Ask Your Question

Need help resurrecting my unreachable windows hard drive

asked 2017-11-27 13:30:00 -0600

technog1 gravatar image

updated 2017-11-27 13:57:17 -0600

I had asked this a couple of years ago, but not gotten anywhere with this.

My setup: Asus G53S Laptop, 12Gb, 750GB hard drive.

On one of my Fedora upgrades, somewhere between version 18 to version 23 i think, anconda/grub removed my windows partition. So i installed a second ssd drive just for Fedora. Grub2 installed Fedora on the second drive perfectly.

However, I was no longer able to access the original hard drive at all! Not even at boot time.

When i boot up, i get a choice of different Fedora kernel versions, and the wndows recovery partition. Not windows itself. Been living with this for a couple of years, but would really like to get access to my hd #1 back again.

Now at Fedora 26, I was wondering if there was a way to resurrect that physical hard drive so i can have the following again:
1) Choice of boot to either windows or Fedora. 
2) Access to the windows hard drive from linux for file access?

I'll add that booting into Fedora since version 19 has been working perfectly. So have the upgrades.

thanks in advance,


edit retag flag offensive close merge delete


can you mount the windows hard drive in fedora, and make sure the information is still there? You might need to switch to legacy boot, to see it, instead of uefi. the picture you posted shows the disk is MBR, so you need to swtich from UEFI back to legacy to boot it.

SteveEbey73701 gravatar imageSteveEbey73701 ( 2017-11-28 17:41:13 -0600 )edit

1 Answer

Sort by ยป oldest newest most voted

answered 2017-11-27 14:17:42 -0600

wallyk gravatar image

updated 2017-11-28 16:23:45 -0600

  1. Obtain a USB adapter for your hard drive, such as one of these: IDE/SATA to USB 3.0 or IDE/SATA to USB 2.0 or SATA to USB 2.0.
  2. Boot your F26 system and plug in the old hard drive into the adapter, and plug the adapter into a spare USB port on your system.
  3. Run the Disks utility from Gnome, or gnome-disks from the command line.
  4. Look at the types of partitions recognized on the disk. If the disk is not too munged up, you'll see a "Windows" partition which, when looking at the details, shows an NTFS type. Try clicking on the different partitions. If you see a "play" icon, mount it (by clicking on the play icon) and browse the files (by clicking on the "mounted at" link.

image description

If you don't see the Windows partition, all the data could be gone. Or it could be as simple as restoring the partition ID. Or maybe manipulating the partition ID and its size to restore what Windows had. There are many variables. A professional forensic analysis could tell you what the verdict is. It might cost up to several thousand dollars to recover data; it just depends on how much trouble it is worth.

edit flag offensive delete link more


Interesting. I have a spare ide enclosure somewhere, or i can get a ide=>usb like you suggest.

So i have to take the hard drive out of the laptop ?

Just to be clear, both hard drives are currently in my system. Its just that grub doesnt see it. Im quite sure its still usable, but the boot sector was wiped out by grub.

The windows drive (now I think is sda5) is seen by file manager, but I have to access to it. Was wondering if I could recover this drive while in the laptop itself ?

If i cannot recover drive via either linux or grub, then i will remove the drive and access it externally.

technog1 gravatar imagetechnog1 ( 2017-11-27 14:27:56 -0600 )edit

@technog1: Oh, I expected you swapped out the drive or it was on another machine. If the drive is in the machine, skip to step 3.

wallyk gravatar imagewallyk ( 2017-11-27 15:13:02 -0600 )edit

@wallyk, both disks are in my laptop. Thanks! was able to get to using disks, but I had not been able to do so using mount and files. So this is a good step forward. Now for the more advanced steps: having that original sda1 recognized by grub2. I somehow feel that could be a bit of grub2 commands which could be dangerous as well.

technog1 gravatar imagetechnog1 ( 2017-11-28 16:09:24 -0600 )edit

@technog1: I added more details to my answer.

wallyk gravatar imagewallyk ( 2017-11-28 16:19:49 -0600 )edit

Here is my original windows drive. It says its bootable, but grub will not list it. link text

technog1 gravatar imagetechnog1 ( 2017-11-28 17:23:50 -0600 )edit

Question Tools

1 follower


Asked: 2017-11-27 13:30:00 -0600

Seen: 155 times

Last updated: Nov 28 '17