Question Accidentally deleted OS

Oct 21, 2020
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Hello there. This is a serious problem, I really hope someone can help me solve it. Here is the story :

I was on my home PC and I was managing to create a bootable Windows 10 on an external HDD (not the first time I do it) using Wintousb technician. I selected the ISO file and when it asked me to choose the destination file I accidentally clicked next without noticing the destination was my main partition C: . 5 sec after that my whole PC rebooted and offered me a blue screen mentionning a Winload.exe missing with error 0xc00000225 (file missing). I can't retry, I can't access repair section, nothing. My main PC had two partition, one with my OS installed and some programs, the other with everything else in it. Now I have a 500Mo empty C: partition and the other one still intact. I tried to use another bootable OS external HDD considering it could help repairing and reversing the thing, but nothing helped. I then managed to make my main HDD as external, used my laptop to check and used a recovery file software (Easeus Data Recovery Wizard) to see if it could be able to find my deleted user profile etc... unfortunately, no way. I can't find my lost OS anywhere, I don't know if there is a way to undo what I'vre done or if I can find my lost files someway. I tried many things, didn't help so now I'm out of options and begging you all to help me. Maybe I'm not looking for the right thing to do. I don't know, and I'm too afraid to install another OS on my HDD for the moment.
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
That is a big oops

what is on the other partition, the one with everything else? How much did you lose?

500mb is too small for C drive, windows cannot fit in that space.

its possible all its removed is the boot partition. C drive is actually the "everything else"

winload.exe is in 2 locations, its in C and its also in the hidden boot partition. That sounds like what you have missing.

Can you show me some screen shots of what is showing the disk contents?

note: its also possible the 500mb was the recovery partition and C drive was also system drive (where winload.exe should be). MY recovery partition is 500mb

I don't know what wintousb does.
 
Oct 21, 2020
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That is a big oops

what is on the other partition, the one with everything else? How much did you lose?

500mb is too small for C drive, windows cannot fit in that space.

its possible all its removed is the boot partition. C drive is actually the "everything else"

winload.exe is in 2 locations, its in C and its also in the hidden boot partition. That sounds like what you have missing.

Can you show me some screen shots of what is showing the disk contents?

note: its also possible the 500mb was the recovery partition and C drive was also system drive (where winload.exe should be). MY recovery partition is 500mb

I don't know what wintousb does.
I have a SEAGATE 1To, my main partition was 240go more or less, and the rest on D:. My guess is that Wintousb merged both after cleaning C: so now I have indeed my recovery system partition and the other one. Problem is : if it removed the original C: why am I not able to recover my files when I'm scanning the whole HDD ?

I could share screenshots but It won't help much since nothing from the original C: moved to D: , I already checked.

Wintousb is a software I use to make bootable OS on flash usb or external HDD/SSD. Really easy to use if you don't fool around like me :/
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
Problem is : if it removed the original C: why am I not able to recover my files when I'm scanning the whole HDD ?
its possible the wintousb program has formatted the entire drive and the 2 partition left were created by it

this was in response to someone wanting to make a hdd into wintousb
Please convert the external hard drive to MBR partition scheme and create two or more patitions (one small FAT32 partition for the system partition, one NTFS partition for the boot partition, and other partitions for data partition), then use WinToUSB to create Windows To Go following the guide below:
http://www.easyuefi.com/wintousb/faq/en_...ToUSB.html

The best partition layout is as follow:
Partition 1 FAT32 500M System partition
Partition 2 NTFS ...G Boot partition
Partition 3 ... ...G Other partition
... Other partition

In particular, both the system partition and boot partition must be primary partition, and we recommend using built-in Disk Management int Windows to partition and format the disk. This type of Windows To Go drive can boot both BIOS-based and UEFI-based computers.
https://www.easyuefi.com/forums/showthread.php?tid=643

Only thing that makes me question that is time frame
when it asked me to choose the destination file I accidentally clicked next without noticing the destination was my main partition C: . 5 sec after that my whole PC rebooted and offered me a blue screen mentioning a Winload.exe missing with error 0xc00000225 (file missing).
i would have expected it to need longer to do too much damage.
 
