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I created a 50GB partition on my hard drive to experiment with installing a 2nd copy of W7. (I wanted to see if a clean install would fix a bug)

However, It seems I can no longer access the old part of my computer the way it was before. I was under the impression that creating a partition like this was harmless. Is there anyway to change my primary partition back to what the computer boots to?

Thanks

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What utility did you use to create the partition? –  Tog Oct 12 '12 at 8:19
    
minitool partition wizard –  SwimBikeRun Oct 12 '12 at 8:35
    
Normally there isn't any spare space; did you delete the original partition? –  pjc50 Oct 12 '12 at 8:50
    
no I split a 50GB chunk of it off –  SwimBikeRun Oct 12 '12 at 9:31
    
Can you see all partitions in diskmgr.msc? Can you mount the original partition? –  Ansgar Wiechers Oct 12 '12 at 10:05

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Usually if you don't explicit delete a partition it will be able to backup, because partition table is mostly changed.

If you have a computer with a working Windows or Linux system you can create a bootable CD with a very good and free partitioning software called Easeus Partition Master (Home Edition):

Just follow the instructions here:

http://www.partition-tool.com/easeus-partition-manager/bootablecd.htm#I2

If you have no working computer, you must download from somewhere a Boot-CD, like one of the best i know is Hiren's Boot CD which has a lot of tools on it for partition and MBR-Recovery:

You can find it her: http://www.hiren.info/pages/bootcd

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The partition table is stored in the master boot record (MBR). If you don't have any backups and minitool doesn't generate MBR backups, the only thing that's left is guessing the partition table. There are some tools like gpart.
However, the minitool partition wizard you've mentioned in your comment has the option "Rebuild MBR" in the context menu for your drive. It goes through the disc and searches for characteristical partition beginnings. If you have a vague idea of how your partitions looked like before, you might be lucky.

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Before it was all one big partition. I haven't done anything with the rest of the drive. The computer can't see it. I'll install minitool on my fresh fresh W7 installation on the 50GB partition. Hopefully this fixes it :) –  SwimBikeRun Oct 12 '12 at 8:50
    
Of course overwritten data is lost. What I've suggested above holds only for lost partitions i.e. if the windows install process has left the data of your previous partition untouched. –  artistoex Oct 12 '12 at 8:54
    
damn I guess when it partitioned it, it ruined the original partition... That sucks. I only wanted a 50GB testing area. Is there anyway to recover the other data? - The partition barely took any time so I am 100% sure most of the data is still there. –  SwimBikeRun Oct 12 '12 at 9:37
    
@user1018733 then you may be lucky guessing the original partition table –  artistoex Oct 12 '12 at 11:10
    
I wasn't able to recover anything... :( o well –  SwimBikeRun Oct 12 '12 at 15:30

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