How to Recover Partition Table using Test Disk – Using GParted live disc

Trouble Partition table is corrupt (OR) unable to boot into the OS .
Cause 1)Accidental deletion of partition. 2)Over Writing or Erase of MBR. 3)Change in geometry of the disk.
Needed Package Bootable ISO copy of “GParted Live” burnt in a CD or USB.
Video Guide Available at the bottom of this post.

About Test Disk :

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.


About Gparted Live Disc:

GParted is a free partition editor for graphically managing your disk partitions. GParted is useful for tasks such as: creating space for new operating systems, restructuring disk space to separate user and operating system data, and copying partitions to enable upgrading to a larger hard disk drive.


TestDisk can be installed in any OS. If your partition table is corrupted entirely, probably you will be unable to get into an OS to use Test Disk. For such an issue, we can make use of GParted Live DiscLight bulb which has Test Disk Integrated in it. GParted is available as a bootable ISO

GParted Bootable ISO – download Coffee cup

Download the Bootable ISO and burn it in a CD.

This image can also be made to be booted from a USB or through PXE. Please refer the following links for it.

Live on USB

Live from PXE


Place the bootable disc in the disc tray and make changes in the BIOS to boot the system from the CD.

Select the default settings and press Enter.

Note: If you are unsuccessful in booting with the default settings , then select the second option “Other modes of Gparted Live” . This will bring another set of menu, select ” GParted Live ( Failsafe mode ) ” .

Gnome Partition Editor

Go with the default option, “Don’t touch keymap” and press Enter.

Gnome Partition Editor

Select whichever language is appropriate for you.

Go with the default. Just press “Enter”.


Double click the terminal. ( Third Icon from the left )


This is done , just to ensure that your partition table is corrupt. Surprised smile

Type the following commands

$ sudo –s
#fdisk –l


Now open the testdisk with the following command

# testdisk


This will open up the Test Disk Utility. Just press “Enter” and proceed.


Select the appropriate Hard Disk from which you want to recover the partition table. Here, I’m going to recover the partition table from my Virtual Hard disk created using VMware. This is nothing much different from the physical Hard Disk. As soon as you’ve selected the appropriate hard disk , select “Proceed” at the bottom .


Select the appropriate Partition type. Mostly its Intel. Select and then press “Enter” to proceed.


Now select “Analyse” and then press “Enter” to proceed.

The “Quick Search” option is selected by default. Just press “Enter” to proceed.


Press “y” to proceed.

Thumbs upSuper kool. Now your partition would have been recovered. Just check if its correct. If you are sure it’s the correct structure, just press “Enter” to proceed.

STEP 10:

Select “Write” and press “Enter” to proceed.

Press “y” to confirm the write.

STEP 11:

Press “Enter” to proceed.

Select “Quit” and press “Enter”

Select “Quit” and press “Enter”

STEP 12:

Open-mouthed smileDone! Now type “ fdisk -l “ to check if the new partition table is written.

Party smileThat’s all ! If you still got some doubts , make comments .


If you want , you can mount the partitions and check it. Check the Filmstripvideo tutorial for it.Hot smile

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17 Responses

  1. Tony Ouellette says:

    I’ve been trying to recover a WD 500 gig with no luck. It’s not mine so I don’t know the history. I use G-parted for a lot of issues but I’ve never had this problem. I have followed your instructions and when I get to the end, the result is “Write error”. Also when I start G-parted, it searches for drives and finds none. Is there another way to recover?

  2. DonCorso says:

    Thank you for this great tutorial with the screenshots.
    I accidently destroyed my Partitiontable and your howto helpded me a lot.

    Thank you and greetings from Frankfurt / germany



  3. Krzysztow says:

    Thanks for this post. I couldn’t do it with gpart, but following your instructions got me to full recovery! Lots of thanks!

  4. Rex says:

    Is using Gparted live to recover the partition table going to erase any data that is currently on my HD?

  5. wyl says:

    Amazing soft! Excellent instruction to resolve the corrupted partition table.

  6. luoi says:

    Thank you very much!

    • Anand Salunke says:


      I have one old Test Equipment which has 386 system with 170 MB Quantum prodrive LPS HDD installed with MS-DOS & Dos Extender.

      I tried to connect this HDD to my Windows xp PC for disk image backup, but windows changed the MBR on this drive, now my Test equipment is not able to boot anymore.

      Can this utility restore the earlier Partition Table & MBR. I am looking out for your response. Pl help.

  7. Luiz Borro says:

    Thank you so much!

  8. TenaciousD says:

    Thanks man, this is a great tutorial. Hopefully it will fix my problem :)

    It was so strange, one day I just booted my computer and I got a BSOD and it immediately rebooted and continued to do so in a loop. I found out later on that my drive C: was zero (0) bytes and was in an unrecognized format. So I got really scared as I didn’t backup my stuff (I know dumb idea) and my UBCD (Ultimate Boot Disc) kept giving me an “invalid opcode message” Hopefully this will work ;)

  9. TenaciousD says:

    Problem fixed. It turns out I did not need to use gparted, as Gparted didn’t find any problem with my hdd. I only needed to use chkdsk /p to fix it!(i feel like such an idiot) But gparted is still a cool tool and should be downloaded if your hand pc problems on a regular basis. ;)

  10. Ramakrishan Natesan says:

    Thanks for the awesome tutorial. You saved my day.

  11. sunil says:


    great tutorial. keep it up


  12. adi says:

    Hi, thanks very much, you save my one monts work, you deserve at least a beer from me :D

  13. Mhd Ataa Arnaout says:

    Thanks for this guide.
    I finally managed to get the machine boots up, I restored a huge work archive and continue work on the computer and avoid a disaster.

  14. MmmT says:


    I’m still experiancing a few problems.
    On one of my partitions I have exclamation mark, which says that I have to run chkdsk -f, but I’m unable to do that,because I can’t enter command prompt (my windows do not boot up at all, and I’m occurring an error at startup.) When I try to mount the bad partition I get this error : error while mounting /dev/sda2 on /mnt: invalid argument.

    Can somebody please help me? I don’t know what to do, and I’ve been sitting here half of the day, and looking for solutions. Google doesn’t find anything so you’re my only chance!

    Thank you!

  15. Oscar Schult says:

    I very much appreciate the time you took to publish this article and hope some day I’ll be able to publish something in the return, in the style of the Pay it Forward movie.

  16. Adrian Aldan says:

    Yea it’s a good tutorial, Gparted always my savior if my lappy got problem.

    thanks for the nice tutorial :D

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