how can i recover my data?
April 7, 2006 9:44 PM   Subscribe

i lost a partition in a reformat, but the data is still on my harddrive. i want to get the data off. i have r-studio, but not enough disk space on the existing partition to put the other data on it, and i thought i shouldn't create a new partition to put the data on, as that could mess up remaining data. i don't have an external harddrive. is there any way i can safely get the data off? thanks!

im using xp sp2 home, by the way
posted by willmillar to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
Depending on your exact situation, TestDisk may help.
posted by thedward at 10:18 PM on April 7, 2006 [1 favorite]

What you're supposed to do: make a bit-for-bit copy of the partition on a separate, healthy disk, and perform recovery from the copy.

What's worked for me: running GetDataBack for NTFS from within Windows; it will scan for missing partitions and files, which you can then copy elsewhere - if you don't have enough space remaining on your HDD to copy the entire partition (and don't want to spring for an additional harddrive) you could offload files to CD or DVD.

Wish I'd known about TestDisk - it looks like it's worth trying, first.
posted by unmake at 1:54 AM on April 8, 2006

Is the data worth less than $70-80? Because that's what a cheap disk of probably 80-100GB minimum would cost you. That's probably more than enough storage to do this safely. Yes, if the data's there, you can rebuild the partition information, and the file tables, in place with your data will be happily accessible just as it was before. But if you mess anything up... well you're kind of fucked, aren't you?

Heart surgeons are forced to delicately operate in place on their patients, but this is not heart surgery. Buy, or even just borrow from a friend, a temporary holding disk. You haven't been backing this up I assume, so either your data's worthless to you or you are lucky that you even have an option to get it back using software disk recovery tools. You got lucky if all you did was blow away some partition table info- the file table may even still be there intact, depending on how you formatted. So why push your luck? Buy or borrow another disk to move/recover the data to, at the very least. Once it's all safely recovered/copied using R-studio (since you have it already), then you can more safely partition and format the original drive and move it back.
posted by hincandenza at 2:48 AM on April 8, 2006

Why not copy a bunch of files to a CD and delete them from your hard drive to make enough room.

Or copy them to a flash thumb drive. Or recover the lost files to a thumb drive.
posted by KRS at 6:02 AM on April 8, 2006

. First, try Partition It costs $49, but it got all of my data back, along with the directory structure. I have no relationship w/ the manufacturer.
posted by tesseract420 at 6:21 AM on April 8, 2006

thanks so much, you guys! askmefi was the best $5 i've ever spent. these responses are so helpful :]

(after a reread, that kinda seemed sarcastic - not in the least!)
posted by willmillar at 10:31 AM on April 8, 2006

I've had luck with Restorer2000, but agree that you should not write to the damaged drive that you are trying to restore. Get a new drive from Dealnews.
posted by noahv at 2:46 PM on April 8, 2006

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