Lately I've been having trouble restoring my PC after uninstalling GRUB, and an Ubuntu install from it. Usually I don't encounter any problems when doing this, but this time is different. My Windows XP (NTFS) partition is listed as "Other" in Partition Magic, and "Unknown" in GParted rather than "NTFS".

How can I gain access to Windows partition once again? I am more than willing to provide any information, and run any tests necessary to produce said information in order to find out what's going on here. My apologies if this is the wrong place to ask such a question. I have heard nothing but good about Superuser, and decided to give it a shot. Thanks!

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  • 1
    You can try using TestDisk to recover the partition. Aug 28, 2011 at 2:01
  • People are going to give you better quality answers if you tell them exactly what's on your disc, rather than a reinterpretation of it. Give them the output of (say) the detailed partition listing from gdisk.
    – JdeBP
    Aug 28, 2011 at 2:18
  • @Joe Internet: I just tried TestDisk. It found my "STORAGE" partition, along with an old Linux partition of mine, but it wasn't able to find, or repair the NTFS partition.
    – Alan
    Aug 28, 2011 at 12:48
  • JdeBP: I just looked at the link you provided. It looks a little command-line-ish and quite advanced. There is a walk-through provided but I don't have access to a printer.
    – Alan
    Aug 28, 2011 at 12:53
  • I updated my original post with another screenshot.
    – Alan
    Aug 28, 2011 at 12:57

4 Answers 4


sfdisk should be able to "fix" this problem easily; something like this should "work":

sfdisk /dev/sda -i -c 1 07

However, it's possible that in addition to the partition type being changed, the partition positions (start, end) were also corrupted. TestDisk should detect these issues and write a new, somewhat proper partition table.

The thing is that considering the partition table was corrupted, it's possible, no, likely that the data is too.

  • Thanks for the reply! Running that command produces the following output: No such partition.
    – Alan
    Aug 28, 2011 at 15:11
  • Thanks for advising to use TestDisk. I successfully recovered a broken partition table in a few minutes.
    – jnns
    Dec 21, 2016 at 14:45

From what I understand, it seems as if your MBR (master boot record) was either overwritten or corrupted. Have you tried restoring it from within Linux? You can do so with the ms-sys tool by running this command:

ms-sys -m /dev/sda

The -m switch is for Windows 2000/XP/2003 so make sure you use that switch if you have Windows XP.

  • Thanks for your reply! I tried running the command, but the output tells me that the command was not found.
    – Alan
    Aug 27, 2011 at 21:33
  • You're welcome. You need to install it first; it doesn't come with the distro. sudo apt-get install ms-sys should do it :)
    – Aaron
    Aug 27, 2011 at 22:43
  • Very weird. It says "E: Unable to locate package ms-sys".
    – Alan
    Aug 27, 2011 at 22:54
  • I'm sorry, I forgot that you'll need to enable the Universe repository. After doing that, make sure to run sudo apt-get update first thing. Hope that helps :)
    – Aaron
    Aug 27, 2011 at 23:01
  • Thanks, I was finally able to install it after doing just that. It doesn't seem to have resolved my main issue though. This one is a tough little bug.
    – Alan
    Aug 27, 2011 at 23:47

To repair your BOOTMBR (building off last answer because I can't comment yet):

  1. Put the Windows Vista or Windows 7 installation disc in the disc drive, and then start the computer.
  2. Press a key when you are prompted.
  3. Select a language, a time, a currency, a keyboard or an input method, and then click Next.
  4. Click Repair your computer.
  5. Click the operating system that you want to repair, and then click Next.
  6. In the System Recovery Options dialog box, click Command Prompt.
  7. Type "Bootrec.exe /FixMbr", and then press ENTER.

I've done this several times after having problems with Grub and linux installation.

  • works with any Windows installation CD XP and up.
    – A. Hayes
    Aug 27, 2011 at 21:55
  • Hmm. I don't seem to have the repair option. If it's of any help though, I was able to repair my MBR by using Partition Magic, sadly it didn't resolve the issue though.
    – Alan
    Aug 27, 2011 at 22:02
  • In addition to what was said above, if you have a Windows XP CD and can get to the recovery console, you may want to try executing these commands (I'm separating them with a pipe): FIXBOOT C: | FIXMBR | BOOTCFG /rebuild
    – Aaron
    Aug 27, 2011 at 22:55
  • That's what I originally wanted to do. I couldn't figure out why my Windows XP CD didn't have the Recovery Console though. It's OEM :(
    – Alan
    Aug 27, 2011 at 23:48

You can also recover your disk with the "chkdsk" command.

  1. Boot computer with a Windows XP disc.

  2. Go to recovery console

  3. Type the command like

    C:\> chkdsk /r 
  4. Wait until process is complete. Restart and see.

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