I am new to the forum and a computer novice and have come to seek help to recover my lost partitions and the data inside them.
Information regarding the machine I use:
It is a 10 year old Laptop with i3 early M series processor, 3 GB RAM and 300 GB HDD. The operating system on it was 'antiX-Frugal'. My HDD was partitioned from sda1 to sda7, if I can remember. There were 4 partitions with an extended partition among them.
How I lost the partitions:
I was working with Gparted to create partition table. I was under the notion that Gparted commits the selected action only when asked to but I was wrong. I chose msdos partition from 'Device' drop down menu. I got a warning that the entire disk will be erased, but I thought it will be only after I 'Apply the actions'. However that moment I chose to go ahead, the entire disk became 'Unallocated' to my terrible shock. I lost very important data compiled for nearly 10 years, which also contains some painstakingly accumulated educational research matter for my student son.
However, after regaining my composure and summing up sobriety, it came to my mind that it is possible to recover. Immediately I searched the web for related information. I read regarding Testdisk. However, I do not have the expertise and knowledge to use it properly to recover the lost partitions and data. I read about it and gathered information.
What I did after that:
I knew that if no new data is written to the disk and the disk is left without making any changes, the possibility of recovering is high. So I did not attempt recovery as I had no proper information to recover and so I had to acquire information to do so and I did not write to the disk also. So the disk is as it was when I lost the partitions and data. Further, I booted with a antiX live USB and installed 'Test disk' on it and analyzed the disk. Here below is the information I got from it.
Uploaded images: Then after that with deeper analysis I got this
The partition layout:
The large NTFS partition is at the beginning of the disk and the /home partition is at the end of the disk. The two separate ext4 partitions, one labeled as 'Virtual Machines' and the other labeled as 'antiX-Frugal' as shown in the above image are in the middle of the disk. The /home, swap & / (i.e. antiX-Frugal) partitions were on the extended partition at the end of the disk.
What I seek to do:
My main concern is recovering the study material in the form of text (Notepad, LO-Writer, PDF), images and videos on the large NTFS partition and the ext4 /home partition.
I am less concerned about the other partitions like the ext4 'Virtual Machines' and ext4 /dev/sda7 'antiX-Frugal' shown in the above image which are in the middle of the disk. I can reconstruct them though with pretty much hard work but I don't think I can regain the educational information accumulated over so many years. It is a lost trail of thoughts.
I realize, I made a big mistake by not backing up the data . For nearly a decade, I had taken care not to loose the data without backing up, but now this happened.
My main imminent queries:
- Testdisk says that the NTFS partition can't be recovered (3rd image). So is that the end of it? Are there any other ways of recovering the data on it? However, I tried to copy paste some small files to the live USB, which I was successful in doing. So I suppose there are still some hopes. I would continue experimenting through the night to recover as many files as possible.
- Can I paste the recovered files to the same erased disk and still recover the lost files or is it better to get another storage media to save the recovered files to keep the chances of recovering the lost files high?
- Is it possible to use another Laptop which has enough internal empty space on its HDD and use it as recovery space? If so how do I connect the two? Or do I have to purchase an external USB hard disk or something like it?
- Which are the web source links where a step by step guide is given regarding my specific case, if it is possible to recover the data?
Thank you & best regards to everybody