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I lost the D-partition in My Computer

I opened My Computer, but couldn't find it and I don't know where it is or how to return it. I went to Disk Management and found it available as free space.

So I tried to make it NTFS, but I had to format the drive and I don't want to, since it will erase my data.

Does anyone know how I can restore my partition without losing my data?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Apr 22 '10 at 20:06

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4  
Here, have some punctuation: ,.!?; –  squircle Apr 22 '10 at 20:13
    
OMG I almost feel this is beyond redemption... –  Ivo Flipse Apr 22 '10 at 20:15
2  
You know: after cleaning up I feel this is actually a good question! –  Ivo Flipse Apr 22 '10 at 20:21
    
Let's see if there is clarification. I would hate to try and ask a question in say Russian if I was not fluent. Perhaps there is a real language issue –  Dave M Apr 22 '10 at 20:22
1  
No need: the spelling police fixed it! Though my English isn't exactly fluent either –  Ivo Flipse Apr 22 '10 at 20:25
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4 Answers

Try using TestDisk, which is excellent at rebuilding NTFS partitions. It's available on the Knoppix Linux distribution, so you can boot using the Knoppix Live CD and recover from there.

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TestDisk is a powerful free data recovery software! It was primarily designed to help recover lost partitions and/or make non-booting disks bootable again when these symptoms are caused by faulty software, certain types of viruses or human error (such as accidentally deleting a Partition Table). Partition table recovery using TestDisk is really easy.

TestDisk can:

  • Fix partition table, recover deleted partition
  • Recover FAT32 boot sector from its backup
  • Rebuild FAT12/FAT16/FAT32 boot sector
  • Fix FAT tables
  • Rebuild NTFS boot sector
  • Recover NTFS boot sector from its backup
  • Fix MFT using MFT mirror
  • Locate ext2/ext3 Backup SuperBlock
  • Undelete files from FAT, NTFS and ext2 filesystem
  • Copy files from deleted FAT, NTFS and ext2/ext3 partitions.

TestDisk has features for both novices and experts. For those who know little or nothing about data recovery techniques, TestDisk can be used to collect detailed information about a non-booting drive which can then be sent to a tech for further analysis. Those more familiar with such procedures should find TestDisk a handy tool in performing onsite recovery.

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I deleted the MBR and the partition table of a hard disk in VirtualBox using "MBR Work" and "MBR Utility" intentionally, to see if I can restore the partition table. The hard disk had 3 primary partitions and 3 "logical" partitions inside an extended partition - all NTFS

I tried TestDisk and it restored only the first two partitions correctly. It could not guess the correct end of the third primary partition. Also it could not detect the extended partition.

After that, I tried utilities from HIRENS Boot CD:

  • DiskGenius (AKA PartitionGuru Pro 3.7) - it worked very nice. It could detect all the partitions and it restored them without any problem.

  • Partition Wizard 7.6 could detect all 6 partitions even with a "Quick Scan" (it also has "Full Scan" option). It restored the partition table and all partitions without any problem. Super fast and super easy.

Other programs that might be capable to restore the partition table (haven't tested them):

I also tried DiskInternals Partition Recovery 4.2 - it detected my deleted partitions and I could save all the files from all those partitions on another disk. What I could not do is to actually restore the partition table. Also it took quite long to detect all partitions and files - at least 40 minutes for a 80 GB disk. So it's not optimal at all but it works.

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Try RecoverMyFiles in "Recover a Drive" mode. I've used it to successfully recover files even after someone reformatted their hard drive. Whereas some recovery tools will recover files but scramble all the filenames, RecoverMyFiles can usually also recover the filenames.

The free version will tell you if your files can be recovered, and the paid version is well worth the $70 to actually recover your data.

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After spending several hours trying various free programs to recover my folders and files from my Windows XP NTFS disk that has the isolated I/O error, I finally found Partition Recovery 3.7, by DiskInternals. It works very reliably, but costs $100 USD (for the NTFS version). I'd say that price is well worth it if you really need your disk (or a single partition) recovered. It can save the recovered folders and/or files in a folder on any drive, including destination folders accessed by file sharing across a local network (LAN) on another computer's disk drive, FTP, and other methods. It's very easy to use even without the Wizard that guides you through the recovery process.

It recovers both existing and deleted files, although I could easily choose to ignore the deleted files. I have no idea how it fares as compared with RecoverMyFiles. The free versions of these programs show you information about the recovered files, but don't allow you to save them.

The program has many other features that I didn't need to use. An apparently independent review of this product is available.

Sorry this sounds like an advertisement, but I'm really impressed with how well it worked.

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