Oct 21, 2020
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its possible the wintousb program has formatted the entire drive and the 2 partition left were created by it

this was in response to someone wanting to make a hdd into wintousb


https://www.easyuefi.com/forums/showthread.php?tid=643

Only thing that makes me question that is time frame

i would have expected it to need longer to do too much damage.
Actually it wasn't a Windows to Go but burning on external HDD from an ISO.

And yes, I was the first surprised to see that it was even possible to damage my main partition and to do it that quickly. But the facts are here, it tooks less than 10 sec for my PC to reboot and give me that blue screen with the Winload.exe thing. At first I was thinking "maybe its not that bad and it just tried to install again so I'm gonna repair it or something" but I can't do anything anymore except if I move it to external device and this is how I saw partition were merged and everything on my previous C: vanished.
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
I have asked for other opinions but unless you have backups of your info, you might have to face facts and reinstall win 10.

I would suggest 2 drives in future, 1 ssd with just windows + apps on it and the hdd for everything else. That way if/when windows goes wrong you only lose windows when it does.
This was going to be 1 fix when I originally thought you had just removed the boot partition. I had second thoughts when I saw partition size.

I would also suggest being more careful in future but I assume you learned that now.

It is strange windows let you delete any of it while it was running. It should have said no.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
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It was fast, because it was deleting/rewriting the file allocation table, in preparation for a full format of that drive to FAT32.

This is when you recover from the full drive backup you made before this happened.
Failing that, a reinstall.

Any tool that lets you select the currently running OS drive should be avoided.
 
Oct 21, 2020
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I have many external HDDs/SSDs I use to stock my stuff, and even with my internal I always make at least 2 partitions to protect essential things. This is mainly why only the OS and my user profile got erased. I'm always aware about the risks BUT it seems that every 15 years I make a big mistake by doing things I do sometimes without really noticing ahah. Jokes on me.

Anyway I don't really care about reinstalling my OS if necessary, I just wanted to know if there is a way to recover the things I lost cause despite using Easeus Data Recovery Wizard for example I wasn't able to find user or windows folders.

One more thing, I know the tool I used may build a FAT32 partition and obviously (wasn't aware of it till now) can bypass the fact that you can't allow an OS to install on the drive where you actually run your actual OS (bad luck). So I'm running another tool right now to see if I can recover lost partition, may take few hours to scan. Meanwhile I'm open to suggestions.
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
I have all my documents on onedrive now so if I do have to reinstall it only takes a while to download anything I need again. windows isn't perfect so it helps to be prepared. I moved from my last PC to this one without needing to manually copy any files.

I would suggest moving all library folders to other hdd as then you only lose time in a reinstall. https://www.dummies.com/computers/operating-systems/windows-10/how-to-change-the-location-of-user-folders-in-windows-10/

At least you didn't lose everything.
 
Oct 21, 2020
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Thanks for the tips, I usually have no trust in clouds but I never thought about moving my libraries elswhere either so I'll give it a try next time.

Other than that, if anyone knows a good way for deep scan/recovery, still listenning. (my scan is nearly done)
 
Oct 21, 2020
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Okay I forgot something absolutely NOT relevant (I'm joking, I just feel stupid right now ahah).

I DO HAVE another drive, actually its a SSD INTEL pekkw256g8, so 240go and my OS was intalled on this one. So the problem isn't that hard to solve after all. I'm gonna install an OS on my other drive and try to repair the SSD/recover everything from it.

If after that everything is back to normal I'll close this thread. Otherwise, I'll go back to you.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
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Thanks for the tips, I usually have no trust in clouds but I never thought about moving my libraries elswhere either so I'll give it a try next time.

Other than that, if anyone knows a good way for deep scan/recovery, still listenning. (my scan is nearly done)
Recovering text files and pics is one thing.
100% recovery of a whole OS, with the fully relevant folder structure, is a whole other thing.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
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Thanks for the tips, I usually have no trust in clouds but I never thought about moving my libraries elswhere either