How do I restore a deleted partition?

How to Recover Lost or Deleted Partitions Easily

Unfortunately, no matter how well you take care of your computer, system failures keep coming back.

The good news is that if you get these dreaded error messages, there is still a chance of recovering the missing partitions.

Let's see what could have happened. Whether you can recover the partition, let's take a look at a step-by-step guide of a recovery program that can make locating and restoring your missing partition easier, and then discuss how to prevent future problems with your system.

Common causes of lost / deleted partitions

When you get an error message that a partition is missing, the first question you will of course have is, "What happened? There are a few factors that can lead to lost or deleted partitions, including:

  1. Accidental deletion: Even experts occasionally have trouble managing their hard drive, so it is not uncommon for you to accidentally delete a partition or accidentally wipe an entire volume when trying to clean up a specific partition.
  2. Data corruption: Sometimes the partition table can be corrupted by a virus or bad disk operation, which can result in a lost partition.
  3. Power outages: A sudden power surge or power failure could affect the operation of the drive in a way that could render a partition inaccessible.
  4. Bad sectors: Bad sectors on the hard drive can prevent your partition from being recognized by the operating system.

The good news is that if you act quickly after discovering that it is missing, you may be able to recover a deleted partition.

Why timing matters

When a partition is deleted, the system usually removes the allocation for that space on the hard drive so that this section of space can be overwritten if necessary. However, as long as this section of the hard drive is left untouched, you can still use a recovery program to restore the partition.

The more you use your computer, the more likely it is that this section of the hard drive will be overwritten with new data. So your ability to recover lost partitions will increase the earlier you try to recover and the less access you have to the hard drive.

How to Recover Lost Partition

Using a recovery tool that you boot from either a USB stick or an external disk (i.e. DVD, CD, or Blu-ray) prevents you from accidentally overwriting the section of the hard drive where your partition data is stored. An easy-to-use recovery tool is the Acronis Recovery Expert wizard, which is included in the bootable version of Acronis Disk Director 12.

After launching the bootable version of Acronis Disk Director, go to Tools and select Acronis Recovery Expert from the menu. The wizard will start and allow you to detect deleted partitions and guide you through the recovery process.

You can restore your partition either automatically or manually.

Recover in automatic mode

Automatic mode is quick and easy as it finds and restores all deleted partitions on a base disk.

1. In the window "Recovery mode" the option "Automatically"out.

2. You will then get to the window "Search for deleted volumes". The tool searches all basic disks for deleted disks. The first step is to search for unallocated space. If unallocated space is found, it then starts looking for traces of erased volumes.

As soon as a deleted volume is found, it will be displayed in the volume list while the tool continues to search for the remaining disks. The button "Further“Is activated as soon as the search is completed.

If the search does not return any results, you will be prompted to either close the application or use the "Complete method“, In which the hard disks are searched sector by sector. It's more thorough, but much slower. If no volumes are found using the Complete method, you will be prompted to close the tool.

3. The volumes found are displayed in the "Recovery volume“Is displayed. When you have placed the required volumes in the hard disk structure, click on "Further“.

4. Click on "Continue“To start restoring the volumes.

Restore in manual mode

Do you want to have more control over recovery? Manual recovery mode allows you to specify the search method, the volumes to be searched, and the volumes to be restored.

1. In the window "Recovery mode" the option "Manually" out.

2. In the window "Selection of the unallocated space“Select the unallocated space in which the deleted volumes were located. If you are unsure of the location of the deleted volumes, select all unallocated spaces on all basic disks.

3. In the window "Search method"You have two options for how the search is carried out:

In the fast mode, the beginning of each side of each cylinder of the selected volumes is checked. This practice is recommended because it takes less time and, in most cases, it will find all deleted volumes.

Full mode, as described above, checks every sector on the selected disks to be more thorough, but is much slower as a result.

4. In the window "Search for deleted volumes“Search the entire selected disk for deleted volumes. Deleted volumes will appear in the list when the search continues. If no volumes are found, you will be prompted to close the utility as in automatic mode.

However, unlike the automatic recovery mode, you don't have to wait for the whole search to finish to select a deleted volume for instant recovery. Simply selecting a disk changes its status to "Not Deleted", which enables the "Next" button.

5. When you are in the Recovered Disks window, ensure that all of the selected disks are properly placed in the disk structure, and then click Next.

6. Click on "Continue“To start restoring the volumes.

Can't I just use a recovery partition?

On most systems, the manufacturer creates a section of the hard drive as a recovery partition that contains an image of your system as it was when it left the factory. The intent is that you can use the recovery partition when your system needs to be reset.

It is important to know that the default recovery partition installed by the manufacturer will restore your system to the original factory settings. This means that any applications, files, or adjustments to settings that you added since the computer was unpacked will be lost. Hence, native recovery partitions should really only be used as an absolute last resort.

Facilitate future restores

If you want to restore your system in a way that doesn't erase your newer content, your best option would be to regularly take a full image backup of your system that you store on an external hard drive. A full image backup is the fastest way to restore your system as it captures all of your data, including partitions, your operating system, settings, applications, documents, photos, and files.

Unlike the recovery partition, a full image backup means that you don't have to waste time reloading programs, updating to the latest versions, and rebuilding all of your files. And storage on an external hard drive means that if the original hard drive fails and you are denied access to the recovery partition stored on it, your system will be migrated to new hardware.