A customer resized a Windows partition to make the C drive bigger and the D drive smaller. I don't know how, or with what software, but it failed and now the D drive is unreadable in Windows. The resizer tool shows the files, but Windows cannot.

I'm working remotely so I can't reboot to a rescue disk.

I've tried using selfimage to get a copy of the partition, and I can, but osfmount opens it but Windows can't read it, 7zip shows some files but they're all mangled names and not real.

I can't buy anything, I can't send it to a recovery company and there is no backup. I'm looking for a free "scan a broken NTFS drive/drive image and extract some files" utility. There must be one out there, do you know of one?


I copied SelfImage to the computer and imaged the hard disk to a network share.

On another machine, I used the trial of Mount Image Pro to present the image as real physical drives.

The trial of their Recover My Files ran against it, and found lots of files but wouldn't restore them.

Then I used PhotoRec Free to extract a lot of files, often it extracted junk.

Then, today, someone else managed to get checkdisk to run against the broken volume, which I couldn't, and that fixed it, so there was no need for this anyway!

  • 2
    This should probably go to SU. – Dan May 25 '11 at 20:10

Glary Undelete should recover any files it can find, and it's free (beer).


  • This seems to only work if Windows can read the partition, then it can undelete files. Since Windows couldn't, it couldn't. – TessellatingHeckler May 26 '11 at 16:23

First things first, if this data is at all valuable and working on the assumption you have no backups give up on the idea of doing this remotely. Shut the machine off and have the hard drive imaged.

Beyond that DTI Data has some tools you can try - Google may come up with others.
Note that every recovery tool has a chance for data loss, which is why you REALLY want to do a binary image of the disk first (so you can get back to where you started if the whole thing goes to hell).

This is also a good time to talk to your client about the need for good, tested, working backups of critical data -- it's often easier to shake the money tree during a catastrophic event.

  • I know I shouldn't do it remotely, what I don't know is can I? They have backups, everything stored on the server, and they know it - but why they just save to the local hard disk on a desktop, I don't know. I can do a disk image from Windows (yes I know, changing the disk) to a server. That's where I'm hoping I can pull files from... except the partition information isn't good. – TessellatingHeckler May 25 '11 at 20:31
  • I'm confused...your question said there's no backup, but here you said they have backups...? – Bart Silverstrim May 25 '11 at 23:45
  • There's no backup of desktops, they do have backups generally. DanBig is probably right that this should be to SU not Serverfault. – TessellatingHeckler May 26 '11 at 1:04

Updated my question with details, but in the end checkdisk was the best resolution.

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