To start, this is similar but not the same to Accidentally did dd /dev/sda because I restarted my computer.

I was making a bootable usb, and when I went to clear the partitions of the usb, I did:

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdb count=1 bs=4096

It turns out that sdb was my main hard drive for this particular boot (I don't know why, forgot to check before Destroying Data)

I was running dual boot with 15G in linux (part. 3), ~275G in Windows (part. 2).

I already shutdown my computer unknowingly. When I boot, I get ThinkPad splash screen, then:

Initializing Intel boot agent
Initializing and establishing link...

PXE-E61: Media test failure, check cable
PXE-M0F: Exiting Intel boot agent.

Booting to a Kali live thumbdrive, fdisk -l gives:

Disk /dev/sda: 298.1 GiB, 320072933376 bytes, 120845300 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes

With no device list.

I would like to recover full working capability of my machine again, though I at least want my data if possible.

Let me know if any other information is needed. If you somehow haven't noticed yet, I'm a noob, so noob-friendly answers are appreciated. Thank you.


Repair grub

It should work to re-install / repair the bootloader grub.

Several methods are described at the following link,

Grub 2: Fixing a Broken System

If you find the 'manual' methods too difficult, you can try the Boot Repair method according to the following link,


Repair the partition table

But what about the partition table? Have you got any idea about it, some backup? If there is a GUID partition table, GPT, there is a backup partition table at the tail end of the drive. @oldfred gave us the following link,


Otherwise TestDisk is a good alternative, because you have only damaged a small part of the head end. See this link,

Scroll to 'Recover the partition table, file systems and/or file content'

Tools with a final checkpoint

In the future, please use a tool with a final checkpoint, when you create USB boot drives, for example 'Disks' alias gnome-disks or mkusb.

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