Return to

Accidentally broke my partition table


I attempted to install arch linux with zfs on an older hard drive i had. After encountering a lot of issues, i gave up and decided to just use ext4 instead. Arch is running fine now, but I believe I unknowingly added my other 3tb storage drive to the zpool when trying to set it up. If i look at the partitions on the 3tb drive with gparted, it tells me its type is zfs member. The original partition type was exFAT. i used fsck.exfat to attempt to rescue the drive. It found 3 errors and corrected 2. The last error says bad cluster 0 while reading root directory. I tried badblocks, but it found no errors. I used testdisk and it can read some of the files, but after I write to the drive and reboot, nothing changes. Also, somehow gparted reads my main drive with arch installed as zfs member instead of ext4. Arch boots just fine and I have no issues with it other than that. gdisk and fdisk both read the drive with arch installed perfectly.



Nuke it from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure.

  1. Backup everything
  2. Boot from a live DVD/USB
  3. Nuke the partition tables of both drives with DD
  4. Reinstall OS
  5. Restore data from backup

If you can get your 3Tb storage drive to a readable state, BACK IT UP before rebooting.

1 Like


Do you need to recover data from the 3TB drive? There are tools that will recover the data if the partition table is corrupted, but you lose file names.