Solved Startup Repair Offline - Partial restore - Lost data?

July 13, 2015 at 14:44:47
Specs: Windows 7
Hi guys, new to the forums and in need of some help.

I was called in to look at my parents PC despite being no expert myself. Windows was unable to boot and was giving a message along the lines of it was unable to access the device?!. The given options were to try booting Windows 7 again (which brought me back to the same point) or to go to System Restore. Having already been unable to use a system repair disk after receiving the message 'startuprepairoffline' I tried System Restore.
Mistakenly I thought it would give me the option to set the system back to a previous date but it was actually going to reinstall the OS. I only realised this after I had started the restore so I turned the system off by holding the power button as I didn't want my files to be lost. I thought my next best bet would be to connect the PC hard drive to my laptop, copying across the files and resuming the System Restore for a fresh install.
When I took out the hard drive and connected it to my laptop I couldn't find any of the files. In fact, 142GB of the 143GB drive appeared to be free! So I'm wondering what has happened to the data as all folders on the drive are empty. Could the system restore process have deleted the files (or file table) in the short time it was running? And is there a way to recover them?

Thanks in advance


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✔ Best Answer
July 17, 2015 at 15:23:49
Sorry to get back here late. Been busy the last couple of days.

OK, there are a couple of free partition recovery programs that come to mind. The first is called Testdisk. Testdisk is the more comprehensive of the 2 but a little more difficult to use.

The other one is Easeus Partition Wizard. Be sure to read all the instructions before using either.

http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/Test...

http://www.easeus.com/partition-rec...

A RAW partition usually occurs when you interrupt the writing to the disk before it has completed.

message edited by OtheHill



#1
July 13, 2015 at 16:13:03
Try using a free recovery program called Recuva. It may well be able to recover the files. You will need a place to store them though.

If you have enough space on your laptop then you could copy files to the laptop. Get Recuva from the link below.

https://www.piriform.com/recuva


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#2
July 14, 2015 at 06:20:10
So I tried using Recuva on the PC drive, recovering the data to an external hard drive to make sure I had enough free storage. The program ran for 10.5 hours recovering but when it finished and I tried to view the files I got the message that the external hard drive is not accessible, 'The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable' and that it needs to be formatted. I'm starting to panic a bit as this was a drive I had my own documents and backups saved to, and I therefore wouldn't want to format it.

So it looks like I have created a second problem in trying to fix the first! Is there a way to make this drive accessible again without formatting?


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#3
July 14, 2015 at 15:12:22
"Is there a way to make this drive accessible again without formatting?"
Slave it to another good hard drive, run scans on it to check for malware.

Then see if it is readable.


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Related Solutions

#4
July 15, 2015 at 04:18:00
Don't write to either corrupted drive.

Go to Windows Disk Management and post ALL the information listed there for the external drive. If the drive is listed as RAW you may be able to repair the partition WITHOUT formatting.

Probably shouldn't have used that drive.

If you keep all your irreplaceable files in only one location you are flirting with disaster. You need to keep at least two copies of all important ( irreplaceable) files. The more important the more copies.


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#5
July 15, 2015 at 13:29:59
Yes, it's formatted as RAW. If it's possible to repair the drive from this state what's the best way to go about it?

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#6
July 15, 2015 at 20:07:56
Do NOT format it yet. WAIT.
He will suggest a couple of options to try first to try to recover the entire file system.
IF (Only If) none of those works and you do end up needing to format it, only do a Quick Format. This is because on a quick format the system does not write to the drive except the file table (a Full Format can take hours because it overwrites to all locations and will prevent recovery). Once you do the quick format, you then can retry programs like Recuva and it might have more success in finding files.
I am not saying to do this now, BUT if all else fails, or you get only a partial recovery, you can then try this which I have had some success with.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#7
July 17, 2015 at 15:23:49
✔ Best Answer
Sorry to get back here late. Been busy the last couple of days.

OK, there are a couple of free partition recovery programs that come to mind. The first is called Testdisk. Testdisk is the more comprehensive of the 2 but a little more difficult to use.

The other one is Easeus Partition Wizard. Be sure to read all the instructions before using either.

http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/Test...

http://www.easeus.com/partition-rec...

A RAW partition usually occurs when you interrupt the writing to the disk before it has completed.

message edited by OtheHill


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