Recover Hard Drive from Partition Lost or Partition Damage
Lost or damaged drive partitions may cause serious data loss if not handled properly. Depending on which partitions are damaged or lost, the consequences may vary from inaccessible files to a unbootable operating system.To solve the partition problem, we should first take a look at what are partitions and what do they do.
What Are Partitions?
When referring to a computer hard drive, a partition is a region of the hard drive that is separated from other regions. By dividing the hard drive into segments, the operating system can manage them separately. This reduces the general data loss risk as the failure of one partition will not have negative effects on other partitions. For hard disk drives, partitions keep frequently used files and programs near each other and thus improve the overall computer efficiency.
What Is Partition Table?
Since a hard drive is divided into many separate partitions, a record is created by the operating system about the locations and sizes of each partition. This record is called partition table or partition map. Different operating systems have their own standard for the layout of partition table: for Windows OS, it is called Master Boot Record (MBR) partition table; for mac OS it is called Apple partition map (APM). GUID Partition Table (GTP) is a new emerging partition table standard that is aiming to unify the layout for partition table on storage devices.
A partition table is essential for the operating system to keep track of each partition. Requests to access certain files will firstly be directed to partition table for location information and then to the actual corresponding files.
Partition Lost or Damaged
Depending on the which partition is damaged, you may experience difference errors:
If your boot partition is lost or damaged, you will not be able to boot your computer at all. You will receive warnings like Non-System disk or disk error，replace disk and press a key to reboot; Error Loading Operating System, or No ROM Basic，System Halted. These warnings will show up when the computer attempt but fail to load the operating system.
If it is other partitions rather than the boot partition is lost or damaged, the hard drive space which is originally taken will appear as unallocated in Disk Management. You will not be able to access any of the files stored in that blank part.
There are several reasons that can cause partition problems:
1. Virus. Virus infection is one of the major threats that could destroy partition table. Many destructive viruses damage the Master Boot Record and make it impossible to start the computer from the hard disk. For example, the CIH variant would target and attack BIOS and sabotage partition table in the process.
2. Human error. You may delete a partition by accident when poking around the Disk Management. Shutting down the computer while dividing partitions or converting filesystems may lead to partition table damage.
3. Hardware failure. Hard disk drive bad sectors or motherboard malfunctions will result in partition table damage as well.
How to Fix Partition Problems and Recover Data
1. Fixing Master Boot Record
Fixing the MBR and other boot problems in Windows requires installation disk or recovery disk to enter the recovery environment. Once you are in the recovery environment, you can access the Command Prompt to try to fix the MBR. Enter the following command and then press enter:
If it successfully repairs your MBR, you should be greeted with the message The operation completed successfully.
2. Utilizing Data Recovery Software
While the above command can fix your MBR, sometimes it is not enough – it can not recover deleted partitions for you. If you are concerned that fiddling with the partition may cause permanent damage to the data within them, H Data Recovery Software is a good choice for you. H Data Recovery Software offers a special module designed to recover files from lost or damaged partitions.
Step 1. To recover data from damaged or lost partitions, install and launch H Data Recovery Software and select the Hard Drive Partition module.
Step 2. Select the problematic hard drive and click Next to proceed with the scan. The scanning process may take a while as the software will locate and collect every file that is stored in the lost partition.
Step 3. When the scanning is complete, you can choose from the listed files and save them to your desired safe destination.