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Well, yesterday my computer suddenly started to hang. After a while, I decided to use the reset button. But after that, my system wouldn't boot. When I try to, it skips GRUB2 and directly shows me a Windows boot error (I suspect it's unable to boot from my first HDD, so it tries to boot from the second one. I just didn't know that it was even bootable.)

The BIOS displays both of my HDDs as it always does. But when booting a linux live system, fdisk -l only displays my second HDD. (However, I can see in syslog that it finds my HDD, it just doesn't display it). Even /dev/sda exists, but not /dev/sda1,2, and so on. lshw also shows my HDD, and it correctly detects the model, size and the serial number. But: According to lshw, my second HDD has the capability 'partitioned partitioned:dos' while the first one has not, so I guess my partition table is broken (from a simple reset? Still can't believe it.)

So what can I do? I can't believe my HDD is really 'broken' because I just used a simple reset. I tried to use testdisk to restore my partition table. Testdisk also detects the HDD, but when I do a quick test, I'm getting a read error for every cylinder it tries to read.

Any ideas? Would be nice if I could recover the data.

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Probably the reset didn't break the HDD but you had to press reset because the HDD crashed... –  laurent Nov 17 '11 at 19:20

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Based on your comment, "so I guess my partition table is broken", I would stop trying to use that drive until someone here on superuser.com comes along and provides you with a better assessment.

If the partition table is bad and you want to recover your data, further attempts at reading/writing may result in a loss of data.

Also, the act of hitting reset did not damage the drive. It was likely already damaged and you just didn't notice it until you reset the system.

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'It was likely already damaged' - Yeah, I guess it was. –  Bernd Nov 17 '11 at 19:53

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