First, I probably deserve this for not having a backup.

My system was installed with Debian and Mint11. I recently installed Mint12 to play with. I expected all three to continue to work. I can no longer enter Mint11. I get an error saying it can't identify the specified partition. I think the cause is because in the fstab file I specified the id of the swap partition since mint11 had a tendancy to "change" drive designations. It's related to this question: Linux Mint: drives' map changing at reboot brings fstab error

Now Disk utility doesn't recognize the partition Mint11 is installed on. It simply shows it as "Unknown". The drive is a raid5 on a dedicated controller. fdisk -l gives:

 Disk /dev/sdc: 240.0 GB, 239997026304 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 29177 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: 0x0000a3c7

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdc1               1       24002   192794784   83  Linux
/dev/sdc2           24263       29178    39480321    5  Extended
/dev/sdc3           24003       24263     2093056   82  Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sdc5           24263       28656    35288064   83  Linux
/dev/sdc6           28657       29178     4191232   82  Linux swap / Solaris

/dev/sdc1 is the primary mint11 partition.

Is there a way to access or recover the data on that partition? I can live with not being able to boot to it so long as I can access the information on it.

Thanks. Let me know if you need any further information.

--update-- I tried using testdisk to recover the lost partitions but it said the partition could not be recovered. The exact error is:

The harddisk (248GB /223 Gib) seems too small! (< 315GB / 294 Gib) Check the harddisk size: HD jumpers settigns, Bios detection...

Before I do anything else, I'm running gddrescue:

ddrescue -vr /dev/sda1 /media/Backup/recovered_data_blocks.img gddrescue.log

This will give me a backup of the partition in case I mess up the actual one.

I've also used Photorec to recover all the files on the partition. However that basically takes all the files and places them in arbitrary folders with arbitrary names. I'll be able to find some critical files but without structure or names much will be lost.

At this point, I think I'm out of options. Does anyone have any other ideas?

I hate bitter sweet irony, I know better then to allow myself to be in this position!

  • Reference link to article on gddrescue: sysblogd.wordpress.com/2008/01/05/… Commented Dec 24, 2011 at 17:46
  • you wrote sbc1 is the primary, but in the fdisk's output i see sdc ?
    – Hanan
    Commented Dec 25, 2011 at 10:18
  • Just a typo, good catch. I've corrected it. Thanks. Commented Dec 26, 2011 at 17:36

1 Answer 1


FYI, use fdisk -lu instead. You appear to have a corrupt partition table that is claiming the partition extends beyond the end of the disk. That means that either the mint installer screwed it up, or the disk shrank slightly since then. Since it looks like the offending partition is just an extra swap partition ( sdc6 ), you can just delete it. You will then need to recreate the extended partition so that it has the correct size.

If you don't care about sdc5, then you can simply delete it and sdc2. Assuming you want to save sdc5, then put fdisk into sector mode with -u and note the exact start and end sector sdc5 is currently using, then delete both sdc5 and sdc2, then recreate sdc2 as an extended partition, then recreate sdc5 as a logical partition with the same start and end sector it had before.

  • I'm afraid that didn't work. I wiped all partitions but the primary one. It just doesn't seem to recognize the partition type. Thanks Commented Dec 29, 2011 at 20:18
  • @AlanB.Dee, partition type is meaningless. Update the fdisk -lu listing.
    – psusi
    Commented Dec 30, 2011 at 2:18

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .