|Please forgive how long this is but i am trying to explain everything as this is not my area of expertise, and if i use the wrong term to shorten the explanation i worry i will lead off into the wrong direction.|
booted gparted to join what is now an empty partition onto its neighbour on my second hdd.
when gparted was loaded i noticed it identified a 50/60gb partition as unused on my first hdd (earlier that day id had a nightmare with gparted crashing mid way through a resizing operation - but luckly managed to recover everything (or maybe most) via chkdsk /f. during this there was a task to shrink the partition by roughly that same amount, which was graphically in the same place.)
so i assumed (yes i know i can hear the groans) that this was performed before the crash and was in fact free unused space.
i then selected to join this (identified as an empty partition(VISTA - refer to layout below) onto its neighbour partition (STORAGE), about halfway through its 'read of data before moving' section i realised that it should have been my vista partition (which worked perfectly fine an hour before and gparted for some reason identified it incorrectly). i checked 3 times that gparted was still in the 'reading data before moving' (im unable to recall the exact name but thats how i understood it) phase before actually moving the data, then hit cancel due to thinking that when it crashed during this stage before that i will be able to at least recover this partitions data as nothing had been moved yet. and maybe the other data on vista partition if im lucky.
when i booted up after cancelling n rebooting, into my win7 OS - it identifys one partition as the exact size of the data that had to be moved and thus joined to the falsely empty partition (169.26gb - shown below in 'current messed up state' diagram) and shows the other original to be moved and joined containing data partition as empty ( the 68.29 unallocated partition below [will get exact wording when i can get back onto the pc]).
so i booted into gparted to see what state my primary hdd (hdd1) was in - diagramatically things have shifted to the left as though the partition starting point had been changed ( see diagrams below [as instructed however mistakenly by myself]) - so it looks as though partition 3 had been (at some level - maybe not completely) merged with partition 2.
now im hoping that seeing as nothing has not actually been written on top of anything - i.e. no datas been moved / rewritten that there is hope. (this is how i understand it) its just a case of moving partitions to back to where they were and running something like checkdsk /f as i did after gparted crashed on me - as to me they seem that they are essentially the same problem.
i am less hopeful with recovering the vista partition, as partition 3 (storage) has been marked as being moved over it however it may be just the same 'rescue' process i described hopefully as above.
please tell me that i have not gotten this wrong and i have some hope! im desperate. To me it (recovering my v stupid mistake) seems easier then recovering data from a dead / dying hdd / a formatted hdd or one which has a OS installed on top of it.
i cant help but wonder if its like recover partition table or use something like spindisk or something along those lines.
HDD1 (500gb): XP 28.15 | VISTA 60ish | STORAGE | Win7 200.03
CURRENT MESSED UP STATE:
HDD1 (500gb): XP 28.15 | 169.26gb | unallocated 68.29 | Win 7200.03