External Hard drive formatted / deleted while installing windows 10

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  1. Posts : 23
    Microsoft 10
       #41

    Slartybart said:
    Almost ...

    Hopefully the partition recovery will bring most of your data back without having to resort to data recovery.

    Partitions are defined by where they start and where they stop
    Data is scattered around on a partition in bits which point to the next bit

    PW allows you to test the scenario recovery and even explore the files before you apply the changes.

    Whatever magic PW does is very cool - when the partition is recovered, files that have not been overwritten are where they were before. Because you wrote to the drive, some files will be garbage (old pointers reference the new bits)

    I don't know of any recovery software that can fix that - the bit is no longer part of the original file, it's part of the file that overwrote the original.

    There's a key message in this - do NOT muck around too much with the drive. The more data written to it, more original files get overwritten. That's why data recovery tells you to write the recovered files to another drive. Partition recovery is different - it's telling the file system where the partitions are and then traces the file bit pointers to reconstruct the file table.
    Hi SlartyBart - thanks for all your info on this. I am in the same predicament and have left a post below (#40). Not sure if you would have been alerted to it, but really hoping you can help. I'm not very tech savvy, but I really NEED get this right to recover important personal files. I screwed up, but hoping a miracle can occur... thanks! Paddy
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  2. simrick's Avatar
    Posts : 16,108
    W10Prox64
       #42

    dempa110 said:
    Hello there - sorry I know this is an old post now.... But I've run into the exact same problem here when attempting to make an ISO for a Windows 10 clean install. I didn't realise it would reformat my WHOLE harddrive (my mistake!) and all my personal information. I now have a hardrive that says 'ESD-USB' with a further 931.5 GB unallocated partition (see below). I've tried to interpret the previous information from Slartybart - but really struggling... I have lots of important personal info, family photos, etc on that harddrive and really hope I can get it back. It seems like it might be possible using Partition Recovery Wizard to recover my data back (assume it's located in that unallocated partition?...). I have installed the PRW software and am currently running a 'quick scan' on the affected harddrive (See below)....

    I'm a bit anxious about the next steps and don't want to risk F-ing it all up and losing all the personal data, photos, etc. Was hoping I might get some up to date laymen advice here to make sure I get it right. I'm not very popular around home at the moment as you can imagine - REALLY HOPING SOMEONE CAN PLEASE HELP THANKS IN ADVANCE....


    Attachment 192935
    Hi.
    I just went through this recently: made an ISO on an external drive, it was formatted to a 32GB partition and the rest of the 1TB drive was unallocated. Yep, you can recover your stuff. I did it by using MiniTool Power Data Recovery (which is a paid program, and costs about US$70). So I know it can be done, and I used the Partition Recovery selection to do it. Most recovery programs that offer free versions/trials have a limit on how much you can recover, like 1GB or so.

    If @jumanji pops in, he may have another option for you, which may be "free", and so you may want to wait for him.

    But it can be done - don't worry - just don't do anything else to the drive until you hear from jumanji.
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  3. jumanji's Avatar
    Posts : 5,631
    Windows 10 Home 64bit Version 20H2
       #43

    Hi,
    I am extremely tired today having worked on two threads one here
    Everything is ok but windows 10 says disk structure is corrupted - Windows 10 Forums (finished) and another in Seven Forums
    external hard disk which is not displaying data stored in it - Windows 7 Help Forums
    (not yet finished. Will continue tomorrow). So may be I will be able to look into this the day after. How I wish Slartybart hasn't retired from this forum ! last seen here in Sep 16 !

    Signing off for the day.
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  4. Posts : 23
    Microsoft 10
       #44

    simrick said:
    Hi.
    I just went through this recently: made an ISO on an external drive, it was formatted to a 32GB partition and the rest of the 1TB drive was unallocated. Yep, you can recover your stuff. I did it by using MiniTool Power Data Recovery (which is a paid program, and costs about US$70). So I know it can be done, and I used the Partition Recovery selection to do it. Most recovery programs that offer free versions/trials have a limit on how much you can recover, like 1GB or so.

