In installing Windows XP to a system with several attached drives, I inadvertently deleted an incorrect partition. The drive of the partition had only this one partition which spanned the entire volume. This particular partition was formatted with TrueCrypt and has encrypted data on it.
The gory detail:
During the Windows XP setup, just after pressing F8 to accept the agreement, I selected this partition thinking that it was a different drive and pressed the key combination ("D", then "L", or whatever it is) to delete it. I realized my error a few seconds later, then immediately exited the Windows XP setup (by pressing "F3" twice, or whatever the key sequence is to exit it properly). I was hoping that maybe the disk partitioning software was coded in such a manner as to delay execution of the re-partitioning functions until a target partition for installation was selected, but no such luck.
Does anyone possibly know what steps I can take to restore this lost TrueCrypt partition aside from making a visit to a data recover specialist? I see there are tools for supposedly for recovering partitions. I've tried a few, but so far they all seem to look for *files* on a specific type (NTFS/FAT/etc.) of partition. None of them seem to actually look to recover a partition table of an otherwise healthy volume.
I just need to restore the partition table as it was so I can reach the TrueCrypt data which (I hope) hasn't been altered. I've read that it may be possible to create the same partition layout (in this case a single, primary partition), using the same tool I originally partitioned the disk with (in this case, Windows Disk Management). That would seem to make sense, but I'm adverse to rushing into trying that as I'm afraid I might really trash the partition if it's the wrong move.
I'm also obviously concerned whether the Windows Setup CD could have written to some data that would adversely affect the TrueCrypt data of the disk.
I've read the article here, discussing the basics of recovering a partition table:
And I've also read the Wikipedia article on PC partition tables:
So I'm understanding that the partition table is in the first few bytes of the disk and safely out of the way of most things, but I don't know if TrueCrypt perhaps stores some data in the partition table as well-- data which might have been corrupted by the Windows Setup CD when I press "D" then "L" to delete the only partition of the disk.
Any help or advice at all in this matter would be appreciated. Thank you!