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Can data be recovered from ext drive after aborted repartition?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by CloudCutter, Dec 11, 2011.

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  1. CloudCutter

    CloudCutter Thread Starter

    Oct 13, 2006
    I can't believe it. I stayed up for a marathon study session last night and before calling it a night I decided to burn & install a new linux distro. (bad decision. I should've just called it a night) I booted up from the dvd and started the install process. Just after committing to the repartition I realized that the primary hdd was offline and the linux installer was writing to an external hdd. I halted the process immediately by switching off power, but after reconnecting the primary hdd and rebooting the external drive, the external drive was inaccessible. I booted up from a copy of 'System Rescue CD', and though I could see the partitions on the drive, the file system was inaccessible.

    My question: Is there any way I can recover any of the data on the external hdd? If so, how? THX.
  2. Elvandil


    Aug 1, 2003
    It can't be said often enough (apparently). Any file you expect to keep must be backed up. All hard drives will fail unless they are not used.

    Your chances of success are probably not too bad. If you're lucky, you may even get half of your files back.

    Commercial tools are probably best, but Recuva and Testdisk are free ones to try. If neither of them sees anything at all, you may as well forget it, or try a trial of GetDataBack.

    Testdisk (for Windows)
  3. CloudCutter

    CloudCutter Thread Starter

    Oct 13, 2006
    Thanks. Yes, you're right. I normally maintain at least an on-site backup, if not a remote second. I got sloppy.

    I tried the free tools, and was able to pull up partition information. They wouldn't let me see or manipulate files. Guess I'll need to buy a license for GetDataBack. I'll try playing around with Parted Magic and System Rescue CD for a while first though. Thanks for the timely response and the info.
  4. Elvandil


    Aug 1, 2003
    Try GetDatBack trial. If it doesn't see anything, then don't buy it.

    PhotoRec, included with TestDisk, will also work for recovery of things other than photos.

    Some of these links must still be good:

    Free recovery applications:

    Paragon Rescue Disk Free Edition (Undelete partitions, boot corrector, file recovery)
    Dr. Freeware Boot CD (also has partition tool, drive cloner and imager)
    DiskDigger & NTFSWalker
    Pandora Recovery (Free for personal use)
    Smart Data Recovery
    Recover Files
    Roadkil's Undelete
    Free Undelete (NTFS only)
    Softperfect File Recovery
    ADRC Data Recovery Tools
    Undelete Plus
    Data Recovery
    PCI File Recovery
    Ultimate Data Recovery
    Disk Investigator


    O&O Disk Recovery
    Paragon Mount Everything (Mounts any file system, CD/DVD burning, File Manager, Partitioner)
    GetDataBack (For FAT or NTFS)
    Ontrack EasyRecovery Pro
    File Scavenger
    Recover My Files
    RecoverPlus Pro
    Zero Assumption Recovery
    [email protected] File Recovery
    Final Recovery
    Recover4All Professional
    Easeus Data Recovery Wizard
    NTFS Recovery


    For images--->

    Free drive backup software (imaging, cloning, and archiving - backups can be created on a second hard drive, internal or external, or on DVD's, or BluRay disks. One BluRay disk will hold most peoples' entire system drive's backup at 25 GB's using compressed images, 50 GB's double-layer):

    Paragon Backup & Recovery (Recovery boot CD or USB key)
    Macrium Reflect (Free)
    O&O Disk Image Express or (mirror)
    Easeus Todo Backup
    Redo Backup & Recovery (Boot CD)
    Clonezilla Live (A bootable CD of Debian with Clonezilla.)
    Drive Image XML
    PING (Partimage is not Ghost) (Boot CD with option Clam Antivirus)
    Partition Saving
    Passmark OSFClone (Bootable, cloning only)

    There are also many commercial products with more features.
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