Help!! I've lost all of my data

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Mike1951, Nov 11, 2007.

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  1. Mike1951

    Mike1951 Registered Member

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    I know this is probably hopeless, but I must ask anyway.

    A while back, I changed out my secondary, data only drive, from a 200mb to a 300mb. I used Acronis to clone the 200 to a USB drive, then back to a 300mb. I didn't do something right and the new drive was limited to 200mb.

    Last night, I used Acronis to backup the D: drive to my external L: and it resulted in a 165GB backup file.

    The file was visible in Acronis and in 'explore' and all was fine.

    I then used Acronis to re-partition drive D: to take advantage of the full 300mb. I only performed this operation one time on one drive.

    However, drive L: no longer shows up in 'explore' and in Acronis shows up as unallocated. So it looks as if my 165gb backup with all of my data is completely gone. I performed no operation on drive L: and do not understand what happened.

    Does anyone think there is any chance of recovering the backup file from drive L:?

    Mike
     
  2. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

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    You might want to check if your external drive has a drive letter assigned to it. If it is missing a drive letter it will show up as unallocated even though it has data in it. Something as simple as putting a drive letter on it will get it to show up on windows explorer and get your data back.
    This has happened to me, where an external drive has lost the drive letter. but it's a quick fix. Sometimes just rebooting your computer with the external drive plugged in, will reassign a drive letter to it, if not you need to use partition software to label it.
     
  3. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    If you plug the external drive into another computer, does the backup image show up or does Windows Disk Management show the drive as all Unallocated?
     
  4. Mike1951

    Mike1951 Registered Member

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    It was drive L:.

    How would I go about relabeling it without doing anything else?

    Mike
     
  5. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    I wouldn't recommend making any changes to the external drive until you determine if the backup is really there or not. Have you tried it with another computer?

    Windows Disk Management will let you assign a drive letter to a drive, but there has to be a partition in order for this to work. You state that it showed as unallocated space (meaning no partition).
     
  6. Mike1951

    Mike1951 Registered Member

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    I have since tried plugging the USB drive into my laptop.

    It wasn't recognized.

    Mike
     
  7. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Can you clarify what you mean by It wasn't recognized?

    Does that mean it didn't show up in My Computer or that it didn't show up in Windows Disk Management?
     
  8. vango44

    vango44 Registered Member

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    I assume your OS is on C: drive. Is this correct?

    Did you use True Image from Windows to do the initial backup to the external drive or the Acronis boot CD?

    What program did you use to edit the partition on the D: drive? Also, was this done from Windows or from a boot CD?

    Does your D: drive also appear unallocated and the correct size as you initially intended?

    You should be aware that when you use a boot CD instead of Windows to perform tasks and you have multiple drives, the drive letters will usually be different than in Windows. Is it possible you repartitioned the wrong drive?

    If the only task you did was to delete the partition on the external drive then the data should be recoverable.
    Do not apply any other changes to the drive if the data is valuable to you.

    I've never used it but Acronis Disk Director is supposed to be able to recover lost/deleted partitions.
    From the website:
    Finally, if the data is very important you should bring the drive to someone who is very familiar with data recovery software to minimize the chances of permanently losing your data.
     
  9. Mike1951

    Mike1951 Registered Member

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    On both computers, it doesn't show up under 'My Computer' and under disk management on both unallocated space and capacity are the same.

    It gives every indication of actually being empty.

    I guess I'm being hopelessly optimistic in thinking it might be recovered.

    I just puzzled because I performed no operation on the USB drive.

    Mike
     
  10. Mike1951

    Mike1951 Registered Member

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    YES
    TRUE IMAGE FROM WINDOWS
    TRUE IMAGE FROM WINDOWS
    THE D DRIVE NOW REFLECTS FULL CAPACITY INSTEAD OF BEING A CLONE OF THE SMALLER DRIVE
    THE OPERATION I INTENDED WAS PERFORMED ON THE CORRECT DRIVE FROM TRUE IMAGE. NOT USING A BOOT DISK.
    THAT IS WHY I'M HERE. THE USB IS UNCHANGED.
    THIS IS ABSOLUTELY WORTH TRYING. THE DATA IS NOT INVALUABLE BUT CONTAINS ALL OF MY DIGITAL PHOTOS FROM SEVERAL YEARS AS WELL AS HUNDREDS OF $ WORTH OF MP3 DOWNLOADS OF CLASSIC RADIO REPRESENTING HUNDREDS OF HOURS OF MY TIME.
    I HOPE IT DOESN'T COME TO THIS, AS I WOULD NOT KNOW WHO TO CONTACT AND THE COST MIGHT BE PROHIBITIVE. HOPEFULLY, YOUR OTHER SUGGESTION WILL WORK.

    PS. NOT INTENDING TO 'SHOUT'. JUST WANTED TO DISTINGUISH MY ANSWERS FROM YOUR QUESTIONS.

    Mike
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2007
  11. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    You can use a different color.
     
  12. Mike1951

    Mike1951 Registered Member

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    You're absolutely right! I just didn't think of it.

    Mike
     
  13. BlueZannetti

    BlueZannetti Administrator

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    Ummm, no. Use quote delimiters, it is much more readable and seemless.

    Blue
     
  14. vango44

    vango44 Registered Member

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    What exactly did you do to expand the D: drive to 300GB?
    AFAIK, True Image can't "repartition" a drive. What it can do is expand a restored image to the full size of the new drive but only during the restore and only if that option is selected by the user.

