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Recovering from unallocated partition


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From a friend I received a laptop with 2 partions on it. One partition with Windos xP Home (C:) on it and the other partition is corrupted or even deleted. The later was the original boot partitions with XP and user data while the c: partition was the windows recovery partion.


Problem is now how to recover the data form that lost partition. With a very special program I can mount the unallocated partion and with recuva in wizard mode I started to recover the data. I started with Pictures. It cost over 7 hours to recover a lot of pictures, even Windows and program pictures, gifs and png where recoverd, where I was only looking for data in My Documents.


Is there a special mode or tric using recuva whereby I can recover files in a structured way in the original directory.


Is there also a mode to recover the lost partition without losing data. Because the program I have used (Partition Find and Mount) is only temporary mounting the lost partition




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Hi Gijs, and welcome to Piriform.


In Recuva, go to "Options\General" and change the view mode to "tree view", which will allow you to target the files/folders you are trying to recover by using the + buttons to open the various branches of the file tree.


In "Options\Actions", check the "Restore folder structure" box which will restore the recovered files into the same file/folder structure that they were in previously, but in the location you choose.


I wonder if this may also be worth a try:


Paragon Rescue Kit 10 Free Edition:


Rescue Kit professionally fixes boot problems as well as retrieves your data when your system fails to boot. It even rescues deleted partitions. All, you need to do to achieve complete control over any situation is burn the software on your CD/DVD!


Or this:


MiniTool Power Data Recovery Free Edition:


MiniTool Power Data Recovery Free Edition includes five data recovery modules: Undelete Recovery, Damaged Partition Recovery, Lost Partition Recovery, Digital Media Recovery and CD/DVD Recovery.


I've just had a look at this one myself, and although it carries a couple of "nags" as you open and close it down, it is free and worth a look. This doesn't have to be burned to a CD as Rescue Kit Express does.


Hope that helps.

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Hi DennisD,,


Thank you for your welcome in this forum and for your suggestions.

Before I will try to restore the deleted partition I like to save as much data as possible.


I followed your idea to make the directory structure visible. At first I didn't really understand it, because in order to alter the options you described I had to discard the wizard. I did set the options like you told me and then pressed the scan. It was ready just in a split second.

I saw a few directories always starting with a dollar-sign. So I started the wizard again in a nightly run and after 7 hours (for 15 GB of unallocated disk space) I found out that 400 documents were found. But I saw no directory structure at all. But ... while saving the data to an external disk I saw a directory structure appearing including the documents. Great !!! :D :D :D I didn't have to sort out all the documents, they were already placed in the correct directory !!


Now I started again to scan the disk for all the pictures on it. And after that the music and the video.


When everything is saved I will try to recover the partition using one of your programs. Can I run Paragon from a usb-stick ?


I let you know





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Paragon won't run from a Flash Drive, but this program will, which is different to the data recovery program in the earlier post which has only a "demo" bootable ISO.


MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition:


Functions include: Resizing partitions, Copying partitions, Create partition, Delete partition, Format partition, Convert partition, Explore partition, Hide partition, Change drive letter, Set active partition, Partition Recovery.


Download the "Bootable CD" ISO, and then install it to your Flash Drive with "UNetbootin". You don't need the program they outline to do this.


UNetbootin: Choose "Disk Image", select your Flash Drive and browse to the downloaded ISO.




MiniTool Partition Wizard Bootable CD:




Good luck with it.

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Hi Dennis


I have burned the iso of RK_free to a CD. I booted from CD and started to search for deleted partions. The first cycle costed almost 14 hours and then the progress indicators showed only about 40 % and the process continued with another 24 hour.

It will take a long time. ;)


But now after 4 hours of that 24 I see that some deleted partitions has already been found.Unforunately it shows the sectors in hex formats. I had hoped that the old partionname was also recoverd.


But I still have 20 hours to go now, so I let you know on saturday





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Hi Gijs.


I've no idea if that amount of time is normal or not as I've happily never been in the position of having to recover or undelete a partition, so I have no personal experience of doing that. It does seem inordinately long.


Maybe try the other program from a flash drive. I gave it a run out and it very quickly found my live partitions, but once again I couldn't say if it would find a corrupt or undeleted one any quicker.


There is another program which a member had some success with recently after being recommended to try it by hazel, one of the other mods. This is the thread.




TestDisk Step By Step:


It doesn't at first glance look to be very user friendly, but it is quite easy to use.


If you need to use it from a bootable media, that is possible as it comes included with a few Linux distros which can be booted from a flash drive.


One point. I'm wondering why you need to use bootable media. Is it actually the system partition you're having the issue with? I didn't think that was the case from your first post ...


One partition with Windos xP Home (C:) on it and the other partition is corrupted or even deleted.


Did you retrieve the other stuff OK, the photos and video?

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Hi Dennis,

What happens after 3 hours of the promised 24 hours the program has finished and didnot found a partition.


So I had to start all over again and I tried another suggestion Partion Wizard Home Edition 5.2. That program did also not find a partition but recommend to download PDR6free (power data recovery) also from MiniTool.

That program could recover I hope all of the data from the corrupted/deleted partition (photo's, documents, even .dbx files from Outlook Express and several cabs.

All together more then 12 GB. But all as raw data e.i. all photo's (.jpg) were numbered form 1 to 3600 and also all documents. So no names but numbers


So far so good. I will have a look at your last suggestions now. I tried Testdisk but it is a command line program.


Was it a system partitions. Yes and no. It is a Packard Bell laptop with normally 2 partitions. The C: partitions is used by PB to recover XP form scratch in case of problems.

De d: partition is the boot partition having XP installed and all of the user data on it.


As the laptop didn't start up properly, somebody installed XP from a CD to the C: partition, after trying to recover it from C:. Those actions did delete or corrupt the d: partition.


What I will do now is install XP on C: and use the d: as a data partition.

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I tried Testdisk but it is a command line program.


The C: partitions is used by PB to recover XP form scratch in case of problems. De d: partition is the boot partition having XP installed and all of the user data on it.




At first glance Test Disk looks like command line, but it isn't.


If you look at it closely, you don't have to input any commands. It's entire operation is based upon giving you choices to select. Much easier than it looks.


The second point I've highlighted makes me think the cause of the problems you are having is right there. Invariably, the C: drive is the system partition and the D: drive is the usually write protected, and sometimes hidden, "Recovery Partition".


Those partitions would never have been set up like that from scratch. Maybe someone has changed the drive letters around for whatever reason, or has "write enabled" the Recovery Partition to use the space for an OS install. Very confusing.


Good luck with your install of windows.

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