Deleted Partition with my entire Life's work on it!!! Disk Boot Fail

Ok, So I had Windows XP and had Windows 7 ultimate x86 on dual boot. I tried to transfer all my files from XP's partition to Windows 7's partition.

Win XP had about 400 gb of everything I had since 7+ years. Windows 7 U x86 was about a week old and there was on it. So I tried to make the dual boot to Win 7 U x64 and delete the X86.

But I accidentally booted from usb with Partition magic and since the XP partition was a Fat 16, I thought making it to a fat 32 would make it faster. So with partition magic I did this : "Format to FAT 32"

When I did that, it just deleted the partition as I can see that the whole drive is said to have free space. But the files are still there as I don't think it formatted the whole drive in thirty seconds.

I do have another partition on the same drive [this is the same partition I had Win 7 on] and I deleted that partition and formatted it to NTFS. When I try to install Windows 7 on that partition, the installation goes through the first stage but when the pc restarts to continue the installation, it says "Disk Failure please insert system disk to continue."

I can clarify anything that needs to be clarified and can take pics if necessary.

But an advance thanks to everyone who makes this forum so great ;)
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More about deleted partition entire life work disk boot fail
  1. Before I talk about recovery solutions, I think I must stress that you get a backup solution. If your life's work is at stake like you said then I have a hard time seeing why your life's work isn't worth a $160 USB external hard drive with weekly backups in task scheduler or something.

    Now then, in the future you probably also want to avoid formatting your drives or blowing away partitions too in the future. If it isn't broke, don't fix it. The Fat 16 is actually going to be the faster of the two most likely, btw.

    Lastly, you will probably end up kissing this current drive goodbye, don't get too attached to it for the time being. You will want to get a different drive of a pretty large size on it and install an OS on that.

    During this install process, it is imperative that you ONLY have the new drive connected to the power and the motherboard.

    I can't guarantee you success with this method, but you might try to install Ubuntu Linux on the new drive, connect the cables to the old drive, and see if it can read the raw data. Unix/Linux have a lot more fault tolerance than Windows does and drives that aren't even recognized by Windows can a lot of times be read without a hitch in Linux, even if their boot sectors are seriously messed up or non-existent.

    If that doesn't work, you may need to invest in a professional recovery solution, something like ERD Commander.

    Note - under no circumstances should you modify data on the old drive. You may overwrite portions of your old work.

    Some Windows options are Undelete Plus, PC Inspector, and Restoration (free ones).

    For Linux, you could try R-Studio, it will probably work on Ubuntu. It works on many versions of Unix. If you can't get that, you can just go to the software manager and type in file recovery and it should come up with something usable and free.

    Try to do those things and let me know how they turn out before I suggest more possible things.
  2. goto control paannel check admin tools to locate missing particion..
  3. Thanks for the tips. Yes, I know it was foolish, but we sometimes have to learn the hard way.

    Anyway, I was able to install Win 7 on the new partition so I can actually boot in to my drive and so it doesn't have the disk failure thing anymore.

    I am downloading easeus data recovery now to see if I can recover my data from the win xp partition. I will let you know how it goes and if I need further help. Thanks for everything.
  4. I have to say that I would not have installed things on the same drive your data was lost on.

    The 20GBs or so that Windows 7 takes could very well have overwritten 20GB worth of your life's work.
  5. there are two partitions.

    The partition with my work is 450 gb and the other with the now installed win 7 is 130 gb.

    I can safely work from the 130 gb separated partition to maybe safely recover the data from the 450 gb win xp partition.


    as you can see, it now says that there are there are 467 gb of unused space in the above partition. I need the files in that partition back. Any data recovery software that maybe can help?
  7. Are all these partitions on the same physical drive or are they on different physical drives?

    Just want to make sure.

    In any event, if you insist on not buying a new hard drive and installing Linux on it as part of the recovery process then you can try one of the software packages that I listed earlier. There are 3 listed for Windows computers all of which are free.
  8. They are on the same physical drive.

    It's a western digital blue caviar 650 gb I believe.

    I guess I can install linux on a separate partition on the same drive, but have zero experience with linux. I can also try to boot from a flash drive with backtrack but also have no experience with that.
  9. No no no no no.

    I would highly suggest that you cease any and all activities with this physical drive.

