Unallocatted Harddrive

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I've reinstalled my system and my second drive (nonsystem) is not being
recognised by the system.
I have two seperate harddrives in my machine.  C: my system drive and D: my
storage drive.

Looking at disk management I have C: drive 163 gig.  Healthy System.
My other (D:drive) is showing up as 465gig UNALLOCATED.
I'm pretty sure I did not format this drive.  Is it possible get this drive
back without destroying any data on it.

I'm a photographer and have some very important files on it.

I'm using Vista Home Premium.

Please help me get this drive back.


Re: Unallocatted Harddrive

Maggy wrote:
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"Is it possible get this drive back without destroying any data on it."

That depends on what happened to the drive.

You're absolutely sure, there are two separate physical drives,
only one partition per drive ? These aren't two partitions
on the same physical drive ?

Would your "reinstallation", have used a recovery partition on
a prebuilt computer ? Some computers, come with a small hidden
partition, and by pressing an F key at startup, you can have
the C: drive reloaded to factory conditions. Or, alternately,
you can burn recovery CD/DVD media, and use it for the same

If that is the case, I'd want to know what the policy of that
software is, with respect to partitions on the main drive. Does
the owners manual describe the consequences of using the recovery
function ? It would be illogical for it to wipe a data partition,
and it should only be working on the C: drive.

If there really are two physical disks, it is harder to explain
why the installer would remove some information from a data drive.

In terms of free tools, you could try TestDisk. There are
also commercial data recovery tools, some of which will
show you your files for free, but to recover the files,
you pay the company a fee for that. Sort of a "try before
you buy" form of software.


Another alternative, would be to take the computer to a local
shop, and have them work on it.

If I was working on the drive in question, my first step would be
to back up the drive to another drive. The purpose of doing that,
is in case there is a problem with the recovery process. TestDisk,
for example, is an "in-place" repair utility, meaning it works
on your "live" data. Any mistakes made, while using it, could have
permanent consequences. The other kinds of utilities, the data
recovery kind, scavenge whatever they can find on your D: drive,
and then ask to copy it to a separate drive. So a utility like that,
presents less of a risk to the original drive. But a scavenger
utility, may not get back as many files, as fixing a structural
problem with a tool like TestDisk.


Re: Unallocatted Harddrive

Hello Paul, Let me explain further in more detail. (and thanks for the

I bought this new off the shelf computer, a HP. That was my first mistake,
Why? because they don't come with driver/chipset disks! (no disks at all)
Having said that I must say that HP help and Support by phone is first

It came bundled with pre-installed software mainly trial stuff I didn't
really want.
My biggest problem is that it also came with Vista Premium installed.  I
tried to give Vista a chance but in the end I just got sick and tired of all
the permissions.  Can't do this, can't do that, permission required, you
don't have permision etc,etc...

So, I tried reinstalling my XP os, Second mistake!  No Chipset.
This is when I deleted C: & D:  partitions.  I deleted the D: partion
thinking it was the HP restore patition.
Anyway I then  let the XP disk format C: drive but I don't think it
formatted D:, and install XP only to find I was
in trouble not having any chipset disks.

Not having the XP chipset and no way of getting it I finally deciided just
to reinstall Vista from a backup I made earlier (3 cd's).
So that takes me to where  am now.
My Vista system is reinstalled and working fine (still have to put up with
Permission thing) but no second physical hard drive.

Second physical harddrive showing up UNALLOCATED.

I have many photo shoots on my unallocated drive, anthing I can do?


Re: Unallocatted Harddrive

Maggy wrote:
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Sometimes those systems will have a restore partition that can be used
to restore the machine straight from BIOS.  Ok, maybe not technically
from BIOS, but it amounts to much the same--you don't have to boot any
removable volume to make the restore.

Moreover, there's probably a utility in your system that allows you to
burn off restore disks from that partition.  At a minimum, I would guess
that feature is there, even if it's just using disc images on your
"main" partition.

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Once you have your restore discs straightened out, I recommend making a
clean install.  Unless the system just uses some honkin' disc image to
make the restore, you should be able to run a Windows installer, with
your product key, and start with a basic system.  Sort out the drivers,
bet the system up to date, and install only the applications you will
want to use, and you're off and running.  (Snag an image when you have
it straightened out.)

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I can't fault you there.

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I think we've discovered why your system thinks D is entirely
unallocated.  I suppose there are facilities for rebuilding the
partition table.  Do you know exactly what that partition, that you
deleted, looked like?

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That seems solvable.  In spite of what you say below, you should be able
to find drivers for your PC.  Do you know that mainboard is in it?

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I'm afraid I've not had any experience "undeleting" partitions, so I
cannot recommend a tool I have used.  c|net has one tools with a high
user *and* editor rating:

Arax Disk Doctor Data Recovery

The free version will apparently show you files on your recovered
partition, but will extract those smaller than 64K.  $40 to buy the full

There are *a lot* of recovery tools out there, so I would be hesitant to
believe the marketing claims.  Hopefully, someone can recommend a
quality, inexpensive (or even free) tool for this application.

