Windows 10 failed update hosed my system

How to use TestDisk to recover lost partition
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Posts: 3
Joined: 31 Jul 2019, 03:53

Windows 10 failed update hosed my system

#1 Post by dhman »

I returned home recently after a weekend away to discover that my PC had attempted and failed to install a Windows 10 update. This had happened before in the past but we were always able to revert to the previous version of Windows. Not this time though. None of the standard or advanced recovery options were able to restore my previous OS (I did not try any destructive options that would have caused data loss. The PC was stuck in recovery mode and the internal HD was now showing RAW. After doing some research I created a Gparted Live bootable USB drive that included testdisk. I followed the instructions for analyzing the HD and received the following

(see attachments)

When I selected the partitions I was able to see directories but not the files. Total rookie here so any pointers on what I should do next are appreciated. Thanks!
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Re: Windows 10 failed update hosed my system

#2 Post by cgrenier »

When running TestDisk, go in the Advanced menu and choose List. Can you see your files ?
If necessary, there is a chapter in about filesystem repair.

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Joined: 31 Jul 2019, 03:53

Re: Windows 10 failed update hosed my system

#3 Post by dhman »

Thank you for your reply. No, when I choose the main partition and try to list files I see directories but not files. For instance I can see the Users\Dad\Documents folder but no files in it. I did read the chapter you suggested prior to posting, but most of the entries I saw there had to do with repairing the Boot record and this was not reported as damaged by testdisk. When the system boots now, it boots into Windows recovery mode, and none of the standard or advanced troubleshooting options restore the computer to the previous version. I am treading very cautiously because I do not want to do something out of ignorance that will destroy the file system. If I can provide more details that would be helpful, just let me know. Thanks again for your help.

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Joined: 31 Jul 2019, 03:53

Re: Windows 10 failed update hosed my system

#4 Post by dhman »

Here is a screenshot of what I see when I choose Advanced and then List for the main partition, and another screenshot of the Documents directory that would normally have files in it. I will gladly try anything you suggest but did not want to proceed blindly. Thank you again for your help, and your awesome set of tools.
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Re: Windows 10 failed update hosed my system

#5 Post by recuperation »

Check out the folders found.000 and found.001 if you find anything in there that you miss.
Remember the number and content of the partitions before the failure.
Check out if you can see all partitions that you expect to see, otherwise run deep seach.
Check out the content of each partition.

After writing the partition table do not boot the machine because that will cause write operations on your target partition that could overwrite unrecovered data.

After writing the partition table use photorec to search in the unused space of that partition in question.

Figure out what you are targetting at:
Getting the system back to work or rather recovery of personal data?

Running the chkdsk command from an external windows machine that you attach your failing drive to might cause the reappearance of lost files.

Having the folders on the drive suggests running smartmontools or Crystaldiskinfo from an external system trying to gather info about the health status of your drive.

Using ddrescue to duplicate your drive/partition is a good thing to do before you might mess things up.