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Windows 7: All partitions disappeared during Win10 64 installation in HGST 500GB

30 Dec 2017   #1

Windows 10 64
All partitions disappeared during Win10 64 installation in HGST 500GB

Hi I dropped my laptop with HTS725050A7E630 500GB in GPT which used to have like 500mb free space part at the beggining (it was a win recovery part I deleted and never assigned to other part) then main Win 10 64 part NTFS 107GB. then my files part NTFS lilke 340GB (this what I need to recover) and another Ext4 part like 26GB I made to install Linux Mint.
In Mint I created win 10 64 GPT USB and during install I tried deleting Ext4 Mint part, gave me error and all partitions were gone, all 465GB or so as unallocated free space, went back to a Mint Live from USB and used TestDisk app, when I chose table part EFI GPT (which is also the one the app says it detects) it says in bottom to correct disk geometry for successful recovery, when I open TestDisk it detects my disk having Cylinders 60801 Tracks 255 Sectors/cyl 63 Size 512 but I looked at>

Page 15 says 16383 Cyl, 63 Sect, 16 Head, 4K size and that accounts for 500,107,862,016 bytes which sounds correct but when I try changing disk geometry in TestDisk with that info it assumes disk is only 67GB???

I found two websites where people with same HDD ran diskdiagnostic tools and came with different geometries>

HGST 500GB,Internal,7200 RPM 2.5 (HTS725050A7E630) laptop HDD hard drive 5711045305276 | eBay
Says Parameters 969021 cylinders, 16 heads, 63 sectors per track, 512 bytes per sector (I tried these settings in TestDisk and gave like 4 missmatch geometry messages as soon as partitions quick scan started, it was taking forever, stopped it)

Hardware scan reported error - Lenovo Community
Says same as what TestDisk tells me by default 60801 255 63 512

Please help, I cannot afford loosing the data in the 340GB part, I cant go pay 200usd to an expert either.

I will try to make donation to those who help me, tyvm

My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2017   #2

Windows 7 HP 64

Welcome to the Forum.

Was the laptop running when you dropped it?

If you have data you can't loose, why you don't have a backup?

If it has a hardware damage, you won't be able to recover your data.
If it is a software problem, you may have a chance to recover your data.
You have already tried to fix your drive. DON'T do anything. Wait for specialized help.

Do you have a desktop to attach the drive to?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jan 2018   #3

Windows 10 64
It can be done, dont tell me "it cannot be recovered"

Ok I just finished this 5 days nightmare from dropping my laptop, but at the end, I'm happy and need to speak to you people in data recovery forums. I'll tell you my story.

Yes the PC was ON when I dropped it but I wasnt using it so I guess if could be reading writing files only in my main partition where Win10 was, which was a 100GB part from the beggining of disk to like 30% of it (From now on Part A), since it was a 465GB, from that point it was my big,personal data partition like 345GB with like 330GB full (From now on Part B), mostly by videogames and downloads that didnt matter, my personal data was 87GB, I know now the exact amount because I RECOVERED THE DATA AND THE DISK. So, yes i though like, the disk needle couldnt have damaged Part B bc I wasnt using files from there at the time of drop. I read your response that "Im screwed" and in Tom's Hardware forum but I LOVE TO DREAM AND NEVER GIVE UP HOPE, I tried solution after solution, TestDisk in linux was USELESS, it just kept saying "the following partitions cant be recovered" which listed ALL partitions in my disk. And after reading you in forums I was terrified but kept on.
Used EaseUS, MiniTool Partition Wizard and AOMEI WinPE builder with their partition and file recovery wizards, MiniTool and EaseUS were useless bc with "quickscan" of disk it only showed my Part A, actually twice and along with other 10 small partitions I didnt recognize at all, everything messed up, and with full scan they hanged shortly after starting, less than 1% progess, I assume bc cant read a bad sector so app would hang, which to me sounds stupid in the way those apps are programmed, how come a BROKEN, DROPPED, SCRATCHED hard disks recovery software IS NOT programmed to SKIP broken damaged sectors? I tried EaseUS Data Recovery and full scan started listing files, specially from Part A, the part I beliece was mostly damaged with files I didnt care, windows and program files, fullscan was taking godly forever and I also thought the file recovering was going to be without original names and folders organizations, which would also have been catastrophic for me in case I recovered my 87GB of mostly pictures bc names help me organize them, IDK if they were going to have original date of capture or modification and read in EaseUS an article that read there is just no way to recover data from RAW disk with names and folders organization and I STILL didnt want to believe that, I didnt lose hope and I FOUND IT.
I must have looked at a dozen lists of "best partition and data recovery softwares" and they all listed Recuva, EaseUS, MiniTool (Btw I ran Recuva from the AOMEI Win10PE enviroment AND IT DIDNT EVEN RECOGNIZE MY HDD), but NONE of those lists mentioned "ActivePartitionRecovery" Active@ Partition Recovery restores deleted damaged volumes &amp disks. Freeware Data Recovery Software Toolkit

I made bootable and it came with everything, partition, file recovery, bootable builder, everything, in the settings it has an option of like "Skip dead sectors when found" you can customize how many, minimum 1 sector, SO SCANS DONT HALT FOREVER, WHICH THEY WILL, THESE ARE DEAD HDD, WHAT DID YOU EXPECT? THIS SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN ALL PART AND DATA RECOVERY SOFTS, LIKE MINITOOL.

