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I am trying to restore partitions on an old hard drive. The drive has been formatted previously. I am using TestDisk 6.14. When I choose the option Deeper Search I think it finds something, because a screen that looks like a list of partitions flashes quickly before my eyes, but it says that the hard drive is too small.

A hard drive being too small... what does that imply? It's quite normal for an old hard drive to be small. It's only 15 GB! If it was a 1750 GB hard drive and I got that message that would be alarming. But for an old hard drive... well, of course it's small?! I'm sure TestDisk supports hard drives that are 15 GB or smaller?!

Disk /dev/sdd - 15 GB / 14 GiB - CHS 1871 255 63

The harddisk (15 GB / 14 GiB) seems too small! ((30 GB / 28 GiB))
Check the harddisk size_ HD jumpers settings, BIOS detection...

The following partition can't be be recovered:
  Partition      Start         End           Size in sectors
> HPFS - NTFS    1870 254 63   3741 253 62   30057552

[ Continue ]
NTFS, blocksize=4096, 15 GB / 14 GiB

What are my chances of restoring the partitions?

Screenshots; step by step.







The screen that just flashes by appears here, right between these two. I would have to do a screen recording to capture that particular frame. Is there a way to pause TestDisk at this point to allow me to read what it says on that screen?...

Update: Here is a screenshot of that screen.



Pressing Enter just returns to the main menu.



share|improve this question
There seems to be a partition of 30057552 sectors (which translates to 14.6 GiB). That is the full size of the HDD. However your 7th screenshot shows it as starting about a third of the way into the disk. That can't be right. If testdisk is trying to recover using those values then it correctly aborts. – Hennes Sep 4 '13 at 13:58
Based on the output the data on the partitions are already done. You will be unable to make the partition bootable. – Ramhound Sep 4 '13 at 14:01
The hard drive is currently formatted as NTFS. Total capacity (according to disk properties dialog) is 15 389 462 528 byte (14.3 GB), free space is 15 295 041 536 bytes (14,2 GB), used space is 94 420 992 bytes (90,0 MB). – sammyg Sep 4 '13 at 14:14
I managed to recover some of the old files using Recuva. I recovered 2009 files, total size of 15 GB. (Some of them do seem to be duplicates.) The Undelete option in TestDisk didn't recover anything, it only shows system volume information and the special recycle bin folder of the current NTFS partition. – sammyg Sep 4 '13 at 20:02
This hard drive is otherwise still functional. It's one of the old WD Caviar drives. It's an OEM drive from an old decommissioned 1990s Toshiba desktop PC. Toshiba doesn't make desktops anymore. I'm surprised this thing still works. – sammyg Sep 4 '13 at 20:05

I believe DISKPART may be what you're looking for. I use this niffty command line tool for just about all my stuburn HDD woes.

Note: Don't get nervous by Microsofts overly verbose summaries and descriptions- DISKPART is a simple tool to use.

share|improve this answer
How can Diskpart help with lost partitions or deleted files? What commands are we talking about? – sammyg Sep 4 '13 at 19:38
Are you trying to RECOVER old partitions AKA data recovery, or are you trying to SALVAGE an old hard drive by reformating and building new partions? DISKPART is for building HDDs, not recovering them. – Josh Campbell Sep 4 '13 at 21:35
"It has been formatted previously." I was trying to recover, or restore the partitions that were lost as a result of the formatting operation. – sammyg Sep 5 '13 at 14:40
That still does not answer my question. Are you trying to recover data or salvage the drive? The old partitions are nothing. Just create new ones using DISKPART. If you are trying to recover data from a formated drive, use EaseUS Data Recovery. You can recover 2gb free. I liked it enough to purchased it for all my formating boo-boos. – Josh Campbell Sep 5 '13 at 15:23

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