Link to home
Start Free TrialLog in
Avatar of blaja01
blaja01

asked on

Lost NTFS Partition and precious data

I was using Partition Magic to reallocate my 6GB NTFS partition - (D:) to my 32GB NTFS Partition (C:), after rebooting my C: partition seemed to be gone with all of my data. It looks like the blank D: drive parition merged into C: overwriting the partition, data, registry everything. It's Win XP, SP2, Maxtor 40GB drive. I tried using various recovery tools and I do see the old 6GB and 32GB partition but all of my data is gone which I of course did not backup -(stupid me). When I get info on the drive it's says the File system is "RAW" and 100% of the space is available, do I want to format now? Of course I don't and I still cannot get any of my data. Even the recovery tools and using the scan option do not see any data. Is there any way of getting my data back???

Please help! I have priceless pictures of my daughter I cannot get back.

Avatar of nobus
nobus
Flag of Belgium image

Try those tools: pc inspector should be good, but there are others

http://www.ontrack.com/                                    ontrack
http://www.ontrack.com/easyrecoveryprofessional/                  Easy Recovery
http://www.runtime.org/                                    GetDataBack
http://www.stellarinfo.com/
http://www.bitmart.net/                                    Restorer 2000
http://www.snapfiles.com/get/restoration.html                        Restoration
http://www.snapfiles.com/get/activeundelete.html                        Active undelete
http://www.pcinspector.de/file_recovery/UK/welcome.htm                  pc Inspector

this can help you also :  

http://www.partitionsupport.com/utilities.htm                        partition support
Avatar of blaja01
blaja01

ASKER

I used PC Inspector, Recover 2000 and two or three others. None of them saw my data and I got MFT errors while scanning. It's like the partitions are there but none of the data is there and what is a "RAW" file system?

Is this a hopeless situation? I am desperate!!!

Hi blaja01,

Big problem you're having there, at least you've now found out why Partition Magic asks you to make a backup first :(
You might want to try Testdisk to check and restore partition tables.
http://www.cgsecurity.org/index.html?testdisk.html

Greetings,

LucF
here is a topic discussing this : -they suggest using getDataBack

https://www.experts-exchange.com/questions/21069791/RAW-File-System.html
Avatar of blaja01

ASKER

I know, I guess I learned the hard way :-(

I'm a little leary to use anything else as I don't want to do any more damage. I'm contemplating sending it to a hard drive recovery expert. I've seen www.gillware.com and www.ontrack.com. At this point, cost is not a worry, the pictures on it of my daughter is all worth it.

What is a "RAW" file system? If I am seeing the two partitions but not the data, is it possible to recover data in this situation?

I also see FAT12, FAT16, FAT32 and NTFS files systems on my drive but no data. I'm basically freaking out!



I had the same problem, and it was not even MY computer. Can understand the stress you going through!!!!!
Well, I Quick Format the drive in NTFS files, adn then used active undelete to recover the data(one of nobus's links).
Now, as understand it when you quick format a drive, it just appears to be empty and as long as new data is not written over sectors where the previous files was written on, it is very easy to recover.  Maybe the experts can give some more explanation on this.
Avatar of blaja01

ASKER

I could format the drive, then recover? I'm very hesitant to format the drive even though I cannot access the drive. There is absolutely no physical damage, just logical.

I'm still not sure what a "RAW" file system is and if several recovery tools scanned my drive and are not seeing any data, how can it be recoverable?

ASKER CERTIFIED SOLUTION
Avatar of Luc Franken
Luc Franken
Flag of Netherlands image

Link to home
membership
This solution is only available to members.
To access this solution, you must be a member of Experts Exchange.
Start Free Trial
Avatar of blaja01

ASKER

I went with www.gillware.com. I already talked to a tech who was very nice and helpful. I overnighted the drive to them.

Still confused as to what a RAW file system is and if I already scanned the drive with recover utilites and it sees partitions and no data how will a proffessional company be able to recover the data? I did not format or re-write to the drive at all.



RAW file system means nothing more than "no filesystem", some older digital camera's with only internal memmory and no way to delete invidual photo's except the last one use this raw filesystem and store files without some kind of location table, just all in a row. Nowadays this filesystem isn't used anymore.
So in this case with partition magic it means the partition tables where removed but not re-created resulting in something that looks to the OS as a RAW filesystem.

Datarecovery companies will inspect if they can find a deleted or misformed partition table and restore it. Otherwise they'll have to examine the pieces of data on the disk to see how they relate to each other, as in, what piece belongs to which file to create a virtual partition table to get the data off. By doing this at no point they actually write to the disk until everything is recovered.

LucF
btw, this is the first time I heard about www.gillware.com, they have pretty nice prices for recovering data if I may say so.
And I also think you have a extremely good chance of getting all your data back as you didn't have any physical failures.

I hope you come back with some good news in a few days.

LucF
if the pics are that important,..pay the money and send the disk to a recovery expert.

TT
Avatar of blaja01

ASKER

Thanks LucF!! I actually feel a little better now. I just got nervous that these recovery apps weren't seeing the data but like you said, since there is no physical damage and I did not write to the drive at all, then hopefully they will be able to retrieve my data. On-Track was very expensive. $100 for a diagnostic and $600-$2200 to recover the data. Gillware was the least expensive and they were very nice and helpful on the phone.

I should know by tomorrow or the latest Wed. and I will post the outcome. If these pictures weren't so important, then I would just attempt recovering the data myself, but I thought it would be best to leave well enough alone. It's worth the $250 to get it back.

Keep you posted and thank you so much, LucF and everyone for your suggestions. You've all been very helpful!

blaja01
You're very welcome, and especially for $250 I'll surely keep gillware in mind, way cheaper than I've seen before, I've even seen recovery software which are more expensive than that. (kind of a rip-off if I think about it now)

I've done some more reading on them, and I believe it's certainly a trustworthy company.

Good luck,

LucF
Avatar of blaja01

ASKER

Still waiting on an answer. Will close this topic as soon as I do.

Avatar of blaja01

ASKER

Gillware was able to recover all of my data. It cost what they said it would and they are shipping the drive back with all the contents back on plus backup on DVD. I highly recommend their service. They were friendly, knowledgable and puntual.

Thank you all for your help!

blaja01

Congrats blaja01!

I'm glad to hear the good news.
And, thanks for the grade.

Take care,

LucF
Avatar of blaja01

ASKER

My pleasure. Thanks for help.

Regards,

blaja01