the one that listed all my files when I browsed with the P command.
    A few more points I should mention.

    1) The computer started acting flaky after a dirty shutdown

    2) After that dirty shutdown I created two restore points. When I first started to troubleshoot this problem I was able to get into the Toshiba recovery screen but when I asked to restore from the restore points it indicated I had none.

    3) This system did not come with media – it has some kind of recovery partition built in for these kinds of problems. In any case I can not get into the system as it just keeps ‘diagnosing’ – so the zero key or F12 or F8 don’t work.

    4) I did not add a partition since I purchased this laptop so as far as I know it only had a C drive – I can’t recall if there was an additional drive letter that showed up in Explorer or Disk Manager but I can’t exclude the possibility that there was indeed one there.

    So given the above what is my next step. Partition 4 looks like the correct one and I will back it up and ghost before doing anything. But as far as trying to get this bootable again what should I be doing? I am not sure what partition to mark what. How non-destructive is testdisk for this partition/boot sector tweaking – what are my go back options other than the backing up/Ghosting right in testdisk itself.

    Also when the program asks to create a log where is that log going to be created?

    Thanks in advance for any assistance with this.

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