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Last night I made a terrible mistake. I was reinstalling Windows and I accidentally deleted all the partitions on all my drives. I realized my mistake before I had created any partitions, so nothing has been written to any of the disks. I'm currently at my wits' end about what I'll do if I don't manage to recover the data.

I have two 1TB drives and a 2TB. One of the 1TB was the drive I was supposed to be reformatting so nothing to be recovered there. I am currently in a Linux livecd.

In this article Microsoft advises to recreate the exact same partition but choose not to format it, and then recover the backup boot sector from the end of the ntfs volume.

But none of the drives I want to recover are bootable drives. So does that mean I do not need to rewrite the boot sector? As in if I simply recreate a partition of the same size it will see all my data?

Or would I be better off using the TestDisk utility?

Please help, I'm desperate!!

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migrated from Sep 20 '12 at 6:48

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

1. DO NOT format or otherwise write to the drive. 2. Put the drive into a machine that you can access it from. 3. Find a file recovery utility that allows you to recover lost files and partitions. – joeqwerty Sep 20 '12 at 2:52
Use the Google. There are plenty of utilities (some free, IIRC) that can recover a partition you deleted that way. If you overwrite it, or "recreate the partition," this makes the process MUCH harder and more likely that you'll have to shell out some serious money to mostly get your data back. – HopelessN00b Sep 20 '12 at 3:17
While we don't normally do product recommendations in this instance I'll suggest R-Studio, which I've used many times in these circumstances. – John Gardeniers Sep 20 '12 at 3:29

TestDisk will do what you want. Another option (if you are on Linux, e.g. from a Live CD) would be gpart.

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