Recover Partition Table without Data Loss in Windows 10, 11

When the partition table is invalid or damaged, you will lose access to your data on the disk. If you don't want to lose them, try to recover partition table by rebuilding mbr, creating new partition, or using partition recovery software.


By Lora / Updated on May 13, 2024

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Before using the hard disk, you must partition it first, requiring a partition table. It is usually created while installing an operating system on a Windows PC.

With a partition table, you can manage the hard disk, e.g., creating a partition, updating the OS, converting the partition table, or making some modifications. 

However, if your partition table is damaged or invalid, you will lose access to your disk as well as data on it. Even worse, your computer will become unbootable.

Rest assured; this article can help you fix the partition table issue.

The partition table messed up 


I tried to convert my external 2TB HDD from GPT to MBR. The process didn't finish so I decided to cancel the process after a few hours. Now Windows Disk Management recognized the whole drive as unallocated. The table is messed up because it's half GPT and MBR.

I know that the data is still on there. Can I repair the partition table so I can access my data again or do I have to use data recovery tools to get it back?

- Question from Tom’s Hardware

What is partition table in Windows?

The partition table is a table on the disk, which summarizes and describes the size and location of the partitions. It is located in the first sector (cylinder 0, head 0, sector 1, MBR) of a hard disk.

The partition table generally has two schemes for storing partition information, the traditional MBR (Master Boot Record) partition table and GPT (GUID Partition Table) partition table, including the start and end locations of the partition on the physical disk.


This allows your operating system to know which sectors belong to which partition and which partition is bootable.

Pitifully, partition table error is not very rare. You may encounter a GPT partition table recovery issue as well as an MBR partition table recovery issue.

Some common manifestations and possible causes are listed below, check if you have encountered them.

Common manifestations of partition table error

  • "Invalid Partition Table" Warning.


  • "Operating System Not Found" Warning.
  • Unable to enter the Windows interface when booting the computer.
  • Inability for OS to correctly recognize the hard disk.
  • Inability for OS to use Fdisk to partition.
  • Unable to delete the partition.
  • Non-System Disk Or Disk Error.


Common causes of partition table issue

Many factors that cause partition table loss or failure as shown below.

  • Virus attack. Boot sector viruses can do massive damage to your partitions.
  • Power outage. Sudden power failure during your normal computer operation or partitioning process may cause bad sectors on the disk or loss of partition.
  • Improper operation. Improper operation or misoperation when reinstalling the system may cause the disk to initialize and cause all partitions to disappear.
  • Improper ejection of external devices. When using an external device such as a USB flash drive or a mobile hard disk, the partition table may be lost due to sudden changes in current when plugging or unplugging.


Situation 1: The partition table not corrupt

Sometimes, your partition table is not damaged, but difficult to read. You can try to check the boot sequence of your disk and correct it.

Step 1. Restart your computer and press a prompted key to access BIOS. It may be F2, F10, ESC, etc.

Step 2. Select the Boot tab and move your bootable disk to the first place.


Step 3. Save changes and restart your computer. You can then boot from it again.

Situation 2: Recover partition table from unallocated space

If your partition table is indeed damaged but your disk becomes unallocated, you can recover partition table with a reliable partition recovery software. 

We recommend you use AOMEI Partition Assistant, developed by AOMEI Tech, with over 60M users worldwide. It helps manage your partition and disk smartly and effectively with a bunch of features.

The Partition Recovery feature in it is capable of recovering accidentally deleted partition in Windows 7, 8, 10, 11, etc. and the corrupted partition table and your data will be recovered together. 

What's more, multiple filesystems are supported: NTFS/exFAT/FAT32/ext3/ext4/ReFS, etc. If you are using an ext4 partition, you could also recover ext4 partition easily.

Step 1. Download and install it on your PC. Then launch it. Click “Partition Recovery” > select the disk that includes your deleted/lost partition > click “Next”.

Download Demo Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Parition Recovery Wizard

Step 2. Select “Fast Search” to find your deleted/lost partition quickly. Then click “Next”.

Search Method

Step 3. After scanning, you can see all the deleted/lost partitions on the hard disk. Then you can select the partition you want to restore and click “Proceed”.

Select Lost Partition

After the recovery process, you’ll see a “Congratulations” message. (You could pay attention to the helpful notes in the reference pic. Then click “Finish” to exit.

Situation 3: Restore partition table from disk not initialized

Sometimes, your disk displays as "Not Initialized". In this situation, you need to initialize disk and create a new simple volume. To prevent any data loss, it's suggested to recover data from not initialized disk after initializing. 

So you will need excellent data recovery software to scan not initialized disk and find all the recoverable data. MyRecover is a great choice. 

