Wednesday, October 3, 2007

How to recover a lost flash partition for free

Ok before you say anything, I'm not the only idiot out there.
I left my flash drive in a machine I was re-installing windows to. I wasn't paying attention as I was speed deleting partitions and I thought the 1 gig from my flash drive was left over space and I deleted it so I could add it back to the whole.

Take your time and read this. The DiskInternals program doesn't do the recovery work, I use it to identify the type of partition you have. On a flash drive it is usually FAT32. On a harddrive it can be anything.

1.)The first thing I needed to do was find out what type of partition I have.
I downloaded the not so free program:

DiskInternals Partition Recovery 1.9 An expert at recovering lost partition.


It wasn't such an expert as recovering partitions but I was tempted to buy it anyways considering the files I really needed back were possible to recover, but a lot of my data was still lost according to the program.

Ok now that I know I had a FAT16 partition based on the info Disk Internals provided (I would have thought it was a FAT32).

2.)I downloaded an open source app to do the repair work.

TestDisk & PhotoRec 6.8 (13 August 2007), Data Recovery


The analyze feature didn't work in my case. That's why I mentioned using the DiskInternals software.

3.)From the advanced (file system) menu I selected the type option entered my matching type number, (FAT16) in this case, then clicked proceed.

Then I selected boot (for boot sector recovery), then Rebuild BS.

Once that was done I tried Repair FAT. The software said the FAT was ok and I was done.

Remove and reseat the USB drive and .....


Ok I'm a bigger idiot than I though. I had to go through this again and it worker on a FAT32 partition this time.


I haven't tried this FREE APP but what to you have to loose:
This has a Partition and Master boot record recovery components. These guys seem like they know what they are doing based on my experience with other commercial data recovery products.

FindAndMount Also lets you create a disk image. How nice is that.

For un-deleting files try:

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