I have a 1TB external HDD. There were two partitions on this HDD. My first partition was a 60 GB partition and the second partition was a 871 GB partition. I did not need the data on the first partition, but I need the data on second partition. Last night I decided to merge these two partitions using gparted.

After I tried to merge these two partitions, gparted was merging these two partitions but it was taking a long time, 3 hours. but after about 2 hours the OS, Linux mint 15, stopped working and I could not do anything. I uploaded a video from this situation here. I could only move the mouse cursor.

But I think gparted was still doing its job, so I did not power off my laptop. I let the gparted do its job and I went to bed. When I woke up after 5 hours, the screen was completely black and I could not do anything and the external HDD was silent, as it was unmounted. After a shut down everything was ok But the OS, Linux mint 15, can not mount my external HDD. I get this error.


Here is a shot of gparted from my external HDD after the merge. Right now there is only one 931GB partition which I can not access.

I prefer to some how recover the data which I had on the 871GB partition before merging. I have a backup from this data, but I prefer to recover it. I think if I could somehow know what happened that my system was not responding, I might find a better solution.

Should I recover the partition table? If I recover the partition table will I have my data? How can I know what really happened that the system was frozen?

Edit 1: The 60GB partition was in ext4. The 871GB partition was in NTFS. Before merging these two, I deleted the 60 GB partition and reformatted it, most probably to NTFS but I am not sure and I can not remember.

Edit 2: The partition table for the HDD was GPT and not MBR.

Edit 3: Since the Testdisk command did not help, and it could not recover the partition table for the 871 GB drive. I did what the error told me to do. I used the chkdsk /f command in windows to check my drive. I do not know why I was asked in the error to restart twice. But after the chkdsk /f, it took about 45 minutes, I shut down the windows system and rebooted but in the windows I could not access my drive. Then, I connected the drive to my linux system and I had all of my files in the correct order and correct name.

Now I have another problem. Although I can access all folders, but some files are corrupted. I can not see most .jpg files and most video and pdf files. I can play some mp3 files but the content is not related to the name of that mp3 file. I will try to fix this problem.


If you recover the original partition table exactly as it was, then you do have a chance of recovering your data.

This is because any data that was written when creating the 931GB partition has most likely only overwritten and destroyed the first 60 GB partition, so you still have a chance of recovering the following 871GB partition.

If this doesn't work, then you will need to use recovery software that recovers files, rather than partitions. Re-establishing the old partition table will also help in this case, concentrating your efforts on the disk area that used to contain the 871GB partition.

  • Thanks for the answer. So you do not recommend me to run the chkdsk /f command on a windows? It was suggested by the error I received when I connect my HDD to my laptop. – Ali Jun 17 '13 at 21:22
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    NO! chkdsk can destroy the disk folder/file data and so render it unrecoverable. One thing I don't understand: Why chkdsk when your question is tagged "linux"? – harrymc Jun 18 '13 at 6:03
  • I know chkdsk will destroy the data, but in the error as you can see, it says to use chkdsk /f and mention to use the /f parameter. It is also VERY strange for me that in Linux it recommends me to use a Windows tool. – Ali Jun 18 '13 at 19:38
  • It probably badly analyzed the merged partition type as ntfs. Just ignore it. – harrymc Jun 18 '13 at 19:48
  • I edited my post. The 871 GB partition was in NTFS, but I am not sure about the 60GB partition. I have created a clone of my damaged HDD and I am trying to recover the partition table using Testdisk. – Ali Jun 21 '13 at 3:31

i would try to recover the data with the tools provided in deft linux or kali linux, booted in forensic mode they won't make any more changes to your drive. sleuthkit and ddrescue will probably be able to restore some/most/all data depending on your luck and state of the drive. it might also help in pinpointing what went wrong with te drive in the first place.

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