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Old 09-24-2012, 12:41 AM   #1
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Default Deleted Partition: Recover files?

I backed up 6GB of data onto a 1TB Western Digital Passport drive and started the Windows Installation process. When the screen came up that asked which partition to install on, I accidentally selected the external hard drive and deleted the "partition". I did not format the drive. Now, the hard drive does not show up in Explorer. However, it shows up in Disk Management with all the space as "Unallocated."

What exactly did I do? Did I only delete the file allocation table? I'm running OnTrack Easy Recovery and it's showing that the files are there, but I'm wondering if there's an easy way to just rebuild the FAT if that's what deleting the "partition" did. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 09-24-2012, 06:33 AM   #2
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Default Re: Deleted Partition: Recover files?

Hm, nott really my area of expertise, I use Pandora Recovery, but that looks the same as what you already are doing
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Old 09-24-2012, 12:48 PM   #3
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Default Re: Deleted Partition: Recover files?

Thanks for the responses, but I need more technical answers. Does deleting the partition delete the FAT? If not, what does it do and what's the easiest way to get the files back?
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Old 09-24-2012, 03:55 PM   #4
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Default Re: Deleted Partition: Recover files?

Deleting the partition does delete the FAT. There is no easy way of getting the files back.
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Old 09-24-2012, 05:40 PM   #5
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Default Re: Deleted Partition: Recover files?

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Originally Posted by OhSnapWord View Post
Deleting the partition does delete the FAT. There is no easy way of getting the files back.
I'm not sure why you say there's no easy way (unless you mean no free way). The software I'm running found almost all of the files.

Is it your suspicion that the files are still there, but are inaccessible because the FAT is lost? What would you do in this situation if the data was important?
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Old 09-24-2012, 06:09 PM   #6
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Default Re: Deleted Partition: Recover files?

I wouldn't find myself in this situation as I have backups of everything. Hypothetically, I would see if there is some type of software utility out there that could read the data from the disk.

The files are still there because when you delete a file, it is still physically on the disk until it is overwritten. All deleting files does in the operating system is mark the area of the disk that the file is on as free space. It is still there and therefore recoverable. This is true for all magnetic storage media.
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Old 09-24-2012, 06:31 PM   #7
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Power data recovery is a good software to recover data from a deleted partition or reformatted partition.
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Old 09-25-2012, 07:23 PM   #8
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Default Re: Deleted Partition: Recover files?

If you do delete a FAT or other type of file table, the RAW data is 100% safe.

The file table holds info about every single file on the disk, so the OS knows where to find a file.

Deleting the partition is easy, but getting the data back is a lot harder without formatting the drive.

However there are heaps of tools made for this very purpose, goto data recovery software downloads - Free software downloads and software reviews - CNET Download.com and have a look around.
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Old 09-25-2012, 10:23 PM   #9
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Default Re: Deleted Partition: Recover files?

Testdisk is a great recovery tool. It comes on gparted and other recovery disks.

TestDisk - CGSecurity
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Old 09-26-2012, 02:10 AM   #10
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Default Re: Deleted Partition: Recover files?

Yeah that is a good one
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