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Beginners Guides: Hard Drive Data Recovery

Beginners Guides: Hard Drive Data Recovery - PCSTATS
Abstract: Hard drives, being the dynamic storage devices that they are, are extremely easy to erase in any number of amusing and simple to achieve ways. This Guide also deals with recovering deleted formatted information. UPDATED - How to fix a 1TB hard drive that suddenly changes to 0.0GB, or 32MB in size.
Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCSTATS Dec 27 2010   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > PCSTATS

TESTDISK, The Holy Grail

TestDisk is a DOS and Windows tool (also available for Linux) produced by CGsecurity.org that can be used to locate and recover lost partitions (FAT and NTFS) by repairing the partition table or replacing partition boot sectors with the backup copies. Download the latest DOS version here (TestDisk & PhotoRec 6.11), the Windows NT/XP/2000/2003/Vista versions are here (TestDisk & PhotoRec 6.11) or if you prefer it is also available for Linux (ver 6.11.3), and Mac OS X (ver 6.11.3). The providers of TestDisk have created a handy Wiki for it right here, and also for PhotoRec here. PhotoRec is a good tool for recoving damaged, formatted or erased photos and images from a flash media's filesystem, even if it "has been severely damaged or re-formatted" say the company. More this topic in PCSTATS Guide to flash memory data recovery.

Anyhow, let's get on with the show; back to TestDisk and my lost hard drive partition...

Using the TestDisk program I was able to make my first partition (the one with the articles) accessible by restoring the backup partition boot sector, enabling the operating system on the computer to 'see' the partition again. I was happy. Testdisk is not overly difficult to use, but it does require a bit of attention. First, please read the documentation (located in the 'doc' directory) for an overview.

Upon starting Testdisk, you get a screen listing your available physical drives at the top.

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Highlight the drive you wish to recover and select the 'analyze' option.

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It will show the current partition structure and upon hitting 'enter,' will start searching the drive to see whether the actual partitions match. Make a note of this. If you have erased your partition table, nothing will be shown here.

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Contents of Article: PCSTATS
 Pg 1.  Beginners Guides: Hard Drive Data Recovery
 Pg 2.  Primary Partition Gone?
 Pg 3.  Fixing NTFS Partitions
 Pg 4.  Steps to Data Recovery
 Pg 5.  File recovery programs
 Pg 6.  FINDNTFS Freeware
 Pg 7.  NTFS reader for DOS
 Pg 8.  — TESTDISK, The Holy Grail
 Pg 9.  Testdisk Backs up Lost Data
 Pg 10.  Undeleting Files in Windows XP
 Pg 11.  Commercial Data Recovery Utilities
 Pg 12.  Restore factory Hard Drive Capacity When HDD Shows up as 32MB

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