Cannot find dev/sda#/ that has windows on it (Win 8.1)

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Corgano
Posts: 4
Joined: 16 May 2015, 02:36

Cannot find dev/sda#/ that has windows on it (Win 8.1)

Postby Corgano » 16 May 2015, 02:42

First post, sorry if wrong section, etc.

I work for a liquadation company, and we sometimes get laptops that customers return. My job is to take the laptops, remove passwords, and erase all data / factory reset the device. Among them is a windows 8.1 Surface Pro 3 from microsoft. I was able to get it to boot system rescue cd and get it all started up.

My problem is I cannot find the SAM file. ntfs-3g /dev/sda1/ contains folders "Recover" and "System Information". /dev/sda5/ contains folders "Recovery" and "System information". All other "sda#" are empty. How do I find the SAM file to use chntpw on?

Also note, this is not the first windows 8.1 laptop I needed to clean a password from. Most HP's have the windows at /sda4/, and systemrescuecd works perfectly for them.

gernot
Posts: 1126
Joined: 07 Apr 2010, 16:19

Re: Cannot find dev/sda#/ that has windows on it (Win 8.1)

Postby gernot » 16 May 2015, 05:36

first try to list all partitions:
fsarchiver probe

Then check for unused space on the HD, maybe a erased partition. (gparted,fdisk gfdisk)
Use testdisk to recover the partition table.

It is also possible that the former user erased the data blocks of the windows partition.
photorec can search for well known file headers in any device.

Gernot

Corgano
Posts: 4
Joined: 16 May 2015, 02:36

Re: Cannot find dev/sda#/ that has windows on it (Win 8.1)

Postby Corgano » 21 May 2015, 19:31

I'm not completely understanding what you are saying...

I know the windows 8.1 is there, I can start the computer and windows 8 starts up. How come I cannot find it with ntfs-3g?

fsarchiver probe gives me this

Code: Select all

Disk / sda    Name / SAMSUNG M2MTE128    Size / 119.24 GB

Device    Filesys    Label        Size
loop0     squashfs   unknown      310 MB
sda1      NTFS       windows RE   350 MB
sda2      vfat       System       200 MB
sda3      unknown    unknown      120 MB
sda4      unknown    unknown      113.4 GB
sda5      ntfs       recovery ima 5.18 GB


Due to size, windows MUST be sda4, however it cannot find windows on it.

gernot
Posts: 1126
Joined: 07 Apr 2010, 16:19

Re: Cannot find dev/sda#/ that has windows on it (Win 8.1)

Postby gernot » 21 May 2015, 19:54

Yes, look like sda4 is the Win partition in a gpt partitiontable.
You boot only the small system partition.

But it looks like the owner destroyed the content, the partitiontable is bad or is encrypted.

You can use photorec to check for files in sda4.

You can try to recover the delivery state from the recovery partition (with a boot hotkey).

Gernot

Corgano
Posts: 4
Joined: 16 May 2015, 02:36

Re: Cannot find dev/sda#/ that has windows on it (Win 8.1)

Postby Corgano » 21 May 2015, 20:03

I an still boot to windows, just not log in. The partition should be fine.

Sometimes when I boot, IT shows a "Bitlocker Recovery Screen". It looks like it's encrypted... anything I can do to decrypt it?

gernot
Posts: 1126
Joined: 07 Apr 2010, 16:19

Re: Cannot find dev/sda#/ that has windows on it (Win 8.1)

Postby gernot » 21 May 2015, 20:11

Boot Windows and check the data storage.
May be you see only the system partition.

Gernot

Corgano
Posts: 4
Joined: 16 May 2015, 02:36

Re: Cannot find dev/sda#/ that has windows on it (Win 8.1)

Postby Corgano » 23 May 2015, 02:37

Can I do that without logging in? If so, how?

gernot
Posts: 1126
Joined: 07 Apr 2010, 16:19

Re: Cannot find dev/sda#/ that has windows on it (Win 8.1)

Postby gernot » 23 May 2015, 10:04

No you have to log in .

Check which kind of data are on /dev/sda4

If there are only zeros the partition is erased. (test with hexdump)
If there are files try testdisk to find the correct partition location (test with photorec)
If you find random data the partition is encrypted or overwritten -> install new.

Gernot


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