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Lost partition, data recovery

Posted on 2002-03-13
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Last Modified: 2008-02-01
I have a HD partitioned into 3 parts:
C: (10Gb) NTFS
D: (10Gb) NTFS
E: (40Gb) NTFS


I recently ran PartitionMagic 7 to merge D and E. During the process, it reported an error and after reboot i was left with:
C: (10Gb) NTFS
D: (10Gb) NTFS   --- all the files rescued as *.chk
40Gb Unallocated

The question is, is there any way to recover/restore the data on that partition? Either rebuild the partition or just extract the data.

High points since it's very important to me.

Regards,
MHQ
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Question by:MHQ
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LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:SunBow
ID: 6860739
Not really, or practically, if you did not allow for an undo, ao back up your stuff. But Partition Magic is not supposed to lose the data.

If all that happened was loss of the sector info defining the partition, Possibly you can simply redefine the partition (like fDisk, create partition, but not format, that'll erase anything left)

I had that with fat once, where virus wiped out c:, by using same numbers, such as 10,10,40, the d: partition came back to life. While that was not ntfs, it is same concept if you did not delete files or format the partition. So it should be recoverable.

The .chk are like from scandisk, like something really wrong about defining disk geometry (#sectors, tracks, etc). So be wary, that you do must have that in order. Getting it wrong could mean that you had excel.exe, not as a .chk file, that if you knew what you are doing, you could rename it back to original name, but it would only be one half the size it should be. That is why geometry is important.

IMO, 3rd party partitioners like PM should be avoided as much as possible, for they cause more damage than fix problems -- for general populace. When they work, they get many fans - many here in EE are fans of PMQ. But to run that kind of tool, you need to take the time to learn, prepare, backup, and public mostly don't have time. ANd they cost almost as much as MS-Windows (which then must not be very costly, huh?)

For NT, it has a disk manager. I recommend using it, and learning its capabilities. It comes free with OS and has useful features, for example, allowing compression on drive e:, which perhaps was done and what confused 3rd party Partition Magic

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Expert Comment

by:SunBow
ID: 6860742
Check for go-back, undo feature within the documentation that came with the product you purchased.
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Author Comment

by:MHQ
ID: 6860892
Will redefining the partition really help? Isn't there a high risk that the FAT-register will be cleared?

The drive was not compressed (which btw isn't the smartest thing to do if you want an acceptable HD-I/O speed.)

Since no sectors or similar have been redefined I have had no trouble restoring the .chk files to their original type.

/MHQ
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Accepted Solution

by:
CrazyOne earned 200 total points
ID: 6861838
Take look at these.

easy recovery
Free Version Personal Edition shows you all the files you could recover with a purchased copy of the Personal Edition.

Personal Edition recovers files from DOS, Windows 3.x, 95, 98 and Me, IDE/ATA/EIDE hard drives, SCSI hard drives, systems, floppy diskettes, Zip and Jaz removable media.

Free Version Professional Edition shows you all the files you could recover with a purchased copy of the Professional Edition.

Professional Edition recovers files from DOS, Windows 3.x, 95, 98, Me, XP, 2000 and NT systems, IDE/ATA/EIDE hard drives, SCSI hard drives, floppy diskettes, Zip and Jaz removable media, and provides advanced data recovery options.
http://www.ontrack.com/easyrecovery/

File Rescue 2.5
Web:http://www.file-rescue.com/

GetDataBack
http://www.runtime.org/

For NTFS
http://www.restorer2000.com/r2k.htm

Fast File Undelete
http://www.dtidata.com/

Undelete
http://www.quantumsoft.co.uk/undelete.stm

File Recover 2000
http://www.filerecover.com/

R-Tools
http://www.r-tt.com/

Lost and Found
Lost and Found recovers data from drives that have been formatted, lost partitions through accidental deletion, etc. This applies to FAT or FAT32 partitions only. If the disk is still capable of spinning, there is a chance of recovery.
Lost and Found only performs read operations on the affected hard disk. Many utilities attempt to repair the hard disk and corrupt data in the process. Since Lost and Found only performs read operations, it does not risk the integrity of the data on the disk.
http://www.powerquest.com/support/primus/id160.html