Good luck.

Re: Unallocatted Harddrive

Maggy wrote:
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I still am not certain we are talking about two separate disks. It
sounds like an HP computer with one hard drive, which had
three partitions on it at one time, C, D, and a hidden recovery
partition. (It isn't hidden, it just uses a partition type that
doesn't show up on a Windows desktop.)

Now, if you deleted C and D (I can see deleting D, by turning
it into unallocated space, but deleting C while you're booted
from it, sounds a bit more difficult).

It is important to understand exactly what you've done, because
it affects the disk layout.

If you just deleted D, then the space D took is still there.
You'd have C, <unallocated>, hidden_partition. If you managed
to actually delete C and D, and then had an OS installer
prepare the disk, it could make the new C take up all the
space that the old C and D were using. And that would be
more difficult to fix.

I suspect you have C, <unallocated>, hidden_partition right
now. If the new C is the same size as the old C, that would be
good news. That then leaves the question, of what exactly
does <unallocated> mean.

It could mean, that the entry in the partition table is all
that gets touched. It would be a matter of putting the entry
back in the partition table.


You would need to pick an environment to work in. For example,
if you loaded TestDisk onto a DOS boot floppy, then there would
be no OS running to interfere with the repair effort. Alternately,
a Linux LiveCD could be used, and run TestDisk from that environment.
I have Knoppix and Ubuntu here, and use them for little experiments.
Another advantage of a Linux LiveCD setup, is I could probably manage
to make a sector by sector backup of the disk, before working on it.


To back up a disk in Linux, I'd use the "dd" disk dump command.
The syntax would be something like this. While in Linux, you
need to figure out the names of the devices, and that is the
hardest part of doing this step right.

    dd if=/dev/hda of=/dev/hdb

The brand new disk you purchase (hdb), should be exactly the
same size as the old one, or slightly bigger. The only thing it
cannot be, is smaller, as then some stuff on the end of hda would
not get copied. That would not be a problem if you knew the end
of the disk was empty, but I'd prefer to not take a chance.

Just to prove how many disks are present in the machine, you
should be able to look in Disk Management and see there,
how many rows the partitions take. For example, on my current
machine which has one hard drive, there are four primary partitions.
This is what I see

Disk 0    C:       DATA D:                KSTORE K:
Basic     FAT32    FAT32
74GB      19GB     19GB      18GB         18GB
           Healthy  Healthy   Healthy      Healthy

So my physical single disk "Disk 0", has four partitions. C: is
the boot drive, still FAT32 (never bothered to convert it). D:
is the DATA partition. The third partition is for Linux Swap,
and Windows doesn't know what it is. There is no file system
as such. The fourth partition is also foreign, and is EXT2
storage for Linux. The partition label shows up, "KSTORE",
the size is known, but again, Windows disavows knowledge of
foreign file systems.

I suspect when you go into disk management, you're going to
see something similar. Only your middle section of the
row, is going to have the "unallocated" part. I suspect
TestDisk can put it back for free, or you can spend money
on the many programs I could find when I looked for
"restore deleted partition" with a search engine.

By the way, I'm an amateur at this, and all I can outline
is the approach I'd use if this was my disk.

1) Don't be in a hurry. Gather as many suggestions as you
    can first.
2) I personally prefer to back up the damaged media first.
    This is based on a trivial experience I got years ago at
    work. I had a damaged disk. The group I was in designed
    both computer hardware and software (we designed our own
    OS), and we had a recovery program written by staff
    available. I used it, and it was supposed to copy the
    duplicate disk structure, to repair the bad structure.
    Instead, what it did, is copy the bad structure over top
    of the good structure, forever erasing the information
    on the disk. (It would have taken too long to find all
    the data by hand, so I gave up on it.) I learned from
    this, don't trust any utility that does "in-place" repairs.
    That would include TestDisk, as it is an "in-place" repair
    utility. TestDisk does not use a second disk, to scavenge
3) Once the backup copy is made, then I could afford to
    experiment with TestDisk.

There are also other USENET groups, some of which specialize
in storage and hard drives. You could also post your question
there if you want. Or even in a WinXP or Vista group for that matter.

Judging by the information here, the capabilities of Vista
allow lots of damage to be done. Resizing partitions would
make quite a mess to clean up, if you wanted to put stuff
back later. If you've done something like that, well, that
would be out of my league.



Re: Unallocatted Harddrive

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Now that you have given more info...I can see what you did.

You specifically stated that you had all your data on the D: drive

Then you specifically stated that you deleted your D: drive

So I am not sure why you'd expect your data to still be there...
you deleted it!

That's the bad news.

The good news is that you wisely did not format the D: drive

had you attempted to anything at all with the drive, your data would be
quite gone.

What you need to do now is get a third party utility that has the ability to
undelete or restore a deleted partition.

A friend of mine did exactly the same thing you did
and used Partition Magic to 100% restore the entire drive.

