Ive got a big big problem. Ive lost my 150Gb partition with family photos/videos and other valuable stuff. :(

I have external 320Gb HDD, with (it was) partitions: [ 30gb ext3 ubuntu bootable; 150Gb NTFS with family data (was 145gb used, 5gb free); 100gb NTFS with data (worked); 20Gb unallocated space ]

And I do this with GParted: (delete 30gb ext3 partition, Apply, then Move 150gb NTFS partition to left (to 0 cylinder?). And on this operation I have failed error.

Now my partitions looks like:

[ 150gb ext3 with ubuntu files!!! but without NTFS data; 100Gb NTFS worked; 20gb unallocated ]

I've done testdisk runned, checkdisk runned but nothing helps :(

chkdsk shows me my two ntfs partitions as 'Invalid' :( but can't fix it

What I can do? Please, please help me! There was all my life, in 150gb :(


Later I have worked external HDD with this partitions:

  1. Linux 30GB ext3 partition with Ubuntu (bootable, but I do not use it)
  2. NTFS 150GB with my videos,photos, and other costly stuff :(
  3. NTFS 100GB with my files (now it worked okay).
  4. 20GB of unallocated space (no partition)

in GParted I use 'Move/Resize' tool, and move second partition (150gb) to left (change start cylinders or what.. I don't know). On this operation i've got error. And now I have:

  1. Linux 150GB ext3 partition with Ubuntu (bootable, but I do not use it) (5gb used / 145Gb free)
  2. NTFS 100GB with my files (now it worked okay).
  3. 20GB of unallocated space (no partition)

but chckdsk shows me my old two NTFS partitions 150gb + 100gb, and telling me that Damaged/Invalid.

How I can revert changes and restore my costly data on partition 150gb :( Which programm? Please help!!

migrated from stackoverflow.com Apr 25 '11 at 11:02

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

  • 3
    Yeah, you can't just go moving partitions around all willy-nilly. Things are bound to get corrupted. I can't even understand the question, though, so it's hard to help. – Cody Gray Apr 25 '11 at 9:31
  • 1
    If it's important, create backups. Seriously. It's not just a plot by hard disk manufacturers to make more money. I hate to kick you when you're already down, but that really was an insane thing to do without backups. I hope you still get a useful answer though. – Daniel Beck Apr 25 '11 at 11:59
  • If I'm understanding this correctly, you resized your 30 GB ext3 partition to a 150 GB one, nuking one of your NTFS partitions in the process. I hope I've misunderstood this. Because if I'm understanding this correctly there's absolutely nothing you can do to get those data back. – boehj Apr 25 '11 at 12:06

There's some real pesimistic and unhelpful answers here.

If you've just damaged the partition table, all is not lost. The underlying data is likely still there!

As the original partition was NTFS, I'd recommend findntfs. It's a command line utility that runs over the disk and generates a report of all files it finds.

It's a little tricky to get the syntax right, but easy to use once you've worked it out.

  1. (Optional) Mount your damaged drive as read-only
  2. Run findntfs from another drive that has enough space to recover your data
  3. Generate a list of files and folders (findntfs 2 0 1 1 files files.txt), where numbers are CHS
  4. In that list, find the folder with your photos, find its ID number (say 117)
  5. Recover that folder! findntfs 2 0 1 1 copy 117

Some years ago I suffered with the same problem. There is a program called TestDisk. It works in a way to recognize your partitions... and I could recover "my precious" (my photos).

  • I use it ( but It cant do anything for me :( It tell me: two partitions: Linux150gb and NTFS100gb :( so.. sooo bad :( – woozly Apr 25 '11 at 14:33

It seems the partition table got somewhat intertwined. It seems the partition table flag was not changed when you moved partitions around.

It is close to impossible to tell whether filesystem integrity is still OK. Now, that the partition tables got some damage.

I don't know any easy way of restoring the data off the top of my head. They only way would be looking for the FS boundaries and extract that into an image and then work on it with different kinds of software. However, that would be a forensic approach, and most data would stay damaged.

As a general rule, you should always do a backup of the most valuable date before working on partitions. An easy copy to a local hard drive or a USB stick would've done it well. As I understand it, you don't have such backups. In this case you have to make either the forensic approach, or call it dead.


I would expect that a commercial data recover agency can fix this. It will cost you thousands of dollars (Euros).

DON'T USE THE DISK until you get it to the agency.


Guys, I have use getDataBack programm. It return me 80% of my files. And R-Studio also help me return some files.

  • Do you maybe have a license for GDB? I need to use it once because I accidentally formatted my disk... – Robert Koritnik Dec 14 '11 at 18:59

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