File Restore
If you've deleted your data and you want to get it back, you need FileRestore.
FileRestore is a simple, easy-to-use tool for recovering files that have been lost or deleted from your Windows system.
Designed for Windows XP, 2000, NT, Me, and 9x
http://www.winternals.com/products/repairandrecovery/filerestore.asp

Disk Commander
In virtually any situation where you need to recover lost data from a Windows system, Disk Commander is the solution. Disk Commander performs a wide range of data recovery operations.
http://www.winternals.com/products/repairandrecovery/diskcommander.asp

Drive Rescue
Supported file systems: FAT 12/16/32
Windows® 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000 or XP
Free
http://home.arcor.de/christian_grau/rescue/index.html


Tool to check and undelete partition
Works with the following partitions:
- FAT12 FAT16 FAT32
- Linux
- Linux SWAP (version 1 and 2)
- NTFS (Windows NT)
- BeFS (BeOS)
- UFS (BSD)
- Netware
- RaiserFS
http://www.cgsecurity.org//testdisk.html


DFSee
http://www.fsys.demon.nl/

MRECOVER
http://kristenonline.com/lain/cih/mrecintro.htm


The Crazy One
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Expert Comment

by:sandra_8309
ID: 6864096
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LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:trekie1
ID: 6864467
dont have partition magic setup right at the moment but doesn't it give the undo option ?
ditto sunbow, dont much like PM sence it lost 15 gig of data for me :>)
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Author Comment

by:MHQ
ID: 6867920
I'v tried EasyRecovery but it isn't able to restore all files, maybe one out of ten is restored, the rest is totaly corrupt.

I'll go on trying the mentioned progams...

Regards,
MHQ
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LVL 3

Author Comment

by:MHQ
ID: 6877092
Most of the files are cross-linked, thus giving me no oppertunity to restore them using the above programs as far as I understand them.
DFSee is far to complex for me to understand..

/MHq
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Expert Comment

by:FlamingSword
ID: 6878072
Cross-link & its over.
At least for 1/2.
Try guessing which is right half.
You need another way, seek it on original sectors.

> I have had no trouble restoring the .chk files to their
original type.

Unclear how that was done. Likely not File0001.chk
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:FlamingSword
ID: 6878079
> Most of the files are cross-linked,

Your d: is now undependable. Likely it's shape is defined incorrectly, for config features such as sectors per track.

Answer: Drive d: must be redone from scratch
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LVL 3

Author Comment

by:MHQ
ID: 6878243
FlamingSword:
"Your d: is now undependable. Likely it's shape is defined incorrectly, for config features such as sectors
per track."
->What I'm having trouble with is the files stored on the original drive E, not drive D:

"You need another way, seek it on original sectors."
->How?

"Unclear how that was done. Likely not File0001.chk"
->The files on the original D: were rescued as File0001.chk etc and after checking that they were correct, safely renamed back to their original names and copied to a safe location.

/MHQ
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LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:SunBow
ID: 6880463
What is current topology, how'd you get there? For example, did e: get its 40GB back? Last I recall was this (no e:):

> an error and after reboot i was left with:
C: (10Gb) NTFS
D: (10Gb) NTFS   --- all the files rescued as *.chk
40Gb Unallocated
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Author Comment

by:MHQ
ID: 6882725
The topology you write is the the one I was working with when trying to rescue the files. Due to massive cross-references andsimilar things I finally gave up after trying about 1000 (or close) diffrent programs and techniques. I have re-formated the drive and am no longer interested in recoveringthe data. I appreciate all the help I got and it will definately prove useful if I ever run into this kind of trouble again (hopefully not).

My guess as to why it didn't work is that PM had time to move the files (their clusters), but not to re-write the MFT, thus making it almost impossible to find out their current location.

Once again, thanx for the help even if it didn't work out for me.

Regards,
MHQ
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Author Comment

by:MHQ
ID: 6882730
CrazyOne supplied the links that help me in my attempts, which in my oppinon was the most useful comments, thanx!

/MHQ
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LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:SunBow
ID: 6890094
Alright, nice to end a week with a           :)
I do so oft recommend disk #2 as identical to #1 as possible, they are so-o cheap now,
(keyword backup)
that can have benefit for situations such as this

TGIF!
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