Can I recover partitions & data after doing this:

Discussion in 'Computers, Hardware, and Operating Systems' started by VK2AKG, Sep 16, 2019.

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  1. VK2AKG

    VK2AKG Ham Member QRZ Page


    I have a win7pro 32bit PC with a 2TB HDD which was partitioned as follows:

    P1 100MB system
    p2 312GB C: drive NTFS (windows and software partition)
    p3 390GB E: drive NTFS (mainly photos with a lesser mix of other stuff)
    p4 1TB B: drive NTFS (all sorts of data)

    As a result of a Microsoft update issue I decided to reinstall windows.

    Alas it would not allow me to reinstall Windows on C: drive

    I tried formatting C: drive, it still would not allow me to reinstall on C: drv

    I tried deleting The C: drive's partition and also the 100MB system partition
    then creating a new 300MB NTFS partiton for C: drive in that space which would
    have allowed ample room for the windows install software to create the 100MB
    system partition.

    Again windows would not allow me to install Win7pro on that new partition.

    At this time the old p3 = 390GB and p4 = 1TB partitions were still visible
    (running from the Win7pro install CD ).

    I removed the hard drive, installed Win7pro on a new 2TB disk then mounted the
    original disk intending to access the data on the p3 = 390GB and p4 = 1TB NTFS
    partitions of the old hard drive.

    Alas the entire old disk now appears as a single unformatted RAW partition NOTE:
    partitons p3 and p4 were untouched by me when running from the Win Install disk.

    Alas I "knew" I was only going to install to C: drive so I didn't do a new backup of
    my B: and E: drives before wreaking this havoc upon myself.


    1. Is it possible to recover the data on the previous partitions p3 and p4? If so how, with what tools?
    2. Why is it so?

  2. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    With all due respect, you SHOULD have backed up ALL data BEFORE you attempted a "clean" reinstall. Your data MAY be recoverable after a reinstall of the OS, but no guarantee. If you do not change ANY other drive parameters, the partitions MAY still exist. But no guarantee.

    I'm sorry for your problem(s.) Really. But too often I have clients (or former friends?:() who say I wanted to back up yesterday... provide.
    Without further, detailed info, that is all I can provide. Sometimes attempts to "retrieve" sensitive data actually results in further, often fatal, damage. I HOPE you eventually have a better outcome.
  3. VK2AKG

    VK2AKG Ham Member QRZ Page

    I would like to make a 1:1 image of the "departitioned" disk and work on a copy but I don't know how to do that when partitions are lost. Will DD running from Hiren's Boot Disk do this? Hints?

    I have searched online for partition recovery tools and found some making amazing claims - are you able to recommend a tool? If not, can you name any I should avoid (known to cause damage)?

    73 Frank vk2akg
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2019
  4. KT1F

    KT1F Ham Member QRZ Page

    Unfortunately your story doesn't sound promising and I don't have any magic answers but have you tried it back in exactly the same configuration as when those partitions were visible? i.e., same interface , cable etc? I think that means the "bad" disk back in its old position and booting on the Windows install disk. I guess there's just a small chance that there something weird with the interface hardware.
  5. VK2AKG

    VK2AKG Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm a bit concerned about booting from the Windows install CD as playing with that (and their updates KB4516655 & KB4516065) is what got me into this mess to begin with. I see that MS update KB2999226 happened today despite my having "Never check for updates (not recommended)" set since yesterday (a Microsoft Mystery).

    I will try another SATA cable in a different motherboard socket then look for a live distro to look from. If that doesn't work, I will wait a bit longer hoping someone with experience with partition recovery tools turns up.

    I've been thinking about buying for data recovery but would like to know if it's possible to recover data in my situation before I spend the money.

    Do you know whether I can clone the "departitioned" disk then repair the clone to recover the data to reduce the risk of my inexperience in these matters.

    73 Frank vk2akg
  6. W7UUU

    W7UUU Super Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    What I would try is "Linux on a USB stick" - Ubuntu is a good choice and easy to use even if you don't know Linux (it's very "windows-like"), or other similar Linux distro that can run from a USB. Launch the computer from the USB stick OS. It will probably run rather SLOW, but all you're after is trying to access the lost partitions.

    Boot from that USB, then try to "view" the internal hard drive in the computer. Chances are that Linux may well still be able to access the partitions and the data they contain. You would then use an external "clean" USB drive as the destination to copy all the files to safety.

    I've used this trick in the past with very good results in a similar situation...

    Good luck

    N5AVF and KK4NSF like this.
  7. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    The best thing to do , Is to use Hiren's Boot Disk and run Ghost.

    Make a ghost image of the complete disk, Then work on that copy. Saves from damaging the original.

    If you image the disk, It will include all partitions, Including the Win7 Hidden System Part.

    FDISK will let you see the partitions.

    Normally a system install is going to be installed on Drive 0, Part1. So the drive letter may or may not be C:

    Good Luck.
  8. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    That s certainly correct!

    I recently up(?) graded a Lenovo from VISTA to Win 8.1, and the (single) hard drive came out as "Drive H." Go figger.:confused: Then again, it WAS "Microshaft." :(:rolleyes:
  9. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Win 7 still rocks for me. :)

    I turned off updates years ago.

    You have to kill the update service, To keep updates from getting turned on again.

    MS is not going to do you any free favors on a OS that they are wanting to kill. :mad:
    KK4NSF and VE3CGA like this.
  10. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Haven't they wanted to do THAT since DOS 2.0?:confused::rolleyes:

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