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Deleted FAT32 partition... Methods to get it back?
Ok... here is the story... should be funny to most of you, but it hurts for me to think about it right now:
I was installing Gentoo Linux on some of the partitions of hda. WindowsXP was on hda1, and is FAT32. I had a /boot on hda2 ext2... SWAP hda3... / on hda4 also ext2.
I worked on Gentoo a bit last night, but stopped in the middle. Today I rebooted into it, and mounted hda4 as /mnt/gentoo/ , and mounted hda2 as /mnt/gentoo/boot. Well at the time I thought it was hda2... in fact it was actualy hda1 I typed in. I then chroot'ed into it.
When I tried to compile the kernel, I got some errors... figured I probably missed some step, and decided to start over. I was in the / , and wanted to start clean, so I typed
I got tired of answer y to everything so I then did ctrl-c, and with a smile I typed:
rm -rfd ./*
a few minutes later I came back, and decided to reboot to windows to check some email I was waiting for. (I figgured I would work on Gentoo another day) Grub (running off hdb) couldn't boot something that wasnt there. I then decided to boot into Redhat 9 to see what was going on with the hda drive....
When I saw that it was empty, I promptly did a umount on hda1.
I downloaded fatback, and tried to use that:
fatback -a -o ~/ohcrap/ /dev/hda1
it make a recovery of some of the directory names, but there are no files in them. Normally I would care less about the windows partition. I would reformat, and reinstall. However I have some pictures of my baby son on that partition that I would like to retrieve.
Does anyone have any suggestions?
Last edited by SaintStrive; 09-11-2004 at 10:59 PM.
Re: Deleted FAT32 partion... Methods to get it back?
Originally posted by SaintStrive Ok... here is the story... should be funny to most of you, but it hurts for me to think about it right now:
Does anyone have any suggestions?
Yes. FAT32 deletes only delete the disk allocation table entries that point to the files, not the raw data on the disk itself. I do not have the knowledge as to how to recover it, but I know it can be done by many computer technicians working in those hole-in-the-wall PC stores where they sell OEM parts. Take it to a PC repairman and ask him to use whatever tools he has to recover the data off of your blown hard drive.
He probably has a special pc that he can cable the drive into and a special tool to set up a new file table from any undamaged data still on the disk.
There are a multitude of data recovery software titles out there. Most of them cost some money, but they usually do the job.
I bought and used a dos program called Active Partition Recovery when I accidentally repartitioned the wrong disk during a Windows reinstall. It saved my bacon. They offer a demo disk so you can see whether it will do what you want before you buy it.
If that doesn't do what you want, a Google search will bring up many more options. I'm sure one of them will get you your photos back, even if the XP install itself is a lost cause.
Save taking the drive in to a repair shop as a last resort. Just don't do any writing to the disk until you are sure you can get back the data you want.
Here you have to weigh the pros and cons. How much is the data on that disk worth to you. If it is merely annoying, then I would recommend trying those tools so you will learn something about restoring a hard drive
If the data is valuable, then maybe take it to a professional. Only you know which is the best way to go.
A few hours before the incident, I had purchased a DVD burner primarily to backup my "valuable" files. I also had intentions on making an image of the partition that went down. Why? Well, reinstalling windows XP, and all the updates is annoying. Having an image of a fairly clean and updated install is nice. I had just reinstalled an updated a few weeks ago. I moved the pictures over for my family to view when the came over to visit.
If only I had ordered the burner a week ago!
Oh yeah... I keep windows because of work related things, and for when family comes to visit.... they just can't break away!
My IT department is going to send me home with a bootable CD to try tonight. IT will copy recovered files to another partition. If it doesn’t work, it does not write to the "broken" partition, so it should be safe to try.
I still have not crossed off the local repair shop.