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Windows 7: Cleaned My ENTIRE Hard Drive. How can I restore it?

28 Sep 2016   #1
blunde

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 
Cleaned My ENTIRE Hard Drive. How can I restore it?

Please help me! I made a big mistake today and I have no clue how to fix it. I've been searching for a long time but can't find anything on the internet. I think this is the best place I could ask for help so here it goes:

I have an HP Pavilion desktop. It came factory default with Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit and I've been using it for years. I saved all my important files and photos on it. Recently, I had the thought of dual-booting a Windows 8.1 OS on it. I watched quite a lot of videos and it seemed pretty straight forward. I also have a Windows 8.1 product key.

At the installation, there were so many issues. They were all relative to how my licence is not valid and such before I'm even given the option to enter one. I found out that I could create an EI.cfg file to get past it and install Windows 8.1 without a licence key and activate it later. Then for the last time, I got an issue saying that Windows can't be installed on my hard drive partition 3 (which was a 64 GB NTFS primary partition that I created with my Windows 7 operating system.) So, I couldn't install it. I even went back on my Windows 7 operating system to reformat the volume to NTFS but the problem remained.

Then, I found online an article about cleaning the volume using diskpart instead of disk management. I got lazy this time and decided to just follow the instructions on the Windows 8.1 installation disk. I pressed [shift] + [F10] to launch command prompt and got to disk part. Then I selected disk 0 and inside it, SELECTED partition 3. Then I [clean]ed it thinking that I will create a new primary partition later on (according to the tutorial.) But it turned out, diskpart deleted MY ENTIRE DISK, NOT JUST PARTITION 3.

I continued with the (custom) installation and found out that it's telling me I have just one disk (initially had 4) with 523 GB remaining. That's my entire hard disk. So I thought what the hell just happened, and decided to cancel the installation and go back to Windows 7 to recreate a volume for my 64 GB partition. But, when I turned on my computer, it gave me the following error, "Reboot and Select proper Boot device or Insert Boot Media in selected Boot device and press a key." It was not long until I realised that I didn't just [clean] partition 3 of disk 0, I deleted the entire disk 0 AKA THE WHOLE INTERNAL HARD DRIVE THAT HAD WINDOWS 7 HOME PREMIUM INSTALLED ON IT.

Is there any way I could undo that clean? Please save my butt. I had a restore point and made an image back up and all that good stuff, but I can't get access to those. When I select the troubleshoot option in the Windows 8.1 Installation, it tells me that there is no restore point for this system. Does that mean I deleted all my files and back ups as well?

I haven't done anything beyond that point. I don't want to do anything else on the hard drive that will not allow me to recover my data if that's possible. There has to be an expert here, please help me out. This is very critical.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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28 Sep 2016   #2
oscer1

win 7 64 bit
 
 

hi welcome to the forum. I just have a question for you. when you said you did an image backup where was the backup stored at? was it on an external drive or the same drive the OS is installed on? if was on same drive then you are most likely out of luck using the backup image.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Sep 2016   #3
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

If you made a valid image and stored it on some entirely separate drive, you should be able to recover using that.

Otherwise---you need to concentrate on recovering your partitions--rather than recovering the individual files. Jumanji is the house guru on partition recovery and you can hope he sees this post.

You'll probably be asked to download and run Partition Wizard, but I wouldn't do anything until you can hear from Jumanji.

In particular--don't try to write anything to the drive.

Yes---Diskpart "clean" and "clean all" commands affect the entire disk, not just certain partitions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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28 Sep 2016   #4
samuria

win 8 32 bit
 
 

If you cleaned it you have no o/s so you will have to do a clean install of windows everything is lost you could try
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SdL-XgskOg
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Sep 2016   #5
blunde

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by oscer1 View Post
hi welcome to the forum. I just have a question for you. when you said you did an image backup where was the backup stored at? was it on an external drive or the same drive the OS is installed on? if was on same drive then you are most likely out of luck using the backup image.
Yeah it was on the same internal hard drive.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
If you made a valid image and stored it on some entirely separate drive, you should be able to recover using that.

Otherwise---you need to concentrate on recovering your partitions--rather than recovering the individual files. Jumanji is the house guru on partition recovery and you can hope he sees this post.

You'll probably be asked to download and run Partition Wizard, but I wouldn't do anything until you can hear from Jumanji.

In particular--don't try to write anything to the drive.

Yes---Diskpart "clean" and "clean all" commands affect the entire disk, not just certain partitions.
The thing is, I don't have access to any operating system on the computer right now. I get an error after turning it on that tells me to install an operating system. So would I have to reinstall Win 7 and then get partition wizard or how will this work?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Sep 2016   #6
RolandJS

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

If the information, the data folders are files are very important:
Write down everything you remember doing up to right now.
With proof of purchase of computer [which includes the originally installed Windows], take the computer and whatever usb and dvd boots you have, down to a business-oriented computer fixit place, let a trueblue computer guru well versed in partition and data recovery do his/her job. It will cost you.
While Jumanji is one of the finest forum techs in the world, if you are not familiar with partition and data recovery, you might accidentally miss-step with his detailed and expert instructions and do more accidental "logical" [not physical] damage to your partitions and your data.
And, going forward, make full image backups of your OS and data partitions onto available and trusted external media.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Sep 2016   #7
TrustMe

 
 

Do you have a spare hard drive? I would take out the one you cleaned and replace it with the spare. Install Windows on the spare and then connect the original drive as a backup. Then wait for Jumanji to help you. Even if you don't activate Windows, I think they give you a 30 trial period. Hopefully that will be long enough to recover your files.

I just read RolandJS post and that is good advice. If you are not experienced with partitions, you could do more damage. I guess it's just a matter of how much your willing to spend.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Sep 2016   #8
blunde

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TrustMe View Post
Do you have a spare hard drive? I would take out the one you cleaned and replace it with the spare. Install Windows on the spare and then connect the original drive as a backup. Then wait for Jumanji to help you. Even if you don't activate Windows, I think they give you a 30 trial period. Hopefully that will be long enough to recover your files.

I just read RolandJS post and that is good advice. If you are not experienced with partitions, you could do more damage. I guess it's just a matter of how much your willing to spend.
I do have a different computer so I'm not in any rush of trying to get that computer started again. But I still need to get those files back because I saved some important documents. I should've created a back up of them but my brain thought it wouldn't be necessary.

By the way is there any way I could contact Jumanji?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Sep 2016   #9
ThrashZone

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit
 
 

Hi,
As stated recovering the partitions would be the first step
Free mini tool has that feature.
Best Free Partition Manager for Windows | MiniTool Partition Free
Cleaned My ENTIRE Hard Drive. How can I restore it?-mini-tool-disk-partition-recovery-wizard.png


My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Sep 2016   #10
blunde

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ThrashZone View Post
Hi,
As stated recovering the partitions would be the first step
Free mini tool has that feature.
Best Free Partition Manager for Windows | MiniTool Partition Free
Attachment 392234
Sounds proper but my question is, how do I download the software? I don't have any operating system on the pc. It tells me to "Reboot and Select proper Boot device or Insert Boot Media in selected Boot device and press a key". Should I reinstall Windows 7? That will mean I have to write on the disk though. Or is there a way I could get that program without having an operating system (this thought is weird but just thought I might ask.)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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