How to Recover Deleted or Lost Partitions in Windows

Tips • July 31, 2023

Recover Partitions

Have you ever been in a situation where you lost data from a deleted or lost partition? If you have ever tried to retrieve the data, you might have realized it is daunting. So if you have tried and failed, you’ve come to the right place.

Through this article, irrespective of your technical expertise, you’ll arguably gain the necessary knowledge about partitioning and tools to tackle partition loss and regain access to your data while ensuring the safety of your information.

This is made possible through our comprehensive guide on how to recover deleted or lost partitions in Windows by providing you with arguably some of the best methods to handle this issue.

RELATED: Top 10 Partition Recovery Tools for Windows

What are partitions

The storage space on your computer’s storage device is divided into partitions. By partitioning, you can more efficiently organize your data while treating a single storage device as multiple drives.

Usually partitions are typically displayed on Windows as “C:”, “D:”, “E:”, etc., each capable of having a unique file system. They are frequently used to divide operating systems, system files, programs, and personal files to keep things organized and improve overall system performance.

In addition, partitioning can simplify the process of backing up or recovering specific data and protect data by containing potential malware or virus attacks in a single partition.

How does a partition become lost or deleted

Partitions can become lost or deleted for various reasons, often caused by errors during operation, software conflicts, or hardware issues. Here are some of the most common causes:

  • Accidental Deletion: Human error often results in lost partitions, such as accidentally deleting or formatting a partition.
  • Hardware or System Malfunctions: Issues with the hard drive or system malfunctions can lead to lost or deleted partitions.
  • Virus Attacks: Potential malware and virus attacks can corrupt partitions, making them inaccessible or even deleting them.
  • Software Conflict: Certain software, especially those altering system or hard drive data, can conflict with the partition table and cause loss.
  • Power Outages: Unexpected power failures during operations, such as partition resizing, can lead to lost partitions.

How to recover a lost/deleted partition in Windows

Given the possible loss of significant data, losing a partition might be the last thing anyone would wish for. Nevertheless, depending on the severity of the damage or corruption, recovery is possible even though the procedure can be challenging.

Usually, partition loss may occasionally be caused by less complicated problems, such as disappearing drive letters or small system failures, which are generally simple to fix. In other cases, major deletion or corruption can complicate things and require specialized software tools for recovery.

Irrespective of the issue, the methods suggested in this article arguably fix most problems. Don’t worry, and continue reading the article, to find out which approach is right for your issue.

Before you start

Here are some crucial considerations to keep in mind before commencing the partition recovery procedure:

  • Backup Existing Data: If at all possible, make a copy of your current data. This reduces the chance of additional data loss.
  • Minimize Use of the Disc: If your issue is with the hard drive, use the impacted hard disc as little as possible to avoid data overwriting.
  • Remain Calm: The procedure may be difficult, but being thorough and patient will help you avoid mistakes.

Using TestDisk

TestDisk is a powerful, open-source software designed for data recovery. It works very well at recovering deleted partitions and can make non-bootable disks bootable again, so one can recover lost sectors and fix partition table issues effectively.

Additionally, it assists in recovering missing sectors and resolving partition table difficulties. The best part is that it is compatible with all the main operating systems and supports various file systems. As a result, it has become a highly suggested tool for handling situations involving significant data loss.

Here are steps to recover deleted or lost partitions in Windows using TestDisk:

  1. Start by downloading TestDisk from its official download page.
  2. Click on the Windows link or the green download button, and the download will start automatically.
  3. After the download finishes, open the RAR file using your preferred archiving app and unpack the contents to a directory of your choice.

Note: TestDisk doesn’t have an installation wizard, and one has to unpack its contents from where it can be accessed directly.

  1. To keep your recovered files in one place, set up a Recovery folder on the drive that isn’t affected.
  2. Launch the TestDisk software by executing the exe file in your downloaded TestDisk directory.
  3. Create a new log file for the session by selecting the first option Create” and pressing Enter.
    TestDisk 1
  4. Pick the Hard Drive from which you aim to retrieve data. You can select a specific drive or the entire disk using arrow keys.
  5. After selecting a drive or disk, TestDisk will recognize your disk’s partition table type. Once done, hit Enter to proceed.
    TestDisk 2
  6. Start the disk examination by opting for the “Analyse” feature and confirming with Enter. If you’re aware, you can also use the other advanced tools.
    TestDisk 3
  7. In this step, TestDisk displays disk-related errors. Press Enter here, as the “Quick Search” option is selected by default, and you don’t have to worry about choosing any option.
  8. Now press the “P” key to list the files you want to recover.
  9. By doing so, TestDisk displays the files while providing options at the bottom of the window to aid in your file retrieval.
  10. Use the keys: “:”, “a”, “c”, and “C” to command actions like selecting individual files, unselecting all files, or copying one or more files.
  11. Post-selection, TestDisk will redirect you to the directory where it’s currently operating.
  12. Now use the Arrow keys to steer your way to the Recovery folder.
  13. Once you’re in the recovery directory, hit “C” to start the recovery of your chosen files into this location.

With this step, you have successfully recovered the lost data. To access the recovered data, go to the Recovery folder you created in Step 4.