    If @jumanji pops in, he may have another option for you, which may be "free", and so you may want to wait for him.

    But it can be done - don't worry - just don't do anything else to the drive until you hear from jumanji.
    Thank for the reply @simrick and @jumanji - glad to know it may be possible... I just woke up this morning and looked at the results of the quick search I did using MPT. The tool doesn't appear to have picked up the unallocated part as I hoped. Will wait and see if @jumanji (or others) have any further suggestions. Perhaps I did the search wrong... Thanks, Paddy
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  5. Posts : 23
    Microsoft 10
       #45

    jumanji said:
    Hi,
    I am extremely tired today having worked on two threads one here
    Everything is ok but windows 10 says disk structure is corrupted - Windows 10 Forums (finished) and another in Seven Forums
    external hard disk which is not displaying data stored in it - Windows 7 Help Forums
    (not yet finished. Will continue tomorrow). So may be I will be able to look into this the day after. How I wish Slartybart hasn't retired from this forum ! last seen here in Sep 16 !

    Signing off for the day.
    Thanks @jumanji - if you have the energy tomorrow I'd love your help if you could manage it. I am up to this stage now (see image below) after the search, but PRW doesnt seem to have flagged the unallocated part of the harddrive as anticipated for me to go through and check/recover. Will wait to hear what you think. Paddy

    External Hard drive formatted / deleted while installing windows 10-mpt-2.jpg
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  6. Posts : 23
    Microsoft 10
       #46

    Recovering harddrive contents post reformat (Windows install ISO)


    Thanks @Jumanji and @simrick for your replies. It's comforting to know I may be able to retrieve the unallocated portion of the harddrive back. Just as an update, I ran the 'quick search' in PRT and these were the results (images below)... seems the unallocation portion isn't there to select and look through as I anticipated (though it seems to be in the preview box down the bottom...)?

    Perhaps there is too much there (as you mentioned @simrick), or I did it wrong and need to do the full search? Will await further instructions. Thanks in advance.

    External Hard drive formatted / deleted while installing windows 10-mpt.jpg - during quick search on PRT
    External Hard drive formatted / deleted while installing windows 10-mpt-2.jpg - post quick search on PRT
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  7. jumanji's Avatar
    Posts : 5,631
    Windows 10 Home 64bit Version 20H2
       #47

    @dempa110

    I went through the whole thread and was surprised I was indeed here on 12 Feb 17 (my post#36) the salient point being " If you had only one single volume earlier, then running Partition Recovery Wizard is a futile exercise. If you had more than one partition then perhaps PW may find the second, third and fourth ...... partitions. " Taking this cue aPocope was able to recover his second partition. I had forgotten all about it.

    Simrick has now put me back into this thread and into trouble
    . He had recovered the data using a paid version of Power Data Recovery and has put the onus on me to recover the partition/data without spending a cent .

    Fine. No probs if you are willing to put up with my idiosyncrasies . As I read through this thread today some bells started ringing in my mind. What the hell ! Why did I forget what we had done just a few months earlier in Aug 16 in a similar situation ?

    And so here it is for you to read through. USB Bricked and Testdisk reports Solved - Windows 7 Help Forums but don't start on it till I give the go signal. I am not ready to go yet .

    Download TestDisk latest stable version 7.0 from TestDisk Download - CGSecurity ( make sure to scroll down on that page and download 7.0 and not the beta version 7.1 on top)

    Extract the zip file to your system drive C: You will run testdisk_win.exe in the testdisk-7.0 folder.

    ( Do not run TestDisk on your own. Wait for my Go signal and further instructions. I give no guarantees as ever. We shall take what comes but don't worry. Your data will never get lost doing this if you strictly follow the instructions without deviating.)
    Last edited by jumanji; 21 Jun 2018 at 15:24.
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  8. Posts : 23
    Microsoft 10
       #48

    @jumanji - thanks so much for looking into this - really appreciate it. Feeling very hopeful that there might be a way to recover the data.

