Just want to take the time to thank the maker of testdisk for creating this wonderful, wonderful and powerful program!!
I have 1.5TB external hard drive that I regularly use as a data disk for storing photos and stuff. I have a backup of this drive but somehow I got lazy and only backed up to 2 months ago.
I only have one NTFS partition for the entire disk and one day decided to attach it to my router with OpenWrt firmware as I would like to have it accessible 24/7 as a NAS.
I SSHed to my router and attempted to mount the HD. I don't know exactly what happened but OpenWrt thought the HD was empty?? and overwrote the existing partition with a new Linux partition. Needless to say when I plugged my HD back to my PC again the HD was no longer accessible.
I was in panic so googled " free partition recovery" and discovered testdisk. It was my first time using the product. I did the recommended steps ... Analyze, Quick Search,... Deeper Search and nothing. After spending 20 hrs scanning the drive testdisk did not find any partition worth recovering.
I had almost given up until I read this in the forum from the author cgrenier -> (Post #7) viewtopic.php?f=5&t=5903
I tried it -> Instead of Analyze, I tried "Advance" -> "Rebuild BS". Another 10 hrs scanning the disk and then I got a message something like "A valid boot sector required to activate NTFS partition"
Fortunately it also reported that although my MBR (Master Boot Record) was empty/corrupted my Backup MBR was OK. So I chose "Backup BR" to copy the Backup MBR to my Main MBR and Voila! Voila!Voila!Voila!Voila!Voila!Voila!Voila!
My HD which was not recognized by Windows 10 earlier suddenly came back to life!!! All my photos, documents and file from the last 17 years of my life stored on that precious HD was there like nothing happened!!
I even did a Scan HD from within Windows 10 and the HD passed with flying colors... absolutely no errors not even a clustered indexes not found ...
Anyway Thank you very very much Christophe for doing a great service of creating this software. I will soon be making a donation....
Also for anyone who have used the product, don't lose hope if the software does not find any partition even after a Deeper Search. In my case there were no other partitions to be found since I only had one and it was the whole disk. Turns out my problem was even simpler and it was just a corrupted MBR. If I had settled for my 2 month old backup and reformatted my HD, I would never have recovered my data and HD at all. So keep trying, think things carefully and check all the other options the software has to offer.
How to use TestDisk to recover lost partition
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