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WD My Book Duo Corrupted MBR/Partition Table

TheSiege

Diamond Member
Jun 5, 2004
3,919
14
81
So I made the mistake of taking my 2 WD HDD out of their external enclosure and hooking them up to a windows box.
From what I read on the WD forums is that its corrupted the MBR, and I think by trying to fix it, I jacked up the Partition table with testdisk

Any here is where I stand:
The drives are back in the enclosure. They were never partitioned, just one big partition each 8TB and I believe I had them mirrored in a raid 1
I booted a live distro of Gparted but am unable to mount a separate external HDD, if I were able to, I would just use testdisk to copy the files over
I am not sure if I should just remove the HDDs from the WD enclosure and treat them as a separate drive each and use testdisk again to try and fix them or install ubuntu on a spare machine, install a 8tb HDD and then mount it, and then use testdisk and try and copy the files over at that point.
Of if I knew how to use testdisk better, I would love to just fix the MBR and Partition table of the drives and forgo the WD enclosure all together so I can use them like internal drive which was the plan to begin with.

I just need some direction. The drives aren't encrypted. Nothing has failed. I have both a mac and windows laptops. I have a windows 4 bay + OS bay server that I can just swap the OS drive with a linux drive. The server is a Dell R420 so I dont have USB 3.0, so transferring files would be super slow unless the drives were installed internally.

Any help would be great
 

claudiusraphaelpaeth

Junior Member
Dec 19, 2019
2
5
41
It is (at least to me) not clear what the actual request for help is.

In general from what i read, the drive(s) are 8/16 TB? Which means that they are formatted as GPT and regarding an MBR would most probably only have a Protected MBR, which would contain by default exactly one partition entry spanning the whole capacity to allow partition managers to not accidentally edit/overwrite the GPT data.

There are indeed cases where an 8 TB disk can not have a GPT, like WholeDisk ZFS or BTRFS, custom Disklabel, SuperFloppy or even RAW formatting, but i think this is not the case here and you have indeed a GPT formatted drive.

TestDisk anyhow is neither a secure nor a friendly way to operate on such a disk. GParted as well is not a GPT partitioning optimized Partition Manager. I state all this, because it is not clear if you have a not yet mentioned process and aim in mind or you just noted what you are used to use.

Let me allow some guesswork.


+ You want to access the contents in a standard way, meaning with the built-in file manager - in case of Windows with the Explorer - to copy the contents?

If that is the case you need a Windows OS that can read GPT (assuming it is indeed a GPT partitioned Hard-Drive), which would be Windows XP or later, preferably Windows 7 64-bit or any other NT 6.1+ Kernel based Windows NT, like Windows 7/8/8.1/10 or Server 2008 R2/2012/2012 R2/2016/2019/VNext or Hyper-V Server 2008 R2/2012/2012 R2/2016/2019.

+ You mentioned TestDisk, because you need a software that is able to recover/recognize and make copyable the seemingly lost content?

First of all it would need to be determined if the content of the disk(s) is indeed unreadable due to a broken Partition Table as you think it is. The most obvious and simple way you can find that out is by using GDisk, also known as GPT FDisk, which is available in a variety of editions and has any function needed to process GPT formatted drives, including the possibility to manipulate the ("protected") MBR of a GPT formatted disk, at least as far as reasonable. In any case it allows you to first and foremost identify the disks formatting, if it is GPT, if it has a protected or a hybrid MBR applied, if the MBR or the GPT Tables are corrupt, etc.

GDisk/GPTFDisk is available for any Unix/Linux/Posix, as well as for Windows and also for direct boot from an (U)EFI-BIOS; If you would like to use the latter, you can also download the (U)EFI version of DiskPart, which is the Partition-/Volume- - Manager included in Windows NT (in case not known: all the before mentioned Windows/Server Versions are of the Windows NT family).

Regarding GDisk/GPTFDisk take the time to read thoroughly as you would do or might already have done with TestDisk.

In any case, if it comes to file recovery from a drive that "just" has a corrupt partition table using TestDisk would be like using a 1970s thermonuclear driven spacelaser satellite to rewrite the hardisks history instead of using a PC from the 21st Century. It can work out - given you know exactly what you do and are ready to do workarounds along the way just for the sake of using TestDisk for it; that said it is possible to guide you but i will definitely not recommend that.

--

So, if you feel yourself able to share a bit more detail, if possible attaching your printouts/screenshots of findings with the help of GDisk/GPTFDisk and all in all could explain what you specifically aim for and how TestDisk fits in that picture i am sure we can find ways to help you.

Please just share what your thoughts were initially, how you came to mention TestDisk specifically and what in detail you like to achieve. The detail of which Windows Version and Edition you use, if you know your way around with CMD/Powershell, if you possibly used Linux Live Systems already (it seems so as you mentioned GParted) and BASH or a similar shell, as well as details like the exact model and technical specifications of the harddisk and enclosure will be helpful.

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... all the Best.
 

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