    I would suggest you do not install anything else on this physical drive if at all possible.

    The ideal case is that you drive to the store and buy a 500gb hard drive and install anything related to this only on that drive.

    - Edit - I just wanted to say that Ubuntu Linux is not hard to install and use. It is not exactly like windows so there will be a learning curve however short. That being said, the learning curve for Ubuntu should be infinitely less long that how long it took to create your whole life's work. You can probably figure all this stuff out in less than half a day playing around with it. All you really need to know is how to click on the "Software Center", "Home", and "Applications" buttons.
  10. I have another 40 gb at home. You want me to install linux on that?

    and so far undelete has failed me..
    easeus is on to something but says remaining time is five hours...

    Oh wait now that I recall I actually have a ubuntu cd from last year and have a little practice with it cracking WEP.
    I played around with ubuntu but getting the internet to work with it is hard. But no worries a little googling might do.

    And do you think its going to be worth it? What do you suppose the chances are?

    How do the FBI do it in the movies?

    I guess I can try it with the 40 gb and if it works get a 500 gb. But I don't want to dump $50 + unless I know it will work. And are there any pro specialist driver recovery experts that I can pay or do they do the same thing and install software and let the software try to recover the stuff?

    I will be installing ubuntu on the forty gb unless you think linux is the better option?

    And thanks for everything so far. Means a lot, really does.
  11. That is fine with me, but you will need somewhere to transfer files to which would mean you may need a 3rd drive. With your blown away partitions there may be complications moving files between them. It would be helpful if you could just move everything onto the drive with Linux on it, but its not going to happen with a 40gb spare laying around.

    You can try it with the 40gb if you want, but it may not function optimally.

    However, and I want to stress this point, you should physically disconnect the other drive with the files that need to be recovered on it before you do any formatting and installing of anything on a 40GB or a 500GB drive.
  12. carbonite... online backup for cheap.
  13. The FBI do this with Linux drives like I am telling you.

    What I am telling you is how the police and the federal government handle data recovery.

    They take the hard drive out of the computer that it is in and shove it in a purposefully built recovery PC as a secondary drive.

    That PC already has a different drive with an OS and recovery programs on that physical drive.

    Expert level recovery never involves modifying data on the drive that data is to be recovered from.
  14. Ahh I see. downloading linux iso....
    Meanwhile I should get to learning linux. You mentioned I should look out for R-Studio
    anything else?

    And again thanks a huge bunch.
  15. Ubuntu software center is all you really need to know. Just click it and type in "Data Recovery" or something like that. It is like a google search for downloading whatever programs you could possibly want to use. There will likely be many of the same kind.
  16. Ok, so I am going to download the newer version ob ubuntu because the cd version I have is very old. And thanks then. I guess for now I have all I need thanks to you Raiddinn. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    I will return in hours to tell you about my progress and hopefully be able to update you on my success.
  17. Ok............. HUGE SUCCESS but it took 10 + hours!

    Thanks to EASEUS DATA recovery I got all my files back!!!!!
    I downloaded ubuntu and then put it on the flash drive and just when I was about to restart, I realized that I still had EASEUS DATA Recovery running. It found a couple of partitions and so I let it finish the job.

    It took about five hours to find all my partitions that have been previously deleted from 2008, three years back from today and also the time I installed xp on to that partition!

    After five hours I was given the tree structure of which files I would like to recover.
    I selected about 132 gb worth of stuff and then since it allowed back up over the network, I put all of that in my 500 gb laptop's hard drive.

    The recovery from the partition to the laptop took about five hours, which is reasonable considering it was 132 gb I had to transfer.

    Now I have all my files back! Thanks to EASESUS!

    Luckily I didn't have to learn linux or ubuntu.


    How do I merge these two drives and make it to one?

    EDIT :: NM! I got it... That is all. All is solved!
  19. Glad you were able to have success in this endeavor.

    The way that is easiest to merge two drives is to delete both partitions, create a new partition for the entire space, and then install an OS in it.

    However, I have heard that some programs (possibly Partition Magic) are able to delete one partition and then resize the other one to fit the whole space so there is no need to reinstall anything.

    I can vouch for the success of the top method but not the bottom one. If the bottom method is doable it may not be free.
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