Norton Ghost Restore also removed my extended partition

Posted on 2004-04-02
Last Modified: 2008-03-17
My Hdd was partitioned into 2  - Primary Fat32 and extended/logical Fat32

I used a "system restore pack" based on Norton Ghost 5.1c - fully expecting it to restore the c: drive partition only.  (My data backup was in the D: drive in the extended logical partition)

After the restore, the drive has reverted to a single partition and my data has gone.

Does anyone have an opinion about whether the data might be recoverable?  Do you know if Ghost simply overwrites the partition table or does it rewrite all sectors of the drive?

ANY SUGGESTIONS for recovery software to try?  Any helpful advice gratefully received!!!!
Question by:vraquila
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LVL 32

Accepted Solution

LucF earned 300 total points
ID: 10743446
Hi vraquila,

You might want to give some of these tools a try: http:Q_20827883.html


LVL 14

Assisted Solution

nltech earned 200 total points
ID: 10745704 for data recovery. it's not cheap, however they are good. if you're planning on sending the drive in for recovery, DO NOT USE IT. the more it's used, the lower the chance of getting anything off of it. i have referred numerous clients to them and they've all been quite satisfied with what they got back. besides recovery services, they also have software products for end-users to aid in data recovery.

why it happened... i'm guessing this restore pack was provided by the computer maker? if so, it's probably set up to revert the drive to factory state, including all partitions and file system types (a disk clone instead of a partition dump).

on a disk clone operation, ghost will re-write partition table and mbr, write each file to the drive and create the directory tables. it does not do a sector-by-sector copy or restore without using special command line switches. so, your data is probably recoverable, since ghost would place files at the beginning of the drive and your second partition was at the end. ontrack can provide a quote over the phone once you give them details on what happened.

how to keep it from happening again... get your own copy of ghost and do your own partition dumps. if you split your drive into two partitions again, you can dump the c: partition to a file on d: for easier (and faster) access later. i do this here on every windows system i use.. and for some clients who have a tendancy to screw stuff up.

newer versions of ghost can write image files directly to a cd-writer, with compression, you can get about a gig or more on each cd. xp fully loaded and updated, along with office pro and other apps can fit on 3 or 4 cd's.


Author Comment

ID: 10749411
Feedback on this solution (and for Anyone else reading this)

The PC was a "Tiny UK" brand with manufacturer-supplied "restore pack"  as NLTECH commented, ghost had re-written the partition table effectively losing the logical data-drive in the extended partition - The restored image in the newly created single primary partition was small enough not to overwrite the later areas of the drive where the data partition had one been - hence the data was recovered successfully  using PC Inspector File recovery downloaded from (see accepted answer)   This recovery would not have been possible had the data been held in the original primary partition as that WAS overwritten by the Ghost Image.   "Don't Try This At Home!!!!!!"

Thanks for the help Guys.... VRAquila
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 10749623
Glad to help ;-)

LVL 14

Expert Comment

ID: 10762804
glad to hear it.

now go get your own copy of ghost and do a PARTITION to image backup of your c: drive (to a file on a different partition or to cdr).. then you can do whatever you want to your partitions (with partition magic or whatever) and still be able to recover JUST the c: partition without affecting the rest of the drive.

you *might* be able to utilize the ghost executable that is part of your recovery set and make your own ghost boot disk to use on whatever system you wanted, provided the version of ghost is compatible with the version of windows. i was able to do that with an old (98-era) system i had that came with a ghost-driven recovery cd.

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