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Windows 7: partition lost

28 Jul 2011   #1

Windows 7
partition lost

Hi, I'm new here, and I have a terrible problem!
I have a PC, with 1 HD of 500GB and the following partitions:
windows XP - NTFS 50 GB
Windows 7 - NTFS 350 GB
Linux Ubuntu - 98 GB
Linux swap - 2GB

The last OS that I have installed was Windows 7, and each time, when I started up
my PC, I saw GRUB first, and after choosing the option to load windows,
the Windows loader giving me 2 options, one for Windows 7 and one for Windows XP.
I didn't like to see first GRUB and after that the windows loader, it was redundant,
but everything was working well.
One day, I decided to mix the windows 7 and the windows XP partitions (deleting the windows XP
and resizing windows 7)
I tried to do that with the Windows 7 utility included in the control panel but I couldn't.
it said that I couldn't delete the active partition or something like that. It was not possible
to delete the partition in which WinXP was stored.
Then, I decided to boot with Ubuntu and use the partitioning tool that comes with it to delete
the WinXP partition.
It was possible to delete the partition, and I also putted the option "bootable" on the 350GB
Windows 7 partition.
After that, I rebooted and it was not possible to load windows.
Then I tried changing in GRUB the entry for Windows, because I thought if I could put the correct
partition to load from, it wouldn't be more problems.
I tried several times but I couldn't load windows, so I putted the Windows 7 DVD and I started
the installation process, waiting to see an option saying that there was already a system in
the partition of 350GB, and allowing me to fix the mbr in that partition.
My surprise was when I choose the partition of 350GB and the installation process began.
I was afraid of to lose my data then I decided to reset the computer!
And now, all my 350GB disk is gone! I can't see the partition when I enter with Ubuntu.
I'm really worried about this, because the computer detects the 350GB partition as empty, and
I don't know what to do!
I turned off the computer and now I am using another to write this. I have all my files and
important information in that partition! and It seems it's lost.
Please help me!! I hope it's still possible to restore the partition,
Actually I don't care if I have to install again my operating systems but I NEED my information!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jul 2011   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit SP1

You may be able to recover the data, but not the OS.
What file types are you looking for? If they are recovered, the names will be like 'sector23623422.jpg' and so on..
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jul 2011   #3

Windows 7

Thank you for your answer!
Actually I need to recover a low percentage of the disk because for the most part I have backup. What I would need to recover is by path, if it's possible.
I know the path for those directories I need to recover. What software should I use? May I try with many different softwares or just with one? May I copy an image of the whole partition to try to recover without having more risks of lose information? Can I use the same HD to load Linux which has no problems meanwhile? or it will rewrite the Windows 7 partition? Can I use the same HD but other partitions to put the recovered information? or Do I need to run the recovering application from another HD and have atached the HD from which I am trying to recover the data?
Sorry for so many questions but I'm in a huge trouble.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

28 Jul 2011   #4
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

If the windows7 partition has restore points, you can recover your data with Shadow Explorer. Else you can try a live Linux CD.

In case you have problems operating Shadow Explorer, here is a little tutorial I made long time ago:
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jul 2011   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit SP1

I have shadowexplorer as well, the best would be if that would work (you can define the path I guess)
If that fails PM me with your email address adn I'll send you the app which will work, but you wont be able to see the path with it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jul 2011   #6


To undelete a partition use free Partition Wizard bootable CD Partition Recovery Wizard. It will scan for deleted partitions, list all found, then you check the ones you want restored.

Once you've recover the partition, post back a screenshot of your full Disk Management drive map with listings showing all columns, using the Snipping Tool in Start menu. Tell us what you want to do and we will give you the steps as we have hundreds of times before in these situations.

In the future, when you delete a System Active partition, you must mark Win7 Active and Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times to write the System boot files to Win7 partition and start it up. Keep in mind GRUB will often corrupt this process and make Win7 irreparable when on the same HD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jul 2011   #7

Windows 7

whs: I suppose it had restore points because it was Ultimate edition, but I don't think Shadow Explorer will help me, because the partition seems as if it were empty. I think with a Linux live CD it's the same as now that I'm trying to access to the partition using My Ubuntu, stored in the same HD. Anyhow I am going to download it and I will try to see if It helps.
speedgamer: I still can't find the option to send PMs, After that I will send you my address. I would really appreciate if you can send me that tool.
gregrocker: I am downloading the "Free Download Bootable CD Now!" from the link you gave to me, I will try it and I will say what happend. Thank you for the advice for the future.
What I will do now:
*I am going to buy a HD of 1TB.
*I will install Windows 7 Ultimate and Ubuntu in that new HD.
*I will put the HD with problems as a secondary HD and the new one as the main HD.
*I will create an image of the partition of the HD that have the problems.
a)Using the "dd" command under Ubuntu to create one image and...
b)Using a Windows 7 tool to create another image.
*I will store that images in the new HD.
*I will try the different recovery software options.

If you know a tool that I can use under Windows 7 Ultimate to create an image of the partition, please let me know.
I have never worked with tools like dd under linux, or recovery tools, then I haven't too much knowledge.
Then my idea is to have the posibility of to "try again" if the method that I used to solve my problems doesn't work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jul 2011   #8


If you have a WD or Seagate HD in the mix, you can use their free premium Acronis True Image cloning/imaging apps which are probably the best out there.
Seagate Acronis cloning free util
WD Acronis free cloning app

Otherwise you can use Win7 built-in Backup imaging:
Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup
System Image Recovery

Other freeware recommended here includes Macrium Reflect and Paragon 11. Macrium - Image your system
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 partition lost

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