Deleting a partition can cause a lot of trouble.  Thankfully partitions can be rather easy to recover and this tutorial will guide you through process of recovering a partition created by Windows.  To make this tutorial, I deleted a partition with Windows XP on it, then I booted up the computer and got a “Operating System Not Found” error. Then in about 5 minutes I recovered the partition with Testdisk, via BootMed, and rebooted my computer. It booted up into Windows as if nothing had happened!

Before I continue, I cannot stress the importance of making regular back ups.  I suggest using MyPCBackup, an online back up utility.  MyPCBackup is easy to use and comes with a free version.  Even if you mistakenly delete an file, you can recover it from your MyPC Backup.

You will find a shortcut to TestDisk on BootMed’s desktop, just double click it to start TestDisk.

In the window that opens hit enter to select [Create].

TestDisk will then show a list of your storage devices.  Use the up/down arrows to select your hard drive.  Here are a couple hints for finding your hard drive:

  • ATA will probably be part of its label
  • It will most likely be the largest drive listed
  • It will not have USB as part of its label (unless it is an external hard drive)

Once you have found your drive, use the up/down arrow keys to select it and hit enter.

Next select [Intel] and hit enter.

On the next menu select  [Analyse] and hit enter.

Note that if TestDisk does not find the partition you are looking for, you can try the Deeper Search, though it may take longer.
In the next screen you will hit enter to select [Quick Search].

You will then be asked if the partition was “created under Vista.”  If you have Windows Vista, hit the Y key otherwise hit the N key on your keyboard.

After TestDisk searches your drive, it will list all of the partitions it has found.  Using the up/down arrows, select your partition and hit enter.

Now TestDisk will ask you what you want to do.  Hit the left arrow key and select [Write]  then hit enter.

TestDisk will now ask you if you would like to Write Partition Table (Y/N), hit the Y key.  TestDisk will then prompt you that you need to reboot your computer to finish recoverying the partition.  Just restart and you should have your partition back.

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