Advice please - stupidly overwrote partitions!

How to use TestDisk to recover lost partition
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Posts: 2
Joined: 11 Jul 2017, 21:40

Advice please - stupidly overwrote partitions!

#1 Post by ediflyer »

Any help much appreciated.

2TB USB3 external HDD - single partitions, I'm fairly sure it was formatted as NTFS.

Went to install Raspbian on to MicroSD card using Win32DiskImager. Unfortunately got distracted whilst doing so by a phone call and just clicked to proceed, forgetting that I still had my external HDD plugged in, as well as the microSD card.

Needless to say it had defaulted to the external HDD! I realised within a few seconds what had happened and stopped the process, however by this point it had already overwritten the partition setup to a new one with a FAT32 boot partition and a much larger Linux one.

Any ideas how recover my data? I ran a 'quick' scan (which took about 10h), then a deeper scan (which took about the same again) and only seemed to be offered the existing partitions.

I tried PhotoRec and it is getting some DSLR photos & videos back, but I've got a few VeraCrypt files on there too - from what I understand as they don't have a clear file header wouldn't be recoverable by PhotoRec, even as a custom filetype?

Any suggestions gratefully appreciated - perhaps any advanced options in TestDisk I'm missing??


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Re: Advice please - stupidly overwrote partitions!

#2 Post by cgrenier »

Try various disk geometry (ie 255 heads per cylinder and 63 sectors per head), it may help to locate the missing partition.

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Re: Advice please - stupidly overwrote partitions!

#3 Post by ediflyer »

Thanks for the reply, I tried doing that but it still seemed to get stuck on just seeing the new partition structure and not the old one.

I'm sure it was just my limitations rather than anything in TestDisk, but ultimately ended up going down the commerical software route - first couple of packages could't do anything but 3rd one seemed to correctly identify NTFS boot sector/backup MFT and showed the correct original directory structure - restore now in progress.