Recover exFat file system

How to use TestDisk to recover lost partition
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Posts: 2
Joined: 15 Dec 2012, 15:53

Recover exFat file system

#1 Post by Wandye »

Alright. I will try to resume the story here. Sorry if it's too long... I'm desperate

I use a GUID partition table that looks like this :

Basically I tried to install Fedora (do to some school work on programming) on a 24GB free space I had left for it when I created the partitions. During the installation I chose not to install the bootloader (I already use one called Chimera to get between my Mac and Windows). After reboot I could not see any new OS on the list. So I chose Windows but it got stuck on a black screen with a white blinking underscore, nothing happened for a while. And my Windows 7 DVD didn't fix it, because it couldn't recognize any installed OS..

After that is where things get really nasty. I started to find fixes on my own without much knowledge and just doing anything I found on the internet.

I pulled out a GParted Live CD to use some commands I thought I was familiar with (like testdisk, gdisk, fsck
and some others). Basically I did so many things that I can't remember now. I do remember one thing though which was that I, for some reason stupid reason I still don't know, formatted my 500GB Files partition (originally formatted as exFat) to ext2 by using fsck (because it only supports ext2-4 if I'm correct).

Recent attempt was to try re-installing Windows 7 over my installation so I didn't lose my files and could use a software on Windows. BUT (I realized this after the mistake) as the DVD couldn't recognize any OS it just did a clean install over my files without me being given any warnings...

Anyway, I have access to most of my files using recovery softwares on my new Windows 7 installation. But the problem is with the 500GB exFat (now ext2, yeah it says Unknown but other softwares show ext2) partition which has around 400GB of movies, games and very valuable files. The software also can recover these just not with the original directories or file names (probably because of the wrong file system), and it would suck very much having to get my files this way.

So I would like to know, if you have gotten this far into my sad story, what do you recommend me doing? I would really like to get back the correct file system to be able to recover my files with their correct directory and names.

Thanks in advance.

NOTE: I did try a Deep Search using Testdisk, it found alot of partitions (like 10+) and also 2 partition on the same sector as the partition I'm trying to recover, but they are also ext2 and not the original exFat.

Another thing is that Testdisk shows the partition with Bad Boot Sector and Bad Backup Sector.

Posts: 2
Joined: 15 Dec 2012, 15:53

Re: Recover exFat file system

#2 Post by Wandye »

Well I've used 6 different Data Recovery Softwares, all of them show my files (some more than others). But the problem is that somehow I destroyed the file system, which is why the results are always as RAW files and not with their orginal directories.