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Windows 7: Deleted Windows & program housing partitions by mistake... Undelete?

16 Jun 2012   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Deleted Windows & program housing partitions by mistake... Undelete?

Here is the situation.

I have one internal hard drive (win 7, program files, etc.) and and external hard drive (storage) hooked up.

The external hard drive I was using as storage used to be in one of my other laptops.
So I was going to use the windows 7 dvd to delete all the partitions that Disk manager doesn't
seem to be able to delete (not sure why but Disk Manager was acting up).

However, the two drives (internal and external) are both exactly the same drives and the
partitions divided up the space exactly the same (100MB, 15.66GB, 450GB).

I made an idiotic mistake of deleting the partitions of my internal hard drive instead of the external one.
As you can guess, the laptop can't boot any more.

Now my laptop internal drive has the 3 partitions:
15.66GB Healthy RAW - deleted this one by mistake (housed Windows 7)
100MB System Recovery Healthy (Active) - didn't delete this one
450GB Healthy RAW - deleted this one by mistake (housed program files)

But I cannot access the 450GB (which housed all my programs) and the 15.66GB (which housed Windows)

Is there a way to simply undelete and revert the process so my laptop can boot and have back its functionality?

None of the partitions have been formatted, and I'm in the process of backing up the two
partitions (450GB and 15.66GB) onto another external hard drive.

Is restoring functionality as easy as backing up files in the RAW 450GB and RAW 15.66GB partitions
then formatting the RAW 450GB and RAW 15.66GB partitions,
and just copying and pasting the backed up files?

I kind of doubt that...

Regardless can some one help please.

Thank you for your time.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jun 2012   #2
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64

Hello aimOs Welcome to the Seven Forums!

I think you partially answered your own question when stating the Disk Management tool wasn't able to delete the 7 C primary while booted in the same OS installed on it. When going to delete the partitions what method or program did you use?

As for data recovery there are a good number of partition as well as data recovery programs like Undelete both free and paid for to choose from. As far as the 7 installation ??? Hope you created a set of recovery disks or know someone with the exact edition in order to borrow their installation media. Windows will need to be reinstalled.

That's the facts to deal with. Hopefully the next time you go to nuke any partition you label the ones you plan to keep beforehand. Then for those you are planning to remove you can simply them "To be deleted" while the OS can be "Windows 7" or "Data". The labeling will be seen when displaying drives and partitions with the partitioning program(if using one) you use.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2012   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Thanks for the reply Night Hawk.

Since disk manager didn't allow me to delete the partitions on my external drive (when hooked up to my laptop via USB)
I booted up into the windows 7 setup, hoping that'll delete the partitions on the external hard drive
and unify the spaces as one.

Then I made the mistake

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Night Hawk View Post
Windows will need to be reinstalled.
So, I'm guessing there is no way to just undelete and make the Windows 7 function like before?
Basically I have to start from scratch now, right?

I ask because there was a lot of programs installed on it (400GB worth), and it would be an
enormous hassle installing everything again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

17 Jun 2012   #4

Win7 Ultimate X64

Did you ever take a backup, do you not have a system image you can restore from?

Windows generally prompts you to do this unless you disable it
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2012   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Pauly View Post
Did you ever take a backup, do you not have a system image you can restore from?

Windows generally prompts you to do this unless you disable it
One of the partitions I deleted by accident (the 15.66GB partition) housed the backup image

As I read on, I think I royally screwed up /facepalm

Seem like my only option is the format the drive and install from scratch, argh...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2012   #6
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64

There are partition recovery as well as data recovery programs to try and get back most of your files. As far as the former Windows install and programs... clean install of OS, new fresh install of all programs.

The 15.66gb partition sounds like the OEM recovery partition which originally held all the drivers and prepackaged bloat wares unless this was a small partition you made on your own. Since any image you could have created and stored on the external would have likely been wiped as well you now would need the factory recovery disks by way of order through dealer/vendor or simply borrow a disk from a friend running the same edition of Windows.

Unfortunately you just learned a hard lesson about the need to verify things before deletion. If you had any unreplacable files like family photos, camcorder videos, etc. that can be devastating! I think the next time you will take things a bit slower and want to be able to verify just what will be removed rather then rushing in head first without looking for sure. You will want take any steps necessary to keep thing separate.

