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Windows 7: Hard Drive Management Gone Haywire

15 Mar 2013   #51
gregrocker

 

I thought you said TestDisk had found the partition and were waiting to hear how to complete its Recovery.

There is information from Bill above showing how to do this. Please read it over.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
15 Mar 2013   #52
Injust

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

Yes, TestDisk seemed to have found the partition in the screenshot I sent you.
However, when it FINISHED the deep scan, there was no sign of it. There were tons of those "boot" partitions, along with a Recovery, a Test, and a Pagefile partition, just like what the PW found. But no sign of my "Hard Drive" partition (yes, that's what it's named, "Hard Drive").
I'm re-doing a deep scan just to check again
Is there any other way that you know of? Recuva wouldn't work on it...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Mar 2013   #53
Injust

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

Greg!
I think that I've found another way...
Before, I had made backups on my external hard drive. I deleted those after my software (Paragon Backup & Recovery) was giving me BSODs due to the driver. However, I never overwrote them since I never use my external HD.
I'm using Recuva to see if I can recover something from them.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

15 Mar 2013   #54
Slartybart

x64 (6.3.9600) Win8.1 Pro & soon dual boot x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem
 
 

Testdisk is just an application that serves a different purpose than PW, so I wouldn't characterize it as more powerful. Anyway, I've paid hundreds of dollars for disk recovery software and I think that Testdisk is a valuable tool in a toolbox (it's free and does the same as the paid application). Documentation suffers - especially if you're not familiar with the basic concepts of a disk.

This is not a tool for the fainthearted or "anxious". As with most command line applications, Testdisk needs to be understood BEFORE executing it.

Some things are straight forward - Junmaji's guide can walk people through the simple problems - those that fit the examples. It's when the issue doesn't fit the examples -> knowledge of the tool is paramount.

The most difficult issue to solve is when a user has tried a number of tools and the disk is in a very sad state. It's unclear if any tool can unravel what has been done. The best case is to back up what you can (another strength of Testdisk), clean the drive, and start fresh with a new install. No one likes to hear that, but it is often the only solution. Sure, a person on-site running various tools might... might be able to fix the disk... over time. The question is does a person have the focus to learn the tool(s), run various tools (or executions of Testdisk), report current status, not chase other solutions, and solve the issue.

I don't make "housecalls" and I lack the patience to handhold a member that doesn't have the discipline required to follow instructions or report accurate and timely status. Too many tires changed on a moving truck.
I have all the patience in the world for anyone willing to carefully follow instructions and provide useful feedback. "I don't understand" is better feedback than "I tried this program and now I have this issue.....".

Anyway, I have used Testdisk only a few times. It's important that the OP has a realistic goal. First should be to get at their data and back it up. I'm not certain this is the primary goal of Injust.

TEstdisk has a few ways to copy data, assuming you have a device you can copy the data.

Then, they can try to recover the disk to a usable state. Even that is questionable. I say... the disk is flakey, get your data, get a clean bill of health (check the drive, clean the drive, install anew).

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Thanks for the valuable information, Bill.

Partition Wizard does not find the lost partition, but I understand Test Disk is more powerful. Do you agree?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Mar 2013   #55
gregrocker

 

Check the Recycle Bin. It will show up on the External once you unhide Hidden and System Files in Control Panel>Folder options. It may also be in the desktop Recycle Bin.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Mar 2013   #56
Injust

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Check the Recycle Bin. It will show up on the External once you unhide Hidden and System Files in Control Panel>Folder options. It may also be in the desktop Recycle Bin.
I deleted them permanently, but were able to recover them with Recuva. Going to see what's inside the files.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Mar 2013   #57
Injust

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Slartybart View Post
Testdisk is just an application that serves a different purpose than PW, so I wouldn't characterize it as more powerful. Anyway, I've paid hundreds of dollars for disk recovery software and I think that Testdisk is a valuable tool in a toolbox (it's free and does the same as the paid application). Documentation suffers - especially if you're not familiar with the basic concepts of a disk.

This is not a tool for the fainthearted or "anxious". As with most command line applications, Testdisk needs to be understood BEFORE executing it.

Some things are straight forward - Junmaji's guide can walk people through the simple problems - those that fit the examples. It's when the issue doesn't fit the examples -> knowledge of the tool is paramount.

The most difficult issue to solve is when a user has tried a number of tools and the disk is in a very sad state. It's unclear if any tool can unravel what has been done. The best case is to back up what you can (another strength of Testdisk), clean the drive, and start fresh with a new install. No one likes to hear that, but it is often the only solution. Sure, a person on-site running various tools might... might be able to fix the disk... over time. The question is does a person have the focus to learn the tool(s), run various tools (or executions of Testdisk), report current status, not chase other solutions, and solve the issue.

I don't make "housecalls" and I lack the patience to handhold a member that doesn't have the discipline required to follow instructions or report accurate and timely status. Too many tires changed on a moving truck.
I have all the patience in the world for anyone willing to carefully follow instructions and provide useful feedback. "I don't understand" is better feedback than "I tried this program and now I have this issue.....".

Anyway, I have used Testdisk only a few times. It's important that the OP has a realistic goal. First should be to get at their data and back it up. I'm not certain this is the primary goal of Injust.

TEstdisk has a few ways to copy data, assuming you have a device you can copy the data.

Then, they can try to recover the disk to a usable state. Even that is questionable. I say... the disk is flakey, get your data, get a clean bill of health (check the drive, clean the drive, install anew).

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Thanks for the valuable information, Bill.

Partition Wizard does not find the lost partition, but I understand Test Disk is more powerful. Do you agree?
I'm pretty sure I understand how to use it.
I only went completely haywire and executed some commands that I didn't understand because I never thought that they would harm the hard drive :P
I understand how to use it pretty much. I'm just analyzing the disk right now and not changing anything. My main goal is to recover my files, even if I have to reinstall.
I can follow instructions and report statuses, even if it takes a while. I understand that you're all just volunteers.
I'm pretty sure my disk is in good health, because I ran a surface test and it's fine, but if you want, I'll check it more.

Right now, my TestDisk deep scan's at 30% percent, it has found TWO partitions. One with the label "Hard Drive" (that's the one with mah data) and one with no label, and I'm not sure what it is.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Mar 2013   #58
Injust

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

What I have available to use right now:
PW boot DVD
TestDisk (on a PartedMagic USB)
Windows 7 Install Disc
Windows 7 Repair Disc
Paragon 2012 Recovery Disc (the disc is self-dependent and can recover files from images, which I should have)

Right now, I am running TestDisk deep scan, at 32%. I have recovered the Paragon images from my hard drive (I have 3 different ones, not exactly sure what they are, but pretty sure 1 is for my documents, 1 is for my Chrome profiles, and 1 is the System Reserved partition).
Will the backup of the System Reserved partition help? :P

I will boot the Paragon DVD and see if I can recover the images to another partition on another computer's hard drive, will see if that's possible.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Mar 2013   #59
Slartybart

x64 (6.3.9600) Win8.1 Pro & soon dual boot x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem
 
 

The fact that your drive is in an unstable state means disk labels are not useful.

You're going to have to provide screen shots of Testdisk for every step. How you determine the disk and partitioning is based on type and size in the first few screens. Then you have to whittle away all of the "bad" information. This cannot be done willy-nilly. Knowing how your drive was partitioned makes it easier to use Testdisk. Often the partiton table is totally confused and you have to make educated guesses. The Testdisk documentation goes over some complex scenarios where "phantom" disks are discovered. It finds lots of partitions, because your drive table is corrupt. Your attempts to fix it has compounded the issue.

re: lots of .txt files. Well yeah, recovery software does that. It finds bits and tries to hook them together into a file. The software's job is to find things the OS no longer cares about - that means lots of files with generated names.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Injust View Post
Yes, TestDisk seemed to have found the partition in the screenshot I sent you.
However, when it FINISHED the deep scan, there was no sign of it. There were tons of those "boot" partitions, along with a Recovery, a Test, and a Pagefile partition, just like what the PW found. But no sign of my "Hard Drive" partition (yes, that's what it's named, "Hard Drive").
I'm re-doing a deep scan just to check again
Is there any other way that you know of? Recuva wouldn't work on it...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Mar 2013   #60
Injust

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

Ok, TestDisk is at 40% right now. I'm just providing a screenshot, available here, of what the screen shows.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Hard Drive Management Gone Haywire




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