Data Recovery.



  • So...ahem...what do you all do when you delete the wrong hard drive partition?  Not that I did that...obviously, I'm not that dumb.  I mean, who do you think I am?  Some kind of idiot would would be so careless as to delete all of his documents and photos?  Please!  What?  Leave me alone!  GO AWAY!

     

     

     

     

    (I'm not dumb)

     

    Seriously:

    An ass-clown friend of mine managed to infect my computer with all manner of malware.  After fighting with it for awhile, I decided to do a format and reinstall of Windows XP, seeing as how I hadn't done that in a couple of years.  I have several drives.  I figured I'd just back up the stuff on my C drive, format it, and reinstall Windows XP.  Thing is, my C drive is a SATA drive, and the Windows Setup utility didn't recognize it ( I later figured out that I should have told the Windows Setup utility to use some drivers off of a floppy I got with the computer).  It did however recognize my external USB drive, and it listed the USB drive as the C drive.  I wasn't paying enough attention to realize that the size of the drive was different, so I told the Windows Setup utility to delete the partition.  When I tried installing Windows XP on the newly partitioned drive, I got some error about my computer not recognizing my start up drive or something (it was late and I should have been asleep, so I don't remember exactly).  So I decided to just restart and go to bed.  Surprisingly, Windows XP booted up!  It was only then that I realized that I had deleted the wrong partition.

    I don't know very much about data recovery, but it seems to me that it should be fairly easy to get the data off of the drive, seeing as how I didn't burn it or drown it or kick it or format it or anything like.  Am I right?  Or is the situation hopeless?

    I'd be willing to pay for the right tool/service, but of course, the cheaper the better.  Any suggestions?



  • Take a look at this post:  http://forums.worsethanfailure.com/forums/thread/117358.aspx

    Was your drive FAT32 or NTFS? 



  • @skippy said:

    Take a look at this post:  http://forums.worsethanfailure.com/forums/thread/117358.aspx

    Was your drive FAT32 or NTFS? 

    Ahhh, I searched around a little bit on this forum but not on the coding related forum.  Thanks for pointed me to that thread.

    My drive was NTFS before I decided to go deleting partitions all willy-nilly.

     



  • If you have merely deleted the partition, this does not touch the filesystem contained within it - if you create a "new" partition in exactly the same place and with exactly the same size, your old filesystem would still be there.

    If you have installed Windows into the space where your partition was, forget it. Your data is gone beyond the reach of all reasonable recovery methods.
     



  • @asuffield said:

    If you have merely deleted the partition, this does not touch the filesystem contained within it - if you create a "new" partition in exactly the same place and with exactly the same size, your old filesystem would still be there.

    If you have installed Windows into the space where your partition was, forget it. Your data is gone beyond the reach of all reasonable recovery methods.

    And what if I deleted an NTFS partition and then created a new, smaller FAT32 partition?  crosses fingers



  • did you create the new partition on top of where the old partition was? 

     If you know the exact starting address and size of your old partition you can get it back assuming you haven't corrupted the filesystem in some way.  If you created a FAT32 partition on top of it that was smaller you might still be in luck but I wouldn't bet on it.  Still, without knowing the exact starting address and size/ending address on the drive you are screwed.
     



  • @UncleMidriff said:

    @asuffield said:

    If you have merely deleted the partition, this does not touch the filesystem contained within it - if you create a "new" partition in exactly the same place and with exactly the same size, your old filesystem would still be there.

    If you have installed Windows into the space where your partition was, forget it. Your data is gone beyond the reach of all reasonable recovery methods.

    And what if I deleted an NTFS partition and then created a new, smaller FAT32 partition?  crosses fingers

    If you created a filesystem in there (windows likes to call this 'formatting') then it will be difficult to recover, although most of the data is still present if your new filesystem is empty. A data recovery company should be able to do this for a 'relatively' small charge. I'm not aware of any tools for reconstructing NTFS filesystems automatically. You've smashed the filesystem headers and maybe the root directory, but all the files and most of the directories should still be in there.
     



  • I ended up using the NTFS version of GetDataBack from Runtime Software (http://www.runtime.org/gdb.htm).  It worked like magics.

    It scanned the drive for a few hours and then gave me a complete list of the folders and files it found.  It even let me preview the files in order to make sure that they were actually recoverable.  I couldn't copy them over to another drive until I registered the product, so I did that.  It cost about $80.  That's a small price to pay not to have a wife who wants to kill you five different ways because you lost all the digital photos from the last 3 years.

    Of course, after I get all the data off of that drive, I'll be backing it up to about 500 other hard drives...I've learned my lesson.

    Anyway, as near as I can tell, I've got nearly 100% of my data back.  I'm assuming that a few files got lost here and there, but I haven't discovered anything horrible yet.  Of course, it'd take awhile to check every file on a 160GB drive, but for now, I'm extremely happy/relieved.



