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I did a really dumb thing. cfdisk threw an error at me saying "FATAL ERROR: Bad primary partition 3: Partition ends in the final partial cylinder", so I installed Partition Table Doctor to see if I could fix the problem. When the program started up, it told me there were problems with my partitions, and asked if I wanted them fixed (cannot remember real message, but I believe it had something to do with the cylinder boundaries), so, blindly, without thinking of the consequences, I did.

Now, my system will not boot. I tried booting from the Windows 7 installation CD. I went to install a fresh copy, but it said that "No drives were found". I then opened up diskpart. According to diskpart, there is only one partition, containing one volume, assigned the letter "C". Before, I had four partitions! It is also saying that the file system is RAW.

Is there any way I can fix this? I have important data that I do not want to lose.

Later on... I tried fdisk with the option -l, which lists the partition table(s), and this is what I got:

Ignoring extra extended partition 4

Disk /dev/sda: 250.1 GB, 250059350016 bytes
255 heads, 64 sectors/track, 30401 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x163df116

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks    Id  System
/dev/sda1               6          18      102400     7  HPFS/NTFS
Partition 1 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sda2              18        7851   62918572+     7  HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda3           13073       30402   139196416     f  W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/sda3           13073       30402   139196416     f  W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/sda3           13073       30403   139203193     7  HPFS/NTFS

I don't know if this will help, but it's extra information, at least.

Also, this is how I had my partitions:

40MB (Unallocated)
100MB (System Reserved)
60GB (Windows, C:)
40GB (Was reserved for secondary OS)
~132GB (Home, E:)
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up vote 1 down vote accepted

You could try TestDisk on a liveCD if you have access to a second comptuter to burn a CD:

TestDisk is powerful free data recovery software! It was primarily designed to help recover lost partitions and/or make non-booting disks bootable again when these symptoms are caused by faulty software, certain types of viruses or human error (such as accidentally deleting a Partition Table). Partition table recovery using TestDisk is really easy.

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Thanks for the suggestion. I was away, which is why I couldn't reply earlier. Will report back on whether the recovery was successful or not. – someguy Jan 10 '11 at 17:21
I went with your method and it worked! I am now replying from the system I just got back. Thanks a lot :). – someguy Jan 10 '11 at 22:19
Glad it worked. All the best. – Linker3000 Jan 10 '11 at 23:20

The safest thing you can do: get Active Partition Recovery a portable hard disk the size of your current one and save each partition to it, i asume you have neither.

The second choice, just Active Partition Recovery run it saving the partitions it founds on your own hard disk and pray. Probably even if the partitions are recovered windows won't boot, with the windows installation disk using the repair option you'll be fine.

Third choice: get a ntfs file recovery disk and get your important files to a usb drive or something.

In all cases what you need is another working computer and download and burn (or install to a usb) the Hiren's Boot cd. You might skip the another computer if you have a live cd of any kind of course.

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I haven't got a portable hard disk, no. I'll look into choices two and three. I have an Arch Linux Live CD. What programs are appropriate in this case? – someguy Jan 9 '11 at 14:48
I was suggesting the live cd to download the Hiren's Boot cd since it has all the tools you will need and many more. – Guillermo Siliceo Trueba Jan 9 '11 at 17:42

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