Please help my save my HDD! Topic is solved

How to use TestDisk to recover lost partition
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Harry
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Joined: 02 Nov 2012, 00:51

Please help my save my HDD!

#1 Post by Harry » 02 Nov 2012, 00:55

My laptop had a blue screen of death then started prompting me to 'reboot and select proper device' on startup. I was worried my HDD had died.

After calming down a bit I took the HDD out of the case, put it in an external enclosure, then plugged it into a desktop machine. It won't appear in My Computer, but I ran TestDisk and all my data appears to be there; however, it has a 'D' for deleted next to every partition (see attached image).

Having looked at the files on each bit, the main partition (C:) of the drive is identifiably the third one down and the second partition (D:) is the fourth bit - but what do I do now to restore the partitions, or if I can't do that is there a way at least to recover the data and transfer it to another drive?

I am already pushing the limits of what I am comfortable and familiar with here, to be frank. There is a lot of irreplacable stuff on this HDD, both work and personal, so I thought it best to ask for more informed opinions before proceeding and doing stuff like changing the partition types etc...

Any help or advice would be gratefully received! Thanks so much for this wonderful free software too :)

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dragonfly41
Posts: 65
Joined: 14 Sep 2012, 20:51

Re: Please help my save my HDD!

#2 Post by dragonfly41 » 02 Nov 2012, 11:06

Hopefully others such as Fiona/Christopher (testdisk developers) will chip in with advice.

You made a wise move to take out your suspect drive and place it in an enclosure to be recovered as an external drive.

Depending on how critical it is not to lose your data your next step should be to clone your drive contents into another drive of equal or greater size. There are tools for cloning drives.

But if you are taking the risk of trying to recover from this suspect drive without first cloning it then at the analysis stage you have reached you can change partition type to P=Primary. The D marked partition would (hopefully) then turn to a green colour. And then you should find your files by following the testdisk menu.

However you might be more comfortable using a GUI so I suggest that you download and try this free partition recovery tool to supplement testdisk.

http://www.easeus.com/resource/windows- ... covery.htm

If this doesn't help we can look at other options.

As soon as you have your drive back into shape back it up.

Harry
Posts: 2
Joined: 02 Nov 2012, 00:51

Re: Please help my save my HDD!  Topic is solved

#3 Post by Harry » 02 Nov 2012, 13:40

Thanks for your advice dragonfly41; I can change all the partition types to 'P' and it's all green and says OK, but is that correct or so I need to make one a * to boot from? It's confusing, I find little to no literature about the conventions and purposes of the P, L, E, * etc.

And don't worry, I will certainly back up my data as soon as I'm done!! :mrgreen: I have been travelling for 3 months and backing up was to be one of my first priorities upon getting home, but my laptop proceeded to die after a couple of days and before I got that chance!
dragonfly41 wrote:Hopefully others such as Fiona/Christopher (testdisk developers) will chip in with advice.

You made a wise move to take out your suspect drive and place it in an enclosure to be recovered as an external drive.

Depending on how critical it is not to lose your data your next step should be to clone your drive contents into another drive of equal or greater size. There are tools for cloning drives.

But if you are taking the risk of trying to recover from this suspect drive without first cloning it then at the analysis stage you have reached you can change partition type to P=Primary. The D marked partition would (hopefully) then turn to a green colour. And then you should find your files by following the testdisk menu.

However you might be more comfortable using a GUI so I suggest that you download and try this free partition recovery tool to supplement testdisk.

http://www.easeus.com/resource/windows- ... covery.htm

If this doesn't help we can look at other options.

As soon as you have your drive back into shape back it up.

dragonfly41
Posts: 65
Joined: 14 Sep 2012, 20:51

Re: Please help my save my HDD!

#4 Post by dragonfly41 » 02 Nov 2012, 14:07

Can you elaboate on what OS you are now running in your internal drive?

Is it windows or linux?

Does your PC BIOS allow you to boot up from a USB flash drive? This may be needed if advanced recovery is needed.

To answer your questions ...

"P" refers to Primary Partition
"L" refers to Logical Partition which will be in an "E" = Extended Partion.

I think that you only have Primary Partitions in your drive.
You can have four Primary Partitions but if you need more .. e,g, if you are creating a dual-boot configuration .. then you might find the need to use an Extended Partition which contains Logical Partitions. Windows can only boot up in a Primary Partition.

On the matter of boot up once you have restored your partitions another step is to repair your MBR.

When you get to the point that you have "green for go" on all partitions then you should be able to write your partition table at that point in testdisk menu. If you don't choose any options the partitions will revert to "D" (deleted) status.

I would again suggest Easus Partition Recovery to at least inspect your partitions status and get a second opinion.

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