Erased External ExFat Drive - not finding partition

How to use TestDisk to recover lost partition
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Erikvc
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Joined: 16 May 2015, 08:46

Erased External ExFat Drive - not finding partition

#1 Post by Erikvc » 16 May 2015, 08:57

I hope I'm posting this in the right please. If not, please let me know.

A few days a go I accidentally erased the wrong external hard drive using the Mac disk utility tool. The disk is empty and there is a new partition with a different name. I didn't write anything on the disk yet. I would like to restore the disk to find my files with filenames intact, but can't seem to find the files using testdisk.

When I run other programs I can see almost all of my files, so it looks like they are still there. The quick search couldn't find the deleted partition, only the current one. It's doing a deep search now for the last 22 hours and it's not even half finished. Should I let it finish the search or am I doing something wrong here? This is the result from halfway:

Disk /dev/rdisk3 - 1000 GB / 931 GiB - 1953458176 sectors
Analyse sector 682885120/1953458175: 00%


FAT12 1556595431 5190242366 3633646936
Invalid NTFS or EXFAT boot
0 D HPFS - NTFS 558472061 3585789623 3027317563
HPFS - NTFS 558472061 3585789623 3027317563
Invalid FAT boot sector
0 D FAT32 1379219530 3932626660 2553407131
FAT32 1379219530 3932626660 2553407131
Invalid NTFS or EXFAT boot
0 D HPFS - NTFS 1494949931 1734614059 239664129
HPFS - NTFS 1494949931 1734614059 239664129
check_FAT: can't read FAT boot sector
Invalid FAT boot sector
0 D FAT32 4298700828 7689588505 3390887678
HPFS - NTFS 1494949931 1734614059 239664129
Stop

Any advice would really be appreciated. Thanks!

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Fiona
Posts: 2836
Joined: 18 Feb 2012, 17:19
Location: Ludwigsburg/Stuttgart - Germany

Re: Erased External ExFat Drive - not finding partition

#2 Post by Fiona » 18 May 2015, 09:29

ExFAT is a kind of confusing.
It uses a NTFS-Partition but if you format it, the file system and boot sector are exFAT.
That's why your found partition will be listed as NTFS but at the bottom of the screen you'll get info about your boot sector and should be exFAT.
Currently exFAT boot sector repair is not available but if your boot sector or its backup are ok and you can list your files, you can copy them to another healthy disk or partition.
If your files are recovered you can consider to run chkdsk driveletter: /r to try to repair your file system.

Erikvc
Posts: 3
Joined: 16 May 2015, 08:46

Re: Erased External ExFat Drive - not finding partition

#3 Post by Erikvc » 18 May 2015, 09:51

Hi Fiona,
Thanks for your reply! It just finished scanning this morning. The results are attached to this message. I think the highlighted one should be my partition based on the size, but it's FAT 16. When I tried to do anything with the result it gave back te error: No partitions found. I checked my drives and noticed that the external drive was disconnected. Three days of scanning for nothing. Is there anything I can do without scanning for three days again?
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Fiona
Posts: 2836
Joined: 18 Feb 2012, 17:19
Location: Ludwigsburg/Stuttgart - Germany

Re: Erased External ExFat Drive - not finding partition

#4 Post by Fiona » 18 May 2015, 12:21

I assume that your FAT16 partition is not correct?
Would it be possible to check the first found partition?
Check the bottom of the screen, is there an exFAT boot sector displayed?
Can you list your files?

Fiona

Erikvc
Posts: 3
Joined: 16 May 2015, 08:46

Re: Erased External ExFat Drive - not finding partition

#5 Post by Erikvc » 18 May 2015, 12:34

I lost these results because the drive disconnected during the night. When I start testdisk now the only thing I can do is:

- select the drive: Disk /dev/rdisk3 - 1000 GB / 931 GiB
1953458176 sectors - sector size=512

Partition type should be Intel? Is that correct?

- Analyse:

Code: Select all

 Disk /dev/rdisk3 - 1000 GB / 931 GiB - 1953458176 sectors
Current partition structure:
     Partition                  Start        End    Size in sectors

 1 P HPFS - NTFS                    2 1953458175 1953458174

Warning: Bad starting sector (CHS and LBA don't match)
No partition is bootable
When I chose that partition it just says:

Code: Select all

Disk /dev/rdisk3 - 1000 GB / 931 GiB - 1953458176 sectors
     Partition               Start        End    Size in sectors
>* HPFS - NTFS                    2 1953458175 1953458174

Structure: Ok.  Use Up/Down Arrow keys to select partition.
Use Left/Right Arrow keys to CHANGE partition characteristics:
*=Primary bootable  P=Primary  L=Logical  E=Extended  D=Deleted
Keys A: add partition, L: load backup, T: change type, P: list files,
     Enter: to continue
exFAT, blocksize=131072, 1000 GB / 931 GiB
I think this is my current partition, not the deleted one. Anything I can do here to get the old partition back?

When I go to list files it only shows this:

Code: Select all

>-rwxr-xr-x     0     0      4096 29-Apr-2015 17:18 ._.Trashes
 drwxr-xr-x     0     0    131072 29-Apr-2015 17:18 .Trashes
 drwxr-xr-x     0     0    131072 15-May-2015 06:24 .fseventsd
 drwxr-xr-x     0     0    131072 29-Apr-2015 17:18 .Spotlight-V100

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Fiona
Posts: 2836
Joined: 18 Feb 2012, 17:19
Location: Ludwigsburg/Stuttgart - Germany

Re: Erased External ExFat Drive - not finding partition

#6 Post by Fiona » 19 May 2015, 05:55

It's recommended to finish Deeper Search.
A few days a go I accidentally erased the wrong external hard drive using the Mac disk utility tool. The disk is empty and there is a new partition with a different name.
Did you reformat your partition?
Also, your current partition contains already some data.
If you have reformatted your partition identically, it'll override your previous file system.
In case you need datarecovery software like photorec which reads underlying data ignoring the file system.

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