The harddisk seems too small!

How to use TestDisk to recover lost partition
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Posts: 1
Joined: 27 Feb 2013, 14:23

The harddisk seems too small!

#1 Post by ghola2k5 »

Hi - I had a USB drive with a bunch of data on it. The external enclosure failed, so I borrowed a USB > IDE adapter and plugged it in. The drive came up inactive and RAW. Obviously at this time I know the best thing to do at this point would have been to grab a copy of the disk before doing anything else (with dd for example).

Instead, I initialized the disk and threw a new partition on there so I could use Recuva to try to gather the data. Obviously that was a mistake. Photorec did a better job and I recovered much of the data.

I´d stil like to get the partition back if possible, though. That brought me to testdisk. I see the following error when running a deeper scan. I´m really interested in finding out if that HPFS - NTFS parition it lists is what I´m after. Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated:

TestDisk 6.13, Data Recovery Utility, November 2011
Christophe GRENIER <>

Disk /media/nabk/FreeAgent Drive/old.dd - 250 GB / 232 GiB - CHS 30402 255 63

The harddisk (250 GB / 232 GiB) seems too small! (< 2750 GB / 2561 GiB)
Check the harddisk size: HD jumpers settings, BIOS detection...

The following partitions can't be recovered:
Partition Start End Size in sectors
> HPFS - NTFS 99210 82 38 130994 123 22 510612528
FAT32 LBA 243107 18 39 334344 148 42 1465730599

[ Continue ]
261 GB / 243 GiB

Posts: 1
Joined: 24 Feb 2015, 16:47

Re: The harddisk seems too small!

#2 Post by richardvandestadt »

I have a problem that looks similar.

I connected a new disk (SSD, 128 GB), and when looking at the list of devices, I noticed drive H: of which, when clicked, the system (Win 8.1) said that it had to be formatted in order to be used, so I did a quick format. At that point, I realized that my external 500 GB backup disk was not listed among the drives. It used to be listed with a red bar, because it is almost full (The other disks I have in the system have a green bar, and indicate they're about half-full.

Turns out that somehow, the system mixed up the 500 GB drive and the new 128 GB SSD, and formatted the 500 GB drive, which now has a 127 GB partition on it...

TestDisk indicates that the drive seems to small (which isn't the case) but the numbers are not correct, so I guess what's happened with this disk (quick format on only part of the disk, I guess) leads to wrong conclusions. I wonder if there's a way TestDisk can be helpful to recover the data. Could it be that to restore the data on this disk, first the incorrect quick format should be undone (to set/get the original size of the disk correctly), and that only then the original index could be recreated?

In addition, I think the disk was formatted using FAT-32 (it is quite old Could it also be that the quick format (NTFS) has partly overwritten the

Before I found TestDisk, I tried other recovery tools and one seemed to find the old data (but would only restore 1 GB for free). It also turned out that it required a different disk to write the data too, where I was expecting the disk's index to 'just' be restored, and the laptop I ran this tool didn't have space for the restore.

Windows isn't very clear either, stating that it's 500 GB, but also that it is 127 GB.

Cheers, Richard.
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Re: The harddisk seems too small!

#3 Post by cgrenier »

Please go on next screen to see the results that TestDisk considers correct. A valid 500 Gb NTFS partition should be listed.