In partition recovery I scanned and IT FOUND MY PART B I WAS LOOKING FOR, THERE IT WAS, 345GB, IT SAID "STATUS: EXCELLENT", but it appeared twice as well as Part A and many other unknown partitions, like 15 partitions, idk, software suggested something I did not read in ONE SINGLE FORUM or ANYWHERE, other program, nothing, it was MBR Table was corrupted (probably what happened when I tried to delete Ext4 partition when originally trying to install windows 10 in a 26GB partition at the end of the disk (From now on Part C), that all of a sudden all partitions dissappeared all disk showed unallocated, I think Win10 broke my disk by some bugging between Linux and Windows messing in the same disk), so, I didnt find how to fix MBR in ActiveRecovery (I know it can be done but didnt want to find out) so went back to EaseUS bc I saw that option in there, I did delete MBR in EaseUS, went back to ActiveRecovery, quickscan showed all my partitions correctly, Part A, Part B, and Part C, and some unallocated space like 450MB at very beggining of the disk, used to be a recovery partition. ActivePartition let me restore partitions and I was able to install Win10 to the Part C, I was happy and glorious, when disaster striked again, a couple hours of installing Win10 the sys was extreeeemely slow, disk was failing, I could hear it by a soft looped sound emitted by HDD, I had heard it before, like 3 mins to open something. rebooted PC but it was dead again, Part C was dead. Sys tried to boot recovery partition, nothing either. And I hadnt had the time to backup, it was fear again but in bootable AOMEI Win10PE enviroment, I was able to use ActivePartition Data Recovery to copy all my 87GB to USBs and phones to another computer, actually the windows explorer in AOMEI WinPE was able to open my Part B and its files and everything fine.

I was happy, if I had to change HDD at least I recovered everything, even beyond the opinion of data recovery forums people.

SO, in EaseUS Partition Master I deleted and formated and WIPED with zeros all parts, except for the Part C, it wouldnt let me, idk why, didnt show option to delete nor wipe format nothing, I tried Win10 ISO installation from USB again and it let me delete Part C too, no problem, formatted all, all disk was again unallocated, created 80GB part, I assume from the beggining of disk to about 30% of it, and another big part for the rest of disk (just like I used to before), went back to use CHKDSK /F from the Win10 recovery options on both partitions, part A gave many errors, I think it fixed them in stage 1 and 2 of CHKDSK but stage 3 I think is trying to recover dead sectors, it gave error, I didnt care, I knew at least some unrepairable scarring was going to happen to my disk, did CHKDSK to part B but said no errors.
Installed Win10 to the 80GB part and it went smooth, couple hours after using Windows and no trouble, formatted and chkdsk again the big partition, went smooth, it said no trouble. Now a couple days using the PC, seems fine. Today I have noticed the "death loop noise" from the HDD a couple times, during which nothing really loads, but they are a couple seconds long, hope they go away.

I just want to say a couple of things, linux is great and everything and its the base of android but god, once you lose windows, I felt like in hell before I borrowed my GFs Win laptop, the job that TestDisk did was completely useless compared to the Windows-only apps I used, my top picks were EaseUS Partition Master and specially Active Partition Recovery.

CONCLUSION: If you have a dead HDD which had Win, any version, GPT or MBR, I would personally strongly recommend NOT INSTALLING LINUX in any partition you so happen to get to work in the HDD, that Ext4 filesystem used by Linux will mess with the Win NTFS stuff, one way or another. Besides, Linux and its data recovery softwares were totally useless for me. Unfortunately the windows softs I mentioned dont have a Linux version but its better you find another PC, make a bootable of those softs and go from there (I dont really recommend Minitool, I think it pretty much sucked. And everybody recommends it in forums, I think its crap) AND HEY, THOSE MINITOOL, EASEUS and others are CRAZY expensive, like 40-80 dollars while ActivePartitionRecovery is like 5-15usd depending on version, I used Unlimited.

Most importantly, BACKUP YOUR DATA, I KNOW I SCREWED UP FROM BEGGINING BY NOT DOING SO but I leard a hard way, fortunately didnt lose it, but if you so happen to end up in my situation. DONT TRUST A COUPLE OF WORDS SAID IN A FORUM, TRY YOURSELF, not all droppings and HDD damage are the same, if you have hope and try hard, just give your best and you might as well get back all your data and maybe also your disk. DONT LOSE HOPE and BACKUP and if during windows installation all your partitions disappear, I think that you should start from restoring MBR of disk. THAT is where my initial trouble was from the beggining.
That thing about TestDisk that "the cylinders, sector, heads," mismatch, check label and bla bla, just dont waste your time, go straight to a bootable WinPE where you could use Win apps. Only portable ones as you cannot run an installation inside those WinPE, or maybe you get a Windows To Go in a USB, I didnt have the opportunity, which is windows already installed and ready to inside a USB drive, I didnt have the opportunity because with Win 10 you have to have ENTERPRISE edition to make that, you make it with Rufus from a Windows.

In case you are still wondering "what is that WinPE?" its sort of a Windows to go, but usually like more simple and with very basic features. The AOMEI only had a couple features but was less thab 100mb, I read there are others more like a full Win installation, over 1GB, like a Linux Live, mostly complete with everything, maybe in those you can even install applications with installers and everything I dont know, you burn these WinPE to bootable USBs.

My System SpecsSystem Spec


 All partitions disappeared during Win10 64 installation in HGST 500GB

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