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How to use TestDisk to recover lost partition
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momefarley
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Help with damaged disk

#1 Postby momefarley » 09 Apr 2012, 03:14

My best friend dropped her netbook (no DVD/CD drive!), and now Windows won't load. No $$ to buy a new laptop now. I'm her "tech support", and I'm trying to figure out how to restore as much as possible. TestDisk worked great for me to get all her personal files off of the drive. I have them copied onto my (BootCamp) PC drive. So that's taken care of... (I borrowed a hard drive enclosure and can connect it via USB to my computer)

Now I'm trying to figure out how I can possibly get the files off of it for restoring the original software. I should be able to do this if I could access the drive at startup. It acts like it's going to load, but never completes loading...

Here is what I get after the Analyze screen:Image
The next screen says Structure: Ok. for all the partitions too.
What is this telling me? Please try to explain in only moderately technical language - I don't know much of any programming language....

I got the personal files out of Partition 2 - that one looks like the normal Windows file structure to me.

Here are the files of partition 1:Image

And here are the files of partition 3:Image

I created an image of partitions 1 and 3 on my hard drive (can also copy if that works better), and I'm wondering if I could make a bootable USB drive (have a spare to use) with the original software on it so I could restore the OS and other software that came with the computer. But I'm totally at a loss as to how to go about it from here.

HELP??!!! :(

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Fiona
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Re: Help with damaged disk

#2 Postby Fiona » 09 Apr 2012, 14:01

You should use your borrowed hard drive enclosure.
If you confirmed at Quick Search, you should see your partitions green colored.
Just check an appropriate partition where you want to boot from.
Use your left or right arrow key on your keyboard to set an appropriate partition (where you want to boot from) to * (Star).
It makes your partition active and bootable.
Then you must write your complete partition structur at Write in TestDisk.

momefarley
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Re: Help with damaged disk

#3 Postby momefarley » 09 Apr 2012, 22:17

OK. The first part all makes sense to me. But I'm not understanding or following this part:
Fiona wrote:Then you must write your complete partition structure at Write in TestDisk.

Can you explain in more detail?

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remy
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Re: Help with damaged disk

#4 Postby remy » 10 Apr 2012, 12:45

After having done a quicksearch, you should have the good partitions in green. With the keyboard arrows you are able to go on one partition or another (Up/Down) and change their status (Left/Right) from [D=Deleted | L=logical | P=primary | *=Primary bootable]

Put the one you want to boot in "*", then you select "Continue" and in the next screen you'll have choice between [deepersearch] [quit] or [write].
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momefarley
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Re: Help with damaged disk

#5 Postby momefarley » 10 Apr 2012, 12:54

Thanks, remy! I understand that part easily - I'd looked at that before. Plus you explain it so clearly!

But I really have no clue as to what Fiona was referring to with writing the complete partition structure at Write. And it is stated that I MUST do this... So I don't want to try the first part without understanding the last...

Can you help me?

momefarley
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Re: Help with damaged disk

#6 Postby momefarley » 10 Apr 2012, 16:09

OK, what I think you both mean is that after I set which one is to be booted from, then I must choose "Write" at the next menu or two in order for it to actually happen.

I did that - setting it to boot from the hidden HDDRECOVERY partition. It went a long way through the recovery process, but then hung again.

I think I have a physically bad drive.

What I think I would like to do is know how to copy that recovery partition to a bootable USB drive (I have one I can use - but have to format it from scratch - using Windows 7). Then we can get a new hard drive, and I can use that USB drive to restore the original software, I hope. Or could I just copy the whole partition, and then make a new partition on the new drive and put that in it and it would restore...
Of course, I really don't know how to accomplish this copying...
Help???

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remy
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Re: Help with damaged disk

#7 Postby remy » 10 Apr 2012, 18:04

To duplicate the partition you may use testdisk or with linux cli tools like dd or ddrescue. But I'm not expert with windows and really don't know if it could allow you to reinstall.

Perhaps it would be easier to copy the whole disk (MBR and partitions) to another disk same size or bigger, and then repair this one with testdisk...
J'ai pour habitude d'aller au bout de l'aide que j'apporte. Si vous pensez que je vous ai abandonné, et que je ne l'ai pas fait explicitement, c'est que votre message est enfoui avec d'autres. Relancez-moi (modérément) par mail.

momefarley
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Re: Help with damaged disk

#8 Postby momefarley » 10 Apr 2012, 18:24

remy wrote:Perhaps it would be easier to copy the whole disk (MBR and partitions) to another disk same size or bigger, and then repair this one with testdisk...


I'm working on ways to copy the partition i need for reinstalling software. Do I need to preserve the MBR?? If I can accomplish this (and can wipe this drive clean), how would I use TestDisk to repair this drive??

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Fiona
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Re: Help with damaged disk

#9 Postby Fiona » 10 Apr 2012, 18:57

I think I have a physically bad drive.

You could check the status of your disk using CrystalDiskInfo. It also should supports USB.
http://crystalmark.info/software/Crysta ... dex-e.html
I did that - setting it to boot from the hidden HDDRECOVERY partition. It went a long way through the recovery process, but then hung again.

TestDisk probably after Quick Search displays your partitions as normal and not as Windows RE(store) and hidden anymore.
The Problem in this case is, Windows would recognize your partitions and changes drive letter.
So it will not boot.

To solve the problem, I'd need a screenshot like your partitions are recognized after Quick Search (if your partitions are green colored).
Then I'd be able to write instructions to have a try get your system bootable.

Fiona

momefarley
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Joined: 09 Apr 2012, 00:18

Re: Help with damaged disk

#10 Postby momefarley » 10 Apr 2012, 21:12

Fiona wrote:To solve the problem, I'd need a screenshot like your partitions are recognized after Quick Search (if your partitions are green colored).
Then I'd be able to write instructions to have a try get your system bootable.


Thank you so much for all your help with this.

Using EaseUS Disk Copy, I've copied the HDDRecovery hidden partition to another hard drive (I made a partition on an old storage drive). So I think I have backed up all important data from this drive...

Here are screenshots for you - I'm not sure just what each one means...
Crystal Disk report on the drive:Image

There are now more errors listed with TestDisk:Image

And I get an extra screen after choosing Quick Search and before getting to the one with the green:Image

Here's the screen with the green listing:Image

So where do I go from here????
THANKS!!!


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