Linux Tools for rebuilding a FAT16 or FAT32 file system

Jeremy jepri at
Fri Mar 29 14:48:55 EST 2002

On 2002.03.29 13:29 Darrell Burkey wrote:
> > > Why complicate the matter by crossing over O/Ses?
> >
> > Because Linux deos it better?
> No argument there but my point was there are programs in that other
> O/S
> designed to do this if you don't want to roll up you sleeves and dive

I refer you to my previous summary of the usefulness of those programs.

> I missed the part about the drive being repartiioned.

I never claimed it was.  I put the 'if' in front of the sentence to 
indicate that it may have been.

> I thought Steve
> described the drive as "being zapped". I'm not sure what that means

Neither do I, and Steve isn't forthcoming.

> but I
> was assuming something like a surge from lightning or something that
> caused
> some corruption. In that case wouldn't the second FAT be your best
> bet?

Look, we're assuming that our friend has trun 'scandisk', the 
'recovery' program packaged with every DOS since 3.2.  It's installed 
with every copy of windows.  It runs by default when you start up 

scandisk will detect different FAT images, and ask the user which one 
to use.  Better get it right.

In order of probability(in my experience) here's how drives get 

User borks it 
- User decides that because he/she can operate Excel, Word etc without 
a manual, fdisk can't be any harder.
- User attempts to install cool new disk optimisation tool/virus 
scanner and fails
- User completely disregards warnings while installing Linux and 
selects wrong partition (been there)
- User inserts circa 1985 floppy disc containing DOS virus that messes 
with FAT tables.

In all the above cases, both FAT tables have been synchronised to the 
new, and wrong data.  User will completely deny ever having heard of 
'Partition Magic', even after you find the discs in the drive.  Time to 
play 'jigsaw puzles'.

Accidental damage to one FAT table

- User powers down during FAT write (most drives after 1995 have the 
ability to finish the write before completely losing power)
    - 'Lightening surges' will cause the computer to power down.
- Program malfunctions while attempting to write to partition table

In these cases you might get lucky by copying the correct FAT over the 
damaged one, using scandisk.  Which one is correct?  Hahahaha

Physical damage

- Almost any physical damage to a drive will completely prevent it from 
working.  Fortunately they are quite tough.

Some very high tech facilities have the ability to rebuild drives.

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