    Any disk management software can usually extend a partition without affecting the data contained as well.

    This doesn't really help your current situation though I understand.

    As for my last comment about taking it to someone; if they are familiar with the software and if it's as simple as restoring the disk table, it would take them only a few minutes to do it.
    So again If you are trying to fix it yourself just remember that unless it appears obvious that a given solution will restore your drive, every change you apply to "fix" it makes the recovery exponentially more difficult and expensive.

    Good Luck! :thumb:
     
  15. Mike1951

    Mike1951 Registered Member

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    I intially had around the entire message, but changed it.

    I was in a hurry to post and it didn't occur to me to quote individual statements.

    I appreciate the help being offered and didn't mean to offend.

    Mike
     
  16. BlueZannetti

    BlueZannetti Administrator

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    No problem - it will take a while before it becomes second nature (and saves all those capital letters and pretty colors.... :)) You can manually enter the delimiters where needed and as needed.

    Blue
     
  17. Mike1951

    Mike1951 Registered Member

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    When I earlier upgraded my data drive from 200->300, I had cloned it to the USB drive using True Image. When I cloned it back, it left the 300 thinking it was a 200. Today, I first reformatted the 300, then used True Image to add a new drive and reconfigured it to use the full 300.




    I appreciate your help. But are you saying that by trying a software retrieval like Disk Director that I risk the data if not successful?

    Mike
     
  18. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    For those who don't know, the easy way of putting Quote tags around pieces of text in a block of text is to select the text and click on the icon above that looks like a page of text with a tail on it (beside the "#" icon).
     
  19. vango44

    vango44 Registered Member

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    Well yeah. You have several options available to you and you have to decide which will work for you.
    The first problem is that you don't really know how the partition was lost to begin with. If it was deleted by editing the disk table then any good recovery software can retrieve it...assuming familiarity with the software and the correct options selected.
    If it was "scrubbed" which can be done by lots of software now to protect privacy, then it's gone permanently for you.

    You can try the Disk Director approach if you want. One thing to check with any trial recovery software is whether it let's you do a restore without buying first. Most let you see the files but not recover without buying.

    Another option is to backup the entire drive using the "sector by sector" option in True Image and save the image (it will be 200GB large) on another drive before beginning any recovery efforts. That way, if the recovery is done wrong, you could put the saved image back on the drive and try again. I imagine this is how a professional would proceed.

    If there are only some specific files you hope to recover, another idea is to use a file recovery tool to try to find them. You should be able to find a good free one if you look. Any good one shouldn't write on the drive; just read from it.
     
  20. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

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    Most partition software will see your external drive even if windows explorer doesn't. From there you just left click on the partition and choose label. Next just assign any drive letter to it, (you probably won't have to reboot) and windows explorer will recognize it.

    If you didn't touch that hard drive or did any modifications to it then it's still there, all the information is still there. The only time a partition will lose data that will be unrecoverable is when you are doing partition resizing/moving and you have a power blackout and the computer shutsdown in the middle of the job. Nothing will recover you from that. Every other situation is recoverable.
     
  21. Mike1951

    Mike1951 Registered Member

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    I just got home with the Disk Director software.

    Installed it and successfully recovered the partition and data.

    Many thanks to all who participated today, but special thanks to vango44 for suggesting the Disk Director software.

    When I first went to the Acronis site, I was incensed to see that any real person tech support was going to cost $29.95. I have tried other vendor related forums in the past and found them to be no help and all. Therefore, I didn't hold out much hope when I started reading here.

    But, the level of knowledgeable participation here has really impressed me.

    Mike
     
  22. vango44

    vango44 Registered Member

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    Glad it worked out for you! :)
     
  23. CBarkAZ

    CBarkAZ Registered Member

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    Hi, new guy here. I have a similar problem. I have a 500GB hard drive. I partitioned 20GB for the OS and the remainder for storage. I installed the OS a couple months ago, created the image and stored it away. Well, last week I did something to my system to make it run sluggishly. Instead of trying to troubleshoot it, I backed up my data files from the OS partition and restored the image. It went well...except I forgot that I had increased the size of the OS partition to 40GB. Now I have a perfectly restored, 20GB partition and 460GB+ of unallocated disk space that once held a lot of data (saved programs from my ReplayTV, music, photos, etc.) I have backups of the music and photos, but not the videos.

    So, my question is this: Would buying and using something like Disk Director suite help to recover the data?

    I'm not sure if this should have been it's own post or not, but I thought my issue is along the same lines ad the original poster.

    Thanks for your help,
    Charles
     
  24. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Are you saying that the restored system partition is 20GB when it was previously 40GB (the partition you replaced was 40GB)?

    Did you do an Entire Disk Image restore when only the Windows partition existed in the backup image?

    DD may be able to recover the partition.

    I would recommend that you don't do anything further with the disk until you decide what you want to do for recovery. Don't create another partition and don't do any formatting.
     
  25. CBarkAZ

    CBarkAZ Registered Member

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    Yes, the restored partition is 20GB and the previous one was 40GB, so that unallocated space has an extra 20GB, or so, that the partition table isn't aware of.

    I believe I only restored the OS partition. I noticed that Acronis "Locked" the D: Drive (Only one HD in this system with 2 partitions, C & D) before the restore.

    I won't do anything until I know for sure that I can or can't get it back. I guess if I can't I'll chalk it up to experience and a 'cleansing by fire' of all the old data.

    Thanks again for your help,
    Charles
     
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