How to Recover Deleted Partition on External Hard Drive

How to Recover Deleted Partition on External Hard Drive

Most users are familiar with data or file loss situations, but may not be aware of partition loss and its consequences. The post describes the reasons that lead to loss of partitions from the hard drive and suggests a solution to retrieve deleted and lost partition back on the storage media.

Partition loss is not as common as data loss, but a severe issue that is much difficult to handle. It affects an important segment of the drive and data stored on the particular partition gets lost, may be forever. There are probabilities that loss of one partition may affect the entire storage media. Due to huge data deletion, the situation turns critical, therefore, requiring immediate attention.

If no data exists on the hard drive, you may recreate the partition or repartition the hard drive. However, if the deleted partition accommodates crucial data, it is vital to retrieve it. In a majority of cases, the lost partitions contain enormous volume of data.

There are a number of partition loss situations: however, you must analyze the actual condition before implementing the recovery solution.

Hard Drive Partition Loss: Phenomena & Situations

The different situations that confirm the state of data loss is when –

  • any one partition appears missing,
  • more than one partition are missing,
  • one or more partitions are erased, but the boot partition exists
  • only boot partition is lost while other partitions exists
  • only boot partition exist while other partitions are lost

In case if the boot partition is lost or all the partitions are deleted from the hard drive, you will fail to start the Operating System. Black screen or blue screen (Dead screen) will appear during the boot process and the boot process may fail in between.

However, if any one or more partitions are deleted from the hard disk, you may be able to start the computer and see those partitions existing on the drive.

What Causes Partition Loss

Most of us are unaware of the reasons that cause partition loss. What we all know is that a partition gets deleted when we accidentally hit incorrect key combinations. However, partitions are lost inadvertently and users don’t have any idea what have caused the inescapable loss. This makes partition recovery more difficult if the accurate reason is not known.

In the upcoming section, several common reasons are listed to make it quite easier for the user to gain access to lost data.

  • Partition Table Damage

Partition Table, a 64-bit data structure, is a part of Master Boot Record (MBR) and plays a vital role in providing information about primary partitions existing on the hard disk. The division of the hard drive into logical partitions helps store data in organized formats. The first four partitions on HDD are referred to as primary partitions.

If this table turns corrupt or damaged due to any technical or logical failure, it fails to perform read/write operation in a sequential manner. If it ever happens, the drive may become non-operational and there are a number of reasons responsible for the cause. Corruption or damage in partition table may occur due to software conflicts, virus attacks, incorrect operation, power outage, etc.

  • Accidental Deletion or Format

Sometimes, a simple mistake on our part leads to huge loss and is more so if the loss is of valuable data. This occurs when you accidentally erase or format any of the partitions while performing any other operation on the hard drive media. Deletion or accidental format of the partition takes place, particularly when organizing or repartitioning the drive.

If this is the reason, you can do nothing much, but pay attention while performing each task, be it deleting a single file or storing data in an organized manner. Always follow appropriate rules and guidelines while executing any procedures, workaround, and functions on the hard drive.

  • Virus Attack/ Malicious Malware

Virus and bugs enter into the computer through various means. It can be an infected external media or a file received via email that is causing the system to behave abnormally initially, and soon it turns to partition loss. As a matter of fact, bugs are hidden everywhere in the system or network but are harder to detect.

Make sure that your system is powered up with an efficient and fully functional anti-virus application. Also, do not download any file or program from any untrustworthy or unreliable website or any other medium. To avoid virus infection, do not connect USB devices to the computer unnecessarily.

  • Existence of Bad Sectors

All of us are well familiar with bad sectors that occur on the hard drive and the major cause for this is interrupted power supply. When the hard drive stops suddenly while any read/write operation is in process, the hard drive receives bad sectors. It is a sector that turns un-writable and inaccessible due to permanent damage.

These sectors are tiny chunks of storage space that are rigid and refuse to store any data. It occurs due to physical and logical reasons that include sudden system shutdown, incorrect handling of the drive, damaged platters on the storage media and similar causes. Recovering data from logically damaged hard drive is quite easier, but it is even harder to retrieve data from physically damaged media.

What can be done to Restore Lost Partition(s)?

Unfortunately, there is no built-in partition recovery utility available to recuperate the lost partitions or retrieve data from the damaged or corrupt partitions. However, there are some tips and measures that can be followed to maximize the chances of partition retrieval under all circumstances.

If partition loss ever occurs, stop using the hard drive for further computing operations as you will permanently lose data existing on the particular partition. Also, back up the entire hard drive to salvage any further loss. It is better to follow a strict backup strategy so that data can be restored under such circumstances.

The Way Forward

Although there are no manual methods available to restore lost partitions, you will be more than happy to know that it is possible to retrieve lost and deleted partitions using third-party Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery – Professional software. It is the only solution which has the capability to restore lost partitions from both internal and external storage media.

Oliver Powell

Oliver Powell

Data Recovery Expert at Stellar Data Recovery
He is a data recovery expert, recovering data since 1993. Playing around with hard drives, Windows OS issues and suggesting fixes is among the major activities I love. Share my knowledge and expertise over different media channels from time to time or as soon as find a new one.
Oliver Powell

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