The option Pauly pointed out is a full system image backup of the system usually the main drive and at times one or more other drives depending on the method used. The guide for the backup feature included in 7 should be looked over for consideration once you get things back running again. Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup

The other options for that or incremental backups are seen there as well as various 3rd party softwares like Acronis True Image, Norton Ghost(a long time oldie), Macrium Reflect, etc. For data recovery including loss of the 7 primary one retail program reportedly offers a 7 primary recovery tool. Windows 7 Partition Recovery Software & Tools. Windows File Recovery Software. Recover Windows Files

There's no guaranty that the demo free to try download will work alone or you would need to buy the full program. The home user license is $49 as opposed to some programs running upwards of $70US.

When someone's hard drive got stuffed during a resize of the C primary following the removal of the 7 RC a few years back the C went belly up. One open source freebie got files back and renamed everything to numbered items in several folders the program created. That one got the Winodws files back alright! As numbered files as well with separation required by the 3 digit file extension.

Family photos saved! Windows installation on that drive not! only renamed files then made useless. Even with the better softwares you may still end up needing a full clean install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jun 2012   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Well, I tried recovering the data from deleted partitions via various programs (recuva, easeus, paragon, etc.)

They recovered the files but all of them were useless. Couldn't open a single one. (corrupt, broken, who knows...)

This mistake just cost me >300GB and years worth of personal content.

Regardless, thanks for the replies.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jun 2012   #8
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64

That's a bad turn of event for you then! There was one open source program which might still be a help however but will rename everything including Windows system files by numbering them! It's a royal pain in der... to work with and you would need to sort files out by type into separate folders once the recovery is complete!

Dr. Freeware is the name of it with the latest 7 compatible version found at the home site's download page. Dr. Freeware - Data Recovery

When going to re-expand C on an older XP machine where the second primary saw the 7 RC the entire C volume decided to take a walk! That's the risk you take when resizing OS primaries regardless of the OS! Unfortunately the owner never backs things up!

This recovered all family photos(mountain of jpegs) along with the entire XP install(all file types jumbled up together) into a good number of folders! The owner had to go through tons of temp folders the program created to sort out files of all types including the XP help files as well as drivers, executables, you name it! or should I say Dr. Freeware managed to do that alright!

Folder after folder after folder after... with every file numbered! It worked when others tried were unable to get anything back however while still being a royal pain! That unfortunately is the harsh alternative when nothing else works out!

Without paying premium for a program that still might not be able to recover everything I would say this would be a last resort for you. I think next time you go to remove anything you may want to start off with a regular partitioning program and have the drives and partitons labeled first to see which ones are what before going through this again.

Hopefully this will get everything back for you. Give it a try. Or better yet I just ran into another more suitable option to try out first if you haven't already seen the DiskInternals Partition Recovery program.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jun 2012   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

After using a handful of recovery programs, and none of them working, I just formatted the hard drive
to put this ordeal behind me.

On another note, do you know any programs that can fix/repair the corrupt/broken files I recovered?

I used 5 different programs and have 5 different 300GB copies of the recovered files spread across 2 1TB hard drives at the moment.

All those files have the correct name and size of the files lost, but none of them opens properly.
.doc .txt .jpg .wmv .avi etc. files are either blank, cannot be opened or nothing is shown when opened.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jun 2012   #10
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64

The doc files are Windows help files generally. NotePad would normally be the first option for the txt files by default. The wmv and avi files are video. But the problem is the recovery wasn't complete leaving the files corrupted and unusable.

Did you try the Dr. Freeware before wiping the drive? That got things back intact while other programs tried out here failed. It was the lengthy sorting out of files renamed by number that was the tedious part! Alll files recovered were still usable but you simply had to figure out which ones were OS or personal when going through the mountain of them.

The only way to repair the files you did get back is simply to see new ones that are intact whether they were downloads or saved by program. Your data drive should have been left untouched until all methods were exhausted to see what else could be done if that was wiped along with the OS drive. Generally the first accidental reformat will allow some program to recover files intact once you find the one that will work.

On a similar thread where someone nuked the C primary by accident some other programs to consider are named off. formatted c drive data recovery

Meanwhile earlier I had a chance to grab a screen from the drive where Dr. Freeware had placed that ton of recovered files into scores of temp folders to let you see how that looks!

Attached Thumbnails
Deleted Windows & program housing partitions by mistake... Undelete?-dr-freeware-files-recovered.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Deleted Windows & program housing partitions by mistake... Undelete?

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