Using 3rd party partition tools

Worry not if you haven’t successfully recovered your lost data from deleted or lost partitions in Windows using TestDisk. Many consider TestDisk too complicated due to a lack to interface, and unfortunately, each step is featured with multiple options, which can be very confusing.

For this purpose, you can rely on any prominent 3rd party partition tools as everything is automated, and you have a great interface to interact. To provide you with the best tool, we have tried many and felt EaseUS Partition Master right.

Through EaseUS Partition Master, you can handle multiple operations like data recovery, disc cloning, and system transfer beyond simple partitioning. In addition, it offers a complete solution for managing and optimizing your storage space, regardless of your experience level.

Here are steps to recover deleted or lost partitions in Windows using EaseUS Partition Master:

  1. Start by downloading EaseUS Partition Master from its official download page.
  2. Once installed, launch the EaseUS Partition Master. Look for the “Partition Recovery” button and click it. Choose the disk you believe has the lost partition and proceed by clicking “New Scan.”
    EaseUS 1
  1. Allow the software time to perform “Quick Scan” and “Full Scan” operations. Your missing partition will be tagged as “lost” in the Status section. Locate this lost partition, and hit the “Recover” button.
  1. For further confirmation, you can double-click on the suspected partition to view its contents. If it’s the right one, click “OK”.
  1. Be patient as the software completes the recovery process. Once done, click “Done” to wrap up the procedure.
    EaseUS 3

RELATED: Is EaseUS Partition Master Safe (Read Our Review)

Using CMD

A strong tool in Windows, the Command Prompt (CMD) provides a wide range of operations, including data recovery. Despite its text-based interface’s daunting appearance, it can successfully recover lost data when used properly. CMD is useful in your data recovery toolbox since it can fix file system issues, recover files from faulty partitions, and even restore erased data.

Here are steps to recover deleted or lost partitions in Windows using CMD:

  1. Launch the Command Prompt by searching for “cmd” or locating it in the Windows System folder from the Start menu. Make sure to run it as an administrator.
    cmd 1
  1. To open the Diskpart utility, type “diskpart” on CMD and hit Enter on your keyboard.
  1. Once the diskpart is loaded, enter “list disk” and press Enter to display all connected storage devices on your computer.
    cmd 2
  1. Specify the storage device that houses the missing partition by typing “select disk x”, with ‘x’ being the device number.
  2. View all volumes on the chosen storage device by typing “list volume” followed by Enter.
  1. Identify the missing partition by typing “select volume x”, and replacing ‘x’ with the volume number of the lost partition.
  2. Assign a new drive letter to the missing partition with the command “select volume x”, choosing a letter not already assigned to a device or drive.

Using disk management utility

If you find the CMD approach difficult, you can opt for a much easier approach through Disk Management Utility.

Disc Management Utility is a built-in feature in Windows that aids in managing storage devices and partitions. It enables you to see, create, format, and alter partitions without needing extra applications, so it is crucial for partition recovery. Disc Management is a key tool in your partition recovery process since it allows you to execute more complex operations and fix simple problems like misplaced drive letters.

Here are steps to recover deleted or lost partitions in Windows using Disk Management Utility:

  1. Start by navigating to the Disk Management utility. You can do this by going to the Control Panel, selecting System and Security, then Administrative Tools, and finally, creating and formatting hard disk partitions. Alternatively, the Windows search bar can quickly locate the Disk Management utility.
    Disk Management
  1. Once you’re in Disk Management, identify the storage device where the partition has gone missing.
  1. Spot the area representing the lost partition, right-click, and select Change Drive Letter and Pathsfrom the context menu.
  2. In the ensuing dialogue box, hit the Add buttonto assign a new drive letter to the missing partition.
  1. To finalize this change, click OK. Your lost partition should now reappear with its new drive letter.

Tips to avoid partition loss in the future

Following these useful tips which will help you avoid losing partitions in the future:

  • Regular Backups: The most dependable method of preventing data loss is to perform regular backups of your data. Consider backing up to both local and online storage.
  • Use Reliable Software: When partitioning your drive or carrying out other crucial actions, only utilize dependable, well-reviewed software. Your partitions could potentially be harmed by unreliable software.
  • Defend Against Viruses: To defend against malware and viruses that could erase or corrupt partitions, keep your antivirus software updated at all times and run routine scans.
  • Power Protection: Uninterruptible power supply (UPS)  can guard against data loss or corruption in unplanned power outages or electrical surges.
  • Routine Maintenance: Regularly check the health of your hard drive using built-in tools like CHKDSK in Windows. These can help identify and fix errors before they lead to partition loss.
  • Avoid Abrupt Shutdowns: Always shut down your computer properly. Abrupt shutdowns can lead to data corruption and partition loss.

Wrapping up

If you’ve ever lost data on your computer, you know it can be tricky to get it back. This guide is here to help, showing you easy ways to recover your data, like using TestDisk or EaseUS Partition Master, or even tools already on your computer like Disk Management or CMD.

Partitions are components of your computer’s storage, and understanding why they occasionally vanish will help you avoid this. It’s a good idea to back up your data frequently, use software you can trust, and secure your computer against viruses and other dangers to keep your data safe. Consider the straightforward instructions given so that you won’t lose any more data in the future.

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