Lost Partition Recovery in Windows PC
Disk partitioning is a great way of optimizing your disk and managing data in Windows operating system. With the introduction of GUID Partition Table (GPT)—a new standard that replaced Master Boot Record (MBR)— Windows users can now create up to 128 partitions on a single GPT drive, unlike MBR which is limited to 4 partitions and do not support drives larger than 2TB.
By partitioning your drive, you can create multiple logical volumes besides the default C: partition to store and manage your data. This also safeguards your personal and crucial data stored in the partitions other than C: in the event of Windows reinstallation, system crash, or OS failure as the data stored on the other partitions remain unaffected and intact. However, sometimes things can go wrong as drive or volume corruption is inevitable due to common factors such as:
- Virus or Malware infestation
- Bad sectors on the drive
- Sudden power surge
- Removing external drive without ejecting
- Unexpected system shutdown
- System crash due to software or hardware problems
Quite evidently, human errors are the second most common reason for data loss, which leads to accidental deletion and formatting of disk partitions. This happens mostly while managing drive partitions with Disk Management or other third party tools. Once the partition gets corrupt or deleted, the data inside the partition also becomes inaccessible and results in severe data loss situation.
In such a situation, you must act immediately and appropriately as every step taken after data loss affects the chances of recovery of your crucial data. Below is a detailed guide that takes you through the process of retrieving your data from a corrupt and lost partition securely.
NOTE: Both partition corruption and deletion lead to partition loss. In other words, a partition loss can occur when the drive volume gets corrupt or deleted due to the factors above.
Performing Lost Partition recovery in Windows
Follow each step to ensure recovery of your crucial data as every step is vital.
Stop Using Your PC Or Affected Drive
In the event of data loss due to accidental deletion, partition loss, or corruption, you should immediately stop or at least minimize the use of your PC or affected drive particularly. By reducing disk usage, you evade chances of lost data getting overwritten which otherwise can lead to permanent data loss. Even frequent system reboots, and system shutdowns can lead to overwriting.
2. Do Not Format Corrupt Or Deleted Partition
A corrupt partition can be repaired, and the deleted partition can be restored by formatting via the Disk Management tool. However, formatting partition also evades chances your data recovery. Data from a corrupt and deleted partition can be recovered with the use of a right tool such as Stellar Data Recovery Professional. The software facilitates data recovery from inaccessible corrupt and deleted partitions without overwriting and formatting the partition. You can follow the instructions given below to restore your data from corrupt and lost partitions.
3. Avoid Running CHKDSK
CHKDSK can help you fix the common file system errors that cause drive corruption. However, it also reallocates bad sectors that could lead to data corruption and permanent data loss. Therefore, you must avoid running CHKDSK and choose the right tool—mentioned below— to improve the possibility of your data recovery from the lost partition.
4. Use a Data Recovery Software
By avoiding the above-mentioned acts, you have already ensured greater chances of your data recovery with the help of partition recovery software. The software features advanced data recovery options such as ‘Can’t Find Drive’ and ‘Deep Scan’ that securely restores data from a formatted, severely corrupt, inaccessible, and lost (or deleted) drive partitions in Windows.
Follow the steps given below to restore your essential files and folder from a corrupt or lost partition:
- Download and install Stellar Data Recovery Professional Software
- Connect the affected external drive to the PC (skip if the partition loss occurred in internal drive)
- Right-click on the software launch icon and choose ‘Run as administrator.’
- Grant permission when prompted
- On Select What To Recover screen, choose the file types that you wish to recover or click ‘All Data’ under Everything and click ‘Next.’
- In Select Location window, look for the drive partition under ‘Connected Drives’ and click ‘Scan.’
RAW drives partitions are also inaccessible but are visible under Connected Drives section of the software.
If the partition you are looking for is not listed under ‘Connected Drives’, select ‘Can’t Find Drive’ under Other Locations and click ‘Scan.’ A new window opens
- In Select Hard Drive to Search Lost Partition window, choose the hard drive that contains the lost or corrupt partition under Select Drive list box and click ‘Search.’
- The found partitions are listed under ‘Partitions Found’ list. If the desired partition is still not found, click ‘Deep Scan’ below ‘Partitions Found’ list box
- Select the partition from the ‘Partitions Found’ list and click ‘Scan.’
- After the scan, the results are displayed in the left ‘Tree View’ pane. In case desired results are not displayed, click ‘Click Here’ link at the bottom of the software window to run ‘Deep Scan.’
- Post ‘Deep Scan’, click on ‘File Type’ tab in the left pane to sort the data according to the file types. ‘Deleted List’ tab contains deleted files and folders only
- You can expand each folder and click on a file to preview it before saving
- To recover, select the data and click the ‘Recover’ button. A new dialog box appears
- Click the ‘Browse’ button to choose a save location on a drive or drive volume. Use a different drive to save the recovered data and avoid data corruption
- Click ‘Start Saving’ and wait for the software to save your recovered files from a corrupt or lost partition at your desired location
Post recovery, you can go ahead, format the drive partition with the appropriate file system. Formatting with repair the partition and make it usable again. Alternatively, you can create a new partition by shrinking the existing drive volumes. Later you can transfer the recovered data to the repaired partition.
Additionally, you can use the Stellar Data Recovery Professional software to create a disk image if the drive is slow, fragmented, weak, or contains too many bad sectors. The software also lets you scan disk, check SMART data, and facilitates disk cloning.
You should be always cautious while partitioning a drive or managing your drive partitions with Disk Management or other third party tools. Corruption or partition loss due to malware and viruses can be prevented with a reliable antivirus or antimalware protection. Apparently, backup is the most practical way to mitigate data loss scenarios caused by partition loss, accidental deletion, or physical damage. However, obsolete or unavailable backup in the event of partition loss can lead to permanent data loss. Luckily, you still get one last chance with tools such as Stellar Data Recovery Professional that lets you restore more than 300 files types from lost, deleted, corrupt, formatted, or inaccessible hard drives and other storage media.
Author Bio – Manish Bhickta is a Data Recovery wizard with Stellar Data Recovery for more than 5 years. He loves to troubleshoot Windows issue and write technical tips and tutorials around them.
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