A colleague of mine just removed and repartitioned a disc (NTFS) that we wanted to backup. After he realized his mistake he didn't do anything else.

Is it possible to recover any of the files that where stored on this partition? And if so, which tool should I use?

Please do not propose a tool that you just googled - I would prefere one that someone had good experience with already!

  • Which O/S? Which Filesystem? – Benoit Jan 18 '11 at 12:47
  • Most tools for creating partitions will work EXCEPT the microsoft ones, which wipe a chunk at the start of the partition. – pjc50 Jan 18 '11 at 13:52

I've been using Testdisk on linux, and Easy Recovery on windows.

If new partitions were created, but no new files were stored there's a high chance of 100% recovery.

  • testdisk works wonderfully. I've used it a few times with great success. – Journeyman Geek Feb 8 '11 at 14:25

I've had very good success restoring partitions using R-Studio. I've even been able to recover a partition that had been deleted and recreated, but not yet used.


R-studio got me out of that hole too. I got all my files back quickly and easily.

Make sure to stop using the physical disk immediately, if you can, and install whatever tool you use on a different disk. Tricky if it is the system drive - you'd need to attach the disk to a different machine if that is the case.

The longer you use it the greater chance your data has of being overwritten. It is less of a risk (zero?) if you haven't created any new partitions, but if the data is valuable I wouldn't take any chances.


I used GetDataBack with BartPE and got most of the files back - some of them even had there original file name. It was not what I hoped for, but better than nothing.


Two or three times in the past I accidentally alter my desktop drive partition table, no reformat just deleted the partition(s) from the partition table and change it for another partition(s) with different size. I used Gpart to guess the missing/original partition layout and then rewrite the partition table according to the guessed layout it suggested/guessed. Fortunately for me, the guessed partition layout was correct. It successfully helped my friend too, who had similar accident as me about three years ago.

Gpart is included in serveral Linux LiveCD distribution like KNOPPIX or SystemRescueCd.

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