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Lost Partition and Possibly More

Last response: in Storage
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February 26, 2013 3:37:54 AM

So I have an external drive (2 TB), filled with all my media which I would hate to lose.

I was moving it into my desktop for faster read/write speeds, when I booted Windows it told me the drive had to be initialized before use. The drive was previously formatted as NTFS so this was confusing. Its a WD 2 TB Green drive.

I opened device manager and saw the drive, uninstalled and reinstalled - no change. Then I decided to put it back in my external bay to back the data up and then reformat the drive while its inside my desktop via the sata connection.

When I put it back in my external it no longer showed up. I looked in windows disk mgmt tool and showed unallocated. I downloaded every partition recovery program available, I used Active File Recovery and right clicked my drive and clicked Fix MBR, it did something but didn't help and it wasn't able to locate my partition in a quick scan.

I used test disk then, it found a partition layout. I told it to write this table since it was the only one if found, ended up being 2 big unallocated partitions with 1 200 GB RAW partition in the middle. I used GetDataBack for NTFS but it said no NTFS partitions found and suggested I download the FAT version.

I tried Mini Tools Partition Wizard, no dice. So I did a quick format for the entire drive to NTFS and tried GetDataBack again but it didn;t find anything other than the current stuff on the drive after formatting.

Now Im running a super scan in Active Recovery.

Any other tips for me? Its nearly 1.1 TB of data I'm about to lose. I know I probably made a couple mistakes on the way which is why I'm coming here now.
February 26, 2013 2:14:01 PM

I'm running Windows 8 btw.
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a c 371 G Storage
February 26, 2013 3:34:18 PM

Did you try easeus partition manager? Of course you've done so much so far that it may be unable to properly restore your partition. Normally you'd clone the bad drive then just mess with one of the drives so that you still have a copy of the original.

http://www.partition-tool.com/personal.htm
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February 26, 2013 9:38:11 PM

I downloaded it now, it says theeres no unallocated space. Because I formatted the thing as NTFS after.
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a b G Storage
February 26, 2013 9:42:31 PM

Why would you format it if you need to recover data off it? I'm confused. When it said it needed to be initialized, all you had to do was go to computer managment, right click on the drive itself on the right, not the partition, but the drive, and select initialize and you would have been fine. Now you've reformatted and done all kinds of things that are probably going to make data recovery very hard.
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February 26, 2013 9:53:20 PM

I googled that and read that if I initialize it then data would be gone.

I formatted after because it was all unallocated, and then some tools wouldn't search unallocated space. Plus test disk wrote some partition table with a RAW section that I have no clue about.
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a b G Storage
February 26, 2013 10:02:30 PM

googled wrong then, because initializing has never made my data "gone". Sometimes a drive just gets picked up by windows but needs to be initialized to be active. 5 seconds after you init'd it, it would have popped up your drive letter and autostart would have come up scanning the drive and you would have been set. Now, it's probably gone.
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a c 88 G Storage
February 26, 2013 10:28:37 PM

try file recovery tools.
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February 26, 2013 11:33:13 PM

Actually, I am really confused about your drive problem. But, if you want to recover your data back, I think I could recommend you a partition recovery tool called Vimx Partition Recovery. It is designed to process different partition recovery problems, including recovering the inner data and the partition itself. Perhaps, you can try it to take a chance: http://www.vimxsoft.com/partition-recovery/
Hope this helps.
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a b G Storage
February 27, 2013 1:34:14 AM

Use something like GetDataBack for NTFS, did my 1.5TB a few months ago. HDD lost its partition.

Took about 24 hours to go through the drive, but recovered everything. It will just see the files and the directories, the root directories may be labelled incorrectly.

Good luck.
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a b G Storage
February 27, 2013 1:40:09 AM

Also was it a quick format or a full format, one takes 3-5 mins the other takes 24 hours for a 2TB?

A quick format does not delete the data, just deletes the table that tells the computer where all the files are.

Quoting Itanium FanBoi

"Here is a brief comparison:

Quick Format - only rewrites the boot record of the media and makes the whole space available for writing data. Althought physically, previous data is still present, only marked as free space.

Full Format - formats everything as well as test each sector for Read/Write problems. Sectors with problems are marked as bad. Since it tests every sector, depending on the hard drive size and computer speed may take many minutes or hours to do."
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February 27, 2013 5:28:54 AM

It was definitely a quick format, took 10 seconds.

http://www.partitionrecoveryfreeware.net Didn't seem to want to work, in the extensive scan mode it detected the drive as FAT32 even though its currently formatted as NTFS and the next button didn't do anything.
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