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How do you recover a deleted partition on a hard drive?

MatTheCat

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#1
I was putting together my mothers new PC (mainly my old components) and decided that her hardrives were a mess and that I was going to merge the partitions.

On one the drives, I deleted and formatted partition B, and tried to merge it with partition A, simply by extending partition A to encompass the remaining capacity on the physical drive. Much to my horror however, the end result was that the whole of the physical drive was rendered into 500GB of 'Unallocated Space'.

There was lots of very important files on that hard-drive and losing them would be totally out of the question.

Does anyone know how to go about recovering a deleted partition?
 
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#2
1) Make sure to disconnect the drive. The system using the "unallocated" sectors as a paging file will bork your data. Once reconnected make sure paging is off on that disk.
2) Follow the linked instructions from MS:http://support.microsoft.com/kb/245725
3) Use google in the future



* Instructions apply to newer OSs, not just the one listed.
 

MatTheCat

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#3
1) Make sure to disconnect the drive. The system using the "unallocated" sectors as a paging file will bork your data. Once reconnected make sure paging is off on that disk.
2) Follow the linked instructions from MS:http://support.microsoft.com/kb/245725
3) Use google in the future



* Instructions apply to newer OSs, not just the one listed.
I did use google and the products of my google search took me to a freeware program....and when I tried to run it, several windows popped up declaring incompatibility and my mothers PC spzzed up and after that, Windows wouldnt come on.....she is probably still sitting reinstalling windows on it as I type.
 
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#4
Then a general tip. Use the search term, followed by msdn. Ie "recovering deleted partition, msdn." The MSDN is the Microsoft Developers Network, and they have 99% of the usefull answers whenever you have a windows related question.

Additionally, free programs are russian roulette. Always check twice before pulling the trigger.
 
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#5
I have used a few not free solutions. Most recently GetDataBack for NTFS, and it is the first software I have tried that retains folder and file naming conventions. Worked EXCELLENt for me.

It is also extremely simple to use.

there may be good freeware solutions but I am not aware of them
 
T

twilyth

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#6
Is this an internal or external drive? If it is external on a USB connection, disconnect, count to 5, reconnect. I get this error all of the time with an external USB3 dock.

Otherwise, I would reboot. Unless this was the boot drive, Windows shouldn't have lost track of the the first partition - not completely. I could be wrong about that but I don't think so. Do a cold boot if necessary.

In the worst case, check out GetDataBack for NTFS. I think this is still the premier recovery tool, but my information is dated. They have a free demo. Hopefully that will tell you if it can help before you buy it.

FYI, I'm assuming that when you say "A" you mean partition 0 and "B" is partition 1.
 
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#8
Try this, it works... it is open source...
TestDisk, Data Recovery

Quote from site:
TestDisk is powerful free data recovery software! It was primarily designed to help recover lost partitions and/or make non-booting disks bootable again when these symptoms are caused by faulty software, certain types of viruses or human error (such as accidentally deleting a Partition Table). Partition table recovery using TestDisk is really easy.

TestDisk can
Fix partition table, recover deleted partition
Recover FAT32 boot sector from its backup
Rebuild FAT12/FAT16/FAT32 boot sector
Fix FAT tables
Rebuild NTFS boot sector
Recover NTFS boot sector from its backup
Fix MFT using MFT mirror
Locate ext2/ext3/ext4 Backup SuperBlock
Undelete files from FAT, exFAT, NTFS and ext2 filesystem
Copy files from deleted FAT, exFAT, NTFS and ext2/ext3/ext4 partitions.
 
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#11
Since when can you use unallocated space for a paging file?
It was my, perhaps incorrect understanding, that the OP wanted to make on large partition out of two. I had assumed that, with the attempt to destroy then reallocate the extra partition, the OP might have formatted it into one drive as much as they might have had completely unallocated space.

Fearing this, I recommended the most cautious route. Caution may not have been explicitly necessary, as such what I recommended was not correct. On the other hand, I've dealt with people that have said one thing out of ignorance and meant another. Unless you're in the room with the person, I've found that unnecessary caution is generally the best way to go.
 

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#12
I can't believe you tried this without making a backup first. Playing around with partitioning tools is dangerous and you need to know what you're doing. Practice on a spare HD first in future.

You've had some good suggestions for data recovery here, but there's no guarantee you'll get it back, good luck. And make those backups next time.
 
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#13
No-one's mentioned Recuva? I've used it for this exact scenario many times. Well, I haven't deleted partitions; but windows has randomly said to me "this partition is not format. Format it now?" on a prefectly working HDD.

You can download the free version of Recuva from here. Recuva is made by the same guys that make CCleaner.

You have to activate and format the partition first, so it's usable, and therefore "readable". Just do a quick format on it and then run Recuva. Easy as that.
 
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#14
One more program i find very useful is Handy Recovery. This thing can recover files from a Disk that you deleted partitions and done some very bad shit on it. I used this program many times for some friends and it never let me down yet :b
 
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#15
Anyone still use Spinrite6
 
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#16
Anyone still use Spinrite6
I use Spinrite, don't know what version number though. AFAIK it just sorts bad sectors, it doesn't recover deleted data but I could be wrong.