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Recover data from corrupt partition

charles_dilger used Ask the Experts™
I have a Promise DS4600 external raid enclosure. The box is loaded with 4 2TB drives configured RAID 5 for about 6TB of useable space.

Recently windows locked up accessing the drive insisted on running scan disc at start up a few times then the drive type changed to RAW. The drives seam to be working fine so is suspected windows "fixed" the file system wrong and it's now not properly recgonised.

I search arround for a few solutions and decided to try a solution posted here testdisk it seamed to work and discovered an NTFS partition. Great! It asked to write the partition info to the disc (i shuddered thinking I'd rather just read off the data than write to the partition but...) I accepted. It wront the new partition info I restarted the disc and now i'm worse than before.

Instead of a 6000GB RAW partition I now hav a 2048GB RAW partition with 129 MB unallocated space in front of it and 3540.78 GB after it. I considered using testdisk's option to delete all data in the partition table but i'm a little out of my league and don't want to mis-step and continue making things worse.

For those who are goint to ask I don't remeber all the drive geometry details from before th data loss. I think it was configued in windows as a basic GPT disk with a single NTFS partition completly filling the drive. It's possible it was a MBR disc but I think I had to go GPT because of the partition size. It's also possible it was exFAT not NTFS but I'm fairly sure it was NTFS.

Please help me recover the data without destroying things more.
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Start with some basic Data Recovery software. a good start would be Ultimate Windows Boot Disk for Windows http://www.ubcd4win.com/ which is a free boot disk with bunch of free utilities.
it has some data recovery software. if the data is really important then I say get a serious program such ashttp://www.ontrackdatarecovery.com/
the could be expensive but they are good.
we use for our office the following software, they are really good

but you can find other software, i ll try to list them
Active File Recovery
Active Partition Recovery
Art Plus Digital Photo Recovery
DiskInternals Partition Recovery
EASEUS Data Recovery Wizard Professional
File Scavenger recovery
Handy Recovery
Iolo Search and Recover
Magic Recovery Professional
OnTrack Easy Recovery Professional
PC Inspector File Recovery
PC Tools File Recover
Pen Drive data recovery
Photo Recovery Genius
Power Data Recovery
R-Studio Data Recovery
Runtime GetDataBack for NTFS
Seagate FILE RECOVERY for Windows
Sim Card Data Recovery
Smart Data Recovery for USB Flash Drives
USB Flash Drive Data Recovery
WinMend Data Recovery

google can give you the link of the above, just try to read more about them.



I think I'm going to give ontrack data recovery a try. Do you think I should delete the "new" partition table I wrote
to the drive or just see what the software discovers on it's own. I'm just worried that since I wrote a new partition table with incorrect size the recovery software will see it and try to recover a smaller drive than it should be.

That I'm not sure, but let the software do its thing first then if you don't get good results try to delete it and try it again. Remember, recovery software don't look at the partition tables, it look at the data directly, but again you have to play around with it