So use Partition Magic or any other similar utility...
but by no means do anything else to that drive.

Finally: BACK UP YOUR DATA!!!!!

Re: Unallocatted Harddrive

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No, I said I deleted the partition which resulted in making it unallocated.
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Re: Unallocatted Harddrive

philo wrote:
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There is a manual here. Page 45 covers "Undeleting Partitions".
I have Partition Magic 7, and have never used that option, which
is why it didn't come to mind :-)



Re: Unallocatted Harddrive

On Mon, 27 Oct 2008 05:14:31 GMT, "Maggy"

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There was no reason to delete the D partition just to
install XP.  Now you need a software hard drive recovery
program to scan the drive and save the files to (an equal
amount of free space they took up) on a different drive.

Did you look for XP drivers for your system on HP's website?
If they are not there, note and list the specific drivers
for Vista and the component make and model for each.  A web
search should come up with most if not all drivers for XP,
certainly the one(s) for the motherboard chipset.

There aren't a lot of chipsets out there for notebooks, most
likely it's nVidia, Intel, or maybe ATI.  If one of these
three, cretainly their website will have XP driver(s)...
remember HP does not make laptop chips, there isn't any
driver that only exists from HP and not available elsewhere
AFAIK, you just need to ID the chip then use that info to
web search for the driver elsewhere.  Another alternative is
a websearch for your model of laptop + "XP", which tends to
list forums where owners of it describe issues/resolutions
they had switching from Vista to XP.

Re: Unallocatted Harddrive

What are you talking about?  Laptop? what laptop? You really should read
posts before you answer them,
saves making yourself look foolish.
Anyway problem is now resolved, thanks to the others who did help.


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Re: Unallocatted Harddrive

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I am glad you were able to undelete your partition
but there is NO NEED to speak disrespectfully to someone here who offered
you help.

If someone made an incorrect reference...
no need to get all upset about it.
Kony is one of the most knowledgable people who gives advice here...

Sheesh, you have a desktop

Kony said "notebook"

and now you've changed it to "laptop"

A little nit picky are we?

Considerably less of an error than deleting a partition with all your data
on it!

(end of rant, I need a nap)

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Re: Unallocatted Harddrive

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And before you WILL mention it, the Caps was done on purpose.
And shouting, once again is only you're interpretation.
Now go to sleep!   lol

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Re: Unallocatted Harddrive

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Ok Maggy...I am all done with my rant
and I see you replied to some jerk I plonked a while back.
It looks like you gave him hell...
so I cannot get too upset with you now <G>

As for me going to sleep...
heck it's only 7 pm

I don't got to bed until 8PM <G>

But most importantly I am glad you got your data back

I am also a photographer

and I built a machine for a good friend of mine who is also a
and I have had to do MANY data retrievals for him

He now backs up his data all the time!!!!

Re: Unallocatted Harddrive

On Mon, 27 Oct 2008 23:09:52 GMT, "Maggy"

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While I may have had a laptop on my mind (a different
person's system), the rest of what I wrote was applicable.

Have a nice day.

Re: Unallocatted Harddrive

Maggy wrote:
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Without a properly constructed bottom-posted reply, it is
impossible for anyone to tell what you are talking about.

Please do not top-post.  Your answer belongs after (or intermixed
with) the quoted material to which you reply, after snipping all
irrelevant material.  See the following links:

  <http://cfaj.freeshell.org/google/ (taming google)
  <http://members.fortunecity.com/nnqweb/ (newusers)

 [mail]: Chuck F (cbfalconer at maineline dot net)
 [page]: <http://cbfalconer.home.att.net
            Try the download section.

Re: Unallocatted Harddrive

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Sorry, I dont agree.

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While irrelevant to you, snipping does in most cases completely or usually
the context of a post.  I find you're statement totaly ridiculus!  Pardon my
You may or should know that a snipped post by the time it reaches the end of
the line
can end up discussing a completely different subject.
And as far as top or bottom posting, well, that's the right of anyone who
posts.  top, bottom, or middle,
that's my right/choice as it is yours.  I don't believe though that I have a
right to tell anyone how to post.

On refection, maybe you're praticeing some comedy routine or something. In
which case you need a little more
work on the punchline.
Yours in laughter,
Maggy....  lol  ...lol

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Re: Unallocatted Harddrive

On Mon, 27 Oct 2008 23:26:33 GMT, "Maggy"

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The conventions of the newsgroup are the primary factor.  If
someone "disagreed" with writing english left to right would
that be ok too?

Re: Unallocatted Harddrive

kony wrote:
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Don't sweat it.  Maggy has found the PLONK list.

 [mail]: Chuck F (cbfalconer at maineline dot net)
 [page]: <http://cbfalconer.home.att.net
            Try the download section.

Re: Unallocatted Harddrive

Maggy wrote:
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Try to use disk management to assign a drive letter.
It happens when your second drive is NTFS, and an old drive C.
there is a drive letter conflict, and xp(vista?) responds by
not assigning the second drive a drive letter.

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