Getting started with deleted partition recovery

How to use TestDisk to recover lost partition
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Posts: 2
Joined: 17 Sep 2012, 12:39

Getting started with deleted partition recovery

#1 Post by BBlaby »

Hello everybody,

To my great shock I managed to delete a partition with my most important data (mostly photos, videos and documents) and due to some complicating factors don't really even know how to get started on the recovery process.

The disk in question is Iomega external harddrive, which contains a Samsung Ecogreen 1,5Tb hard drive inside.
The disk was originally partitioned by a Mac and contained 2 partitions, one FAT32 (which had all the important data when the disaster happended) and one HFS partition, which was almost empty (and data of which is of no interest, as the whole thing happened when i wanted to delete that partition).

I was using the disk in the process of transfering all my files from an old mac to a new PC. To access the data on the HFS side I was using Macdrive, under 64bit Windows 7 Professional. When I was done emptying the larger HFS partition, I wanted to delete it, but managed to simultaneously delete the vital FAT32 partition with all the data I need. Currently Windows shows the whole HDD as unallocated space. I'm now trying to recover the partitions (or at least the FAT32 one) or as a second alternative recover the data.
However, I have the following problems:

1) I don't know which partition table was used on the disk, and TestDisk does not autodetect. I made an assumption EFI/GPT as I understood that's what Intel Macs mostly use, but I am not sure, and I don't know a way to check. Does running TestDisk in the wrong partition table mode risk destroying the data for good? Or is there a way to make sure?
As I'm writing this I have TestDisk running through the disk in EFI-GPT mode.

2) As said, I have already TestDisk running, and it says (at 22%) that it has found so far two HFS partitions. The problem is there was only one HFS partition on the disk (although the FAT32 partition was HFS before it was reformated to FAT32 for this operation, is this an indication of a problem or nothing to worry about.

3) I originally set TestDisk to run over right, as the process takes a whole lot of time. However, I forgot about the Windows Update, which ran some Windows updates and restarted the computer during the night, ruining the whole thing. Now with the second attempt, I think that the number of cylinders TestDisk is showing is less than originally. Again, is this normal, or did the abrupt restart somehow mess the process up (and if so, can it be fixed). Currently the program shows 182400 as the total number of cylinders it is going through.

Sorry about the probably dumb questions and a huge thank you for everybody willing to help. I'll gladly give more info if needed.

Posts: 2
Joined: 17 Sep 2012, 12:39

Re: Getting started with deleted partition recovery

#2 Post by BBlaby »

Some additional info, unfortunately I started the first scan before I found this forum and I don't have logging on (I'll switch it on if I do another one, but so as a screenshot, this is what I have so far:

As said I assumed GUID would be the right table, though I certainly am not sure about it.
Does this indicate I have some settings wrong, as the partition names are gibberish, there are way too many HFS partition and I'm getting the FAT related errors (and again, the fat partition is what I'm interested in).

Big thanks for anybody willing to help.