  • @UncleMidriff said:

    I ended up using the NTFS version of GetDataBack from Runtime Software (http://www.runtime.org/gdb.htm).

    New one on me. Duly bookmarked. Not surprised it costs so much, it's incredibly hard to get this working on NTFS.

     

    Anyway, as near as I can tell, I've got nearly 100% of my data back.  I'm assuming that a few files got lost here and there, but I haven't discovered anything horrible yet.  Of course, it'd take awhile to check every file on a 160GB drive, but for now, I'm extremely happy/relieved.

    If it got anything, it should have everything. Creating a FAT filesystem writes only a few kilobytes at the start of the disk, and NTFS doesn't store any files there (just filesystem headers, the MFT, and some miscellaneous housekeeping stuff). Nothing but directories should have sustained damage from losing that lot, and probably only the root.



  • Ugh, I did this when I was at Uni by following windows 2000's recommendation to upgrade my file system to NTFS. Being a student using the cheapest computer imaginable (An old Celeron I think it was) my system wasn't that reliable to begin with and after switching to NTFS it decided it was going to randomly lock up every 15-60 minutes. Could windows 2000 convert the HD back to FAT32? Of course not, why on earth would you want to do that? Could Partition Magic? Of course it can, according to it's help file. About halfway through the conversion back Partition Magic dies leaving my data in tiny smouldering pieces. Fortunately I'd handed all the course work on the drive in already, but I lost a sweet Uridium clone I'd just finished forever... I ended up just having to give up on the data, I assumed after my rather amateurish efforts everything would be hideously trashed anyways...

    I was awful as a student, another one happened when I tried to show my friend how to use an FTP program and somehow accidentally managed to move C:\windows out of the root directory to somewhere else. Windows 98 got amazingly upset, amazingly quickly. The dos copy command didn't support copying long filenames, so it was no help and I didn't know enough DOS to find anything else. Then Windows 98 refused to install again on grounds that it was already installed (stupid idiot-proofing), so I had to install windows 95, then reinstall windows 98 and then, as quickly as I could while Win98 was running, copy the old windows directory back over the top of the fresh one. Shockingly this actually worked, and apart from the fact that it would spew some rather odd error messages on boot up, all was well again \o/

    Not that this answers your question in any way, of course...



  • @UncleMidriff said:

    Anyway, as near as I can tell, I've got nearly 100% of my data back.  I'm assuming that a few files got lost here and there, but I haven't discovered anything horrible yet.  Of course, it'd take awhile to check every file on a 160GB drive, but for now, I'm extremely happy/relieved.

    I'm glad it worked for ya, I used it once when I accidentally deleted my entire music collection.

    I also used their RAID reconstructor a while back when my striped RAID died on me (that was a fun day.. stupid static shock plugging a usb drive).  I actually ended up getting about 110% of my data back (orphaned directory links that should have been deleted), so I suggest going through your directories and checking for things that stand out (ie.  search for files not ending in .mp3 in your music folder, .jpg/.raw in your photo album, etc).  You'll most likely find a few extra goodies.



  • @UncleMidriff said:

    I ended up using the NTFS version of GetDataBack from Runtime Software (http://www.runtime.org/gdb.htm).  It worked like magics.

    Glad you got it sorted. GetDataBack is well worth it's money I recon. 

    @UncleMidriff said:

    Of course, after I get all the data off of that drive, I'll be backing it up to about 500 other hard drives...I've learned my lesson.

    I have been using MirrorFolder[1] for a couple of months now, and for now I am rather pleased with it. I like the fact that I don't have to start any batch jobs or leave my computer on at certain times, since it maintains a real time software mirror; It's just maintains itself after configuration, so I don't have to worry about it. I have it mirror to a network share. The price is rather decent as well in my opinion.

     

    [1] http://www.techsoftpl.com/backup/ 



  • Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery Software helpful in the following cases, recovering data from formated hard drive, file directory deletion, software malfunction, viruses or even sabotage. It works for both FAT & NTFS file system, also provides partition recovery from FAT 16, FAT 32, vFAT, NTFS & NTFS5 file system.

    Stellar Phoenix is powered by RAW file recovery which recognizes & recovers more than 300 file types including documents, spreadsheets, web content & images. A demo version can be downloaded from:http://www.stellarinfo.com/partition-recovery.htm Demo shows the preview of the lost data.

    Hope it you help you in recovering your lost data from formatted drive.  

     



  • I'm a student worker at my uni, and, as it happens, the data recovery 'specialist' for On Site Support.  I tend to use dd_rescue on Linux or OS X to create an image of the drive, then dump it back to a known good drive, then run GetDataBack for NTFS or FAT32 and Data Rescue II for HFS+ (OS X partitions). 


Log in to reply
 

Looks like your connection to What the Daily WTF? was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.