Powerful Data Recovery Software for Windows
  • All-inclusive: Recover data from different data loss scenarios, such as accidental deletion, disk formatting, lost partition, etc.
  • Over 200 recoverable file types: Recover word documents, Excel files, PPT, PNG image, MOV videos, ZIP files, etc. 
  • Advanced scanning method: It supports Quick Scan & Deep Scan methods for thorough disk scan and find all the recoverable files as much as possible. 
  • Crashed PC Recovery: It allows you to create a bootable USB, CD/DVD, or ISO and boot a crashed PC for data recovery.

Step 1. Initialize disk.

  • Right-click on "This PC" and select "Manage" > “Disk Management”.
  • Locate the target hard drive, right-click on it, and choose "Initialize Disk."


  • In the dialog box, select the unknown not initialized disk and choose either MBR or GPT partition style. Click OK to start the initialization process.

Step 2. Recover data from not initialized disk. 

  • Open MyRecover. Hover the mouse to lost partition, and click Scan.
  • It will run Quick Scan & Deep Scan automatically to scan disk thoroughly and find all the recoverable files.


  • Search or filter the desired files to recover and click Recover xxx files.  Or wait for the final scanning result and recover all of your data.

Step 3. Create a new simple volume with Disk Management.

  • Go to the Disk Management tool. Right-click the unallocated space and select New Simple Volume.


  • Click Next in the pop up window.
  • Specify the capacity, drive letter, and file system and click Next.

Situation 4: Recover partition table from unbootable PC

When your computer becomes unbootable, you can start it from a bootable USB or an installation disc and rebuild MBR in the recovery environment. Here are two feasible ways to achieve this goal:  

#1: Use MBR rebuilder - AOMEI Partition Assistant.  With a"Rebuild MBR" feature, eye-pleasing and simple user interface and guide, it is easy to recover partition table and make the disk function normally. 

#2: Use the Bootrec command. This command can also help you. But it requires you to be familiar with command line interface. Otherwise, the operation may fail due to human error.

Tip: Create a backup before attempting to do further operations on the partition table. It may cause irreversible problems, such as eventual computer failure.

#1: Restore partition table with AOMEI Partition Assistant (without data loss)

Step 1. Install and enjoy the AOMRI Partition Assistant. Right-click on the unbootable system disk, and click Rebuild MBR.

Rebuild MBR

Step 2. Choose the corresponding operating system of your device to set the type of MBR on it, then click OK.

Choose MBR Type

Step 3. Preview the operation that is about to be carried out, then click Proceed > Apply.


Then you will have successfully perform MBR partition table recovery.

#2: Fix partition table in Windows 10 using CMD 

If you are familiar with the command line, you can use a Windows installation CD to boot the computer and fix the partition table with the Bootrec command.

Step 1. Insert the installation CD or DVD > restart > boot from the disc.

Step 2Next > Repair your computer > Troubleshoot > Command Prompt.

Command Prompt

Step 3. Input bootrec /fixmbr > press Enter > input bootrec /fixboot > press Enter > bootrec /rebuildbcd > restart.

Rebuild MBR

If you meet the bootrec/fixboot access denied error, please seek for help in the guide.

How to recover lost partition in Windows 10?

Users may also face a partition loss due to partition table errors. When a partition gets missing or lost, precious data and files will be lost as well, which is the last thing that users want to meet.

You may want to perform lost partition recovery but don't know how, here it is.

If you need to initialize the hard disk to repair your damaged or missing partition table, you can try to do it manually by using Disk Management.

Step 1. Run Command Prompt as administrator > input diskpart > list disk > select disk 0.

Step 2. Input list volume > select volume 1. Input the actual number of the lost partition.

Step 3. Input assign letter = x. Choose a letter different from all the existing letters.

Related suggestion

In this post, the method to recover partition tables and to recover lost partitions have been introduced in detail. besides, we would like to offer you some more suggestions.

To prolong the service life of your hard drive, here are some hard drive maintenance suggestions prepared for you.

  • Keep the working environment clean.
  • Use anti-virus software to check and kill viruses on the hard disk regularly.
  • If your hard drive is an SDD, please reserve enough storage space to prevent the SDD from slowing down or even crashing.
  • Replace the firmware timely, such as BIOS, to reduce the wear and tear of the memory chip and maintain the performance and life of the hard disk.

Also, to prevent any data loss from GPT/MBR hard disks, it is a better bet to back up your data from time to time.  Using AOMEI Backupper to create backups for Windows is a good idea.

Lora · Editor
Lora is an editor of AOMEI Technology. She is also a tester and editor of AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. -- "Keep testing, write the most useful tutorials for helping people recover the lost data for Windows and phones" is the most meaningful thing for her. Dedicated to creating helpful tutorials, she hopes her tutorial can assist users to effortlessly solve data loss problems on their personal computers and mobile phones.