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I was trying to boot my system using USB drive. It formatted my system and reinstalled Windows XP but deleted all the previous partition.

Now in my system there is only one partition and that is C: with 55.7GB space (Size of my hard disk). Please suggest me how can I recover my previous partition with all data.

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3 Answers 3

If the data has a substantial financial value to you, turn off the computer, remove the hard disk and send it to a data recovery specialist.

If you want to recover the data yourself, your first priority is to make a backup of the disk before more data loss occurs, every minute that you have Windows running there is a chance that more of your old data is being overwritten by files being created or extended (e.g. event logs) in the new partition. Boot the PC using a recovery CD/DVD and make an image backup of the disk. You may need to purchase an additional disk to hold the backup.

If the old data partition was not at the start of the disk, there is probably more likelihood that it has not been much overwritten by the new windows installation. You'll need to Purchase data recovery software (or locate free software) that will scan the disk for data sectors and recreate the old files.

I can't recommend any particular software as this has never happened to me - I always backup my important data before installing a new operating system.

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While its going to take a minor or major miracle to 'save' your old install, there's a slim chance testdisk MIGHT be able to recover the old partitions. I'd suggest using a linux live cd to avoid booting into the hard drive - you can use your bog standard ubuntu cd, and install it in there with apt, and follow the step by step guide at the test disk website. If testdisk dosen't find it, you may have little option but to try a professional recovery service.

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First of all: DON'T BOOT THIS NEW SYSTEM ANY MORE.

After that, plug your HDD as an external drive into another computer.

Then you could try to recover your data using PhotoRec, Testdisk or Recuva.

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