I did an oopsie and now im trying to undo it.
-I had a dual boot Win10 Win7 laptop, But since Win10 didn't have all the drivers i needed Win7 was my main OS.
-After the January 2020 SSU the Win7 partition went into an irrecoverable bootloop. But the Recovery partition and system recovery tools of both Windows versions were broken.
-I used an old recovery disk to attempt a startup repair - to no avail.
This is went things started to go south.
-The recovery disk failed eventually and had no windows installation on it to begin with so it couldn't be used for a "Repair Install".
-Since i had no installation media i tried downloading an iso but windows linked those to product keys, OEM product keys dont work, and support could not help since the win7 iso shouldnt even have been online any more since support ended.
-I had a set of recovery disks from the OEM, these however start an OEM recovery where "Repair Install" is not available, only something that would delete all data. I didn't want this.
-I could open a console and trying to fix the recovery partitions i followed a guide https://neosmart.net/wiki/fix-mbr/ that said to do
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-This is where i first messed up as i tried executing code from that guide i didnt know the exact effects of. The
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bootsect /nt60 SYS /mbr
THE BIG MISTAKE:
Still in the command line of the OEM recovery disk i managed to find an executable that was something along the lines of "windows installation manager". Thinking that this could give the option to do a repair install unlike the OEM software i executed it.
Unfortunately instead it started with "formatting system drive".
I immediately closed the console executing the code but it was too late. The former Win7 drive was now completely empty.
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chkdsk /f /r
This was the only thing i executed on the partition before now and i didn't want to risk damaging anything so i came here immediately. TestDisks partition recovery says that the hard disk is too small for recovery of a partition... which is unsurprising given that both ~500GB partitions were 90% full.
However i'm unsure if it's even trying to recover the right thing, as it would only need 435GB extra for recovery while the formatted partition was 510GB.
I have a 1TB external HDD available on loan for a week, an old parted magic thingie with internet connection currently booted on a ramdisk, with TestDisk installed, and endless time thanks to the covid lockdown. The only time constraint is that i might die of boredom.
1) I need to recover all data from the seemingly empty 500GB Win7 partition. This is quite important as i only have backups of the most vital things and lots of work and game files are on there.
2) I would like to back up the entire Win10 partition and all the other small partitions bit-perfectly so they can be put back later. This should probably be the first step because, while the data on these partitions is just stuff that can be downloaded again or isnt working, it would be an absolute hassle to have to download that much again or lose some stuff that i cant get back, and for now everything on them is still accessible. I dont want to risk that changing.
3) I would very much like to format the entire disk to let the OEM installer make new partitions as it pleases. (Or if that doesn't work let the OEM installer reinstall on the original HDD that i had taken out years ago and then copy the partitions from that and rebuild the mbr.)
4) After all this i would also quite like to make the entirely untouched Win10 partition bootable again.
What do i do now?