    In my ignorance, I'm not sure I completely understand how the 'partitioning' aspect works in my context. I basically had an external HD with a bunch of folders on it (work, family photos, etc) - so I am assuming that all this is either 'gone for good' - or (hopefully) in that 'unallocated' part of the HD following the problematic Windows reformat to a ESD-USB.

    I will download TestDisk version 7.0 and stay posted for your next instructions. Thanks again! Ah if only I could go back in time...
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  9. jumanji's Avatar
    Posts : 5,631
    Windows 10 Home 64bit Version 20H2
       #49

    @dempa110,

    My trial HDD - Seagate 500GB - which I was preparing to do my experiment on this problem died today. I am now preparing another HDD. The preparation and trial may take another day or two..

    In the meanwhile

    1. Post a screenshot of Windows Disk Management with your faulty 1TB drive plugged in

    2.Read this

    Saving with bootice:
    Lost partitions! Solved - Windows 7 Help Forums

    Download the latest version of Bootice from the author's website 【BOOTICE v1.3.3.2: 功能强大的启动维护工具】-*逸轩

    ( If you are using 32bit Windows download the X86 version. If you are using 64bit Windows download the x64 version)

    Create a folder named bootice in the C: drive and extract the rar file into it. You will have a single BOOTICE*.exe file in it.

    Plugin only your faulty drive and Run bootice. Select your faulty drive in the Destination Disk field and click on the Sector Edit button. Bootice will open the Sector 0 map like the one below.. Take a screenshot

    External Hard drive formatted / deleted while installing windows 10-21-06-2018-09-50-52.jpg

    Click on the Backup to file button in the Menu bar, give a file name LBA0 and click on the Backup button to save the 512byte file. By default the file will be saved in the bootice folder . Check it is saved.

    Click on the Sector Indicator field.In the resulting Window type 2048 > OK, and Sector 2048 will be displayed. Take a screenshot and then save it as LBA2048. Check it is saved.

    Post the two screenshots.

    In the next step we will be zeroing Sector 0 and sector 2048 to kill the FAT32 partition but not now.

    In case my planned strategy does not work we will be restoring the backups to bring the drive back to the initial condition. I will be trying that strategy once my new HDD is prepared for that.
    Last edited by jumanji; 22 Jun 2018 at 08:25.
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  10. Posts : 23
    Microsoft 10
       #50

    Thanks @jumanji - great instructions! So is TestDisk version 7.0 no longer required here?

    1) Please see the screenshot of Windows Disk Management with my faulty 1TB drive plugged in (it is a WD 1TB harddrive - Disk 1):

    External Hard drive formatted / deleted while installing windows 10-wdm-screenshot.jpg

    2) Followed all instructions - here is the screenshot of Sector 0 map:

    External Hard drive formatted / deleted while installing windows 10-sector-map-0.jpg

    Here is me checking the 512byte file was saved (I'm showing this as I wasn't sure if 1KB file was too small? Perhaps that's normal?)

    External Hard drive formatted / deleted while installing windows 10-check-512-byte-file-saved.jpg

    Here is Sector Indicator field 2048, and me checking the LBA2048 file was saved:

    External Hard drive formatted / deleted while installing windows 10-check-lba2048-sector.jpg

    External Hard drive formatted / deleted while installing windows 10-check-lba2048-file-saved.jpg

    Awaiting next steps...

    p.s. sorry I'm not sure what's going on with all the extra screenshot attachments - can't seem to delete them!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails External Hard drive formatted / deleted while installing windows 10-wdm-screenshot.jpg   External Hard drive formatted / deleted while installing windows 10-bootice.jpg   External Hard drive formatted / deleted while installing windows 10-check-512-byte-file-saved.jpg   External Hard drive formatted / deleted while installing windows 10-check-lba2048-file-saved.jpg   External Hard drive formatted / deleted while installing windows 10-check-lba2048-file-saved-2.jpg  

    Last edited by dempa110; 22 Jun 2018 at 20:31.
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