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PCstats Q & A - 250Gigs of pain - PCstats Q & A - 250Gigs of pain
Wed, July 20 2005 | 5:50PM | PermaLink Feedback?

Our latest Q & A comes from Chris via the PCstats feedback page . If you have a question you need answered right away, try our friendly forums for help too.

Q:I inadvertently started the Norton Ghost 2003 cloning procedure with my C:\ drive as the source and my WD External 250 Gig USB drive as the
destination. I realized my mistake almost immediately and stopped the procedure. However, enough of the process had taken place to render my
External drive inaccessible. This drive is used for storage only and does not have an operating system on it. Though, I guess now it has the start of
one. It has years of pictures and my music library on it among other data. How can I undo what the damage and regain access to my data?

A: Oops. I think just about everyone out there has done something similar to this at one point or another. I know I have, as my experience formed the basis of PCstats' Beginner's Guide to Data Recovery. You should be able to recover most of your lost data very easily, given that you stopped the cloning process early. What has happened is that Ghost deleted and rewrote the partition table of your external drive, so you can no longer see or access your old partitions. Your data should still be intact (or mostly intact) on the drive. You need to use a data recovery program such as Testdisk to analyze the drive and restore the old partitions. Failing this, you can also use a program like PC Inspector to retrieve your lost data directly.

Try following the instructions for Testdisk in the guide first, and if they don't work for you, try some of the other freeware and commercial applications mentioned. A deleted partition table is one of the simplest data loss circumstances to recover from, so hopefully you should have your stuff back soon.

Original URL, circa 2005:

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