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Windows 7: diskmgmt.msc tool deleted partition I did not specify!

19 Mar 2010   #1
owl

Windows 7
 
 
diskmgmt.msc tool deleted partition I did not specify!

I would appreciate help, please. In an odd occurrence, the built-in Disk Management (diskmgmt.msc) tool deleted two parititions in one swoop; one I specified and one I didn't specify.

Background:
- Lenovo x200s laptop
- Seagate 500GB 2.5" hard drive
- Layout: Primary partition 50GB, Extended partition 4xxGB (whatever was left) ==> 4 logical partitions of 30GB, 150GB, 100GB, 135GB
- XP was on the primary partition
- I installed Windows 7 in November on logical drive #3.
- The XP primary partition remained unused for the past few months.

Today, I decided to reclaim some of the space. I used diskmgmt to try a few things. I was planning on dual-booting to linux or another Windows flavor, but I didn't want to use XP mode. I used diskmgmt to first shrink the primary 50GB volume; I did it a couple times, and then I decided it would be easier to delete the volume and create a new one with the sizes I wanted. So, on my 3rd operation on the 50GB partition, I deleted the volume. Immediately upon doing so, my 135GB logical partition #4 became "free space" (green color).

I think this may have something to do with the fact that I deleted the entire primary partition volume. But, it doesn't make sense why this operation would affect a partition on an extended partition.

---

Fortunately, the partition was my "extra space" partition for temp files, but I did store all my downloaded programs and drivers for several computers, as well as computer backup images, etc. It would be a huge inconvenience to find all the misc drivers and programs I've gathered over the past few years. I would have rather lost my "pictures and videos" partition, since I have that backed up to an external drive!

I'm aware of file recovery software, but in the past those have usually returned lots of garbage files and mixed pieces of information.

---

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Thank you in advance.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

19 Mar 2010   #2
owl

Windows 7
 
 

This may be valuable, but I cannot run it from XP mode, which means I may need to install XP and then try this out...

How To Recover an Accidentally Deleted NTFS or FAT32 Dynamic Volume
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Mar 2010   #3

Windows 7
 
 

The page you linked to is about recovering a deleted dynamic volume. I gather yours is not a dynamic drive.

I have found the freeware TestDisk to be very good at recovering accidentally deleted partitions
TestDisk - CGSecurity

You can run TestDisk from various kinds of bootable media, so unlike with that Microsoft tool, you don't have to install XP first.

You will need to read its help pages, but I'll point out a basic start:

When you "delete" a partition, it does not wipe the space occupied by the partition, it only removes its entry from the partition table.
If you only have primary partitions, there is only one partition table, but you have an extended partition so it's more complicated than that.

On its first Quick Scan, TestDisk shows you what your partition table(s) currently say.
Then you run the deep scan, which searches the hard disk for signs of old partitions (they have a characteristic first sector).
At that stage, you can apply its suggested changes to the partition table, or cancel. Only confirm to make changes if you are absolutely sure.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


23 Mar 2010   #4
owl

Windows 7
 
 

Thank you for the help and reference.

What a mess; the tool was very good, but I found (after many tries, just to make sure) that my partition structure was somewhat messed up. I didn't know how to use the advanced features, but my way around it was to first get the missing partition back up and running (one partition, all on its own) and copy all my data to an external hard drive. I then used the tool to re-create the partition structure for the remaining partitions. I ended up having to image all my partitions, because the partition structure was permanently bad with my extended partition structure changed. Anyhow, long story short is that after imaging everything, I wiped the whole partition structure and then rebuilt it from scratch. Fortunately Acronis True Image did it's job and after putting everything back on the reformatted drive, all my data is now fine and my boot sector didn't need much fixing.

Thanks for the help.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by OldBloke View Post
The page you linked to is about recovering a deleted dynamic volume. I gather yours is not a dynamic drive.

I have found the freeware TestDisk to be very good at recovering accidentally deleted partitions
TestDisk - CGSecurity

You can run TestDisk from various kinds of bootable media, so unlike with that Microsoft tool, you don't have to install XP first.

You will need to read its help pages, but I'll point out a basic start:

When you "delete" a partition, it does not wipe the space occupied by the partition, it only removes its entry from the partition table.
If you only have primary partitions, there is only one partition table, but you have an extended partition so it's more complicated than that.

On its first Quick Scan, TestDisk shows you what your partition table(s) currently say.
Then you run the deep scan, which searches the hard disk for signs of old partitions (they have a characteristic first sector).
At that stage, you can apply its suggested changes to the partition table, or cancel. Only confirm to make changes if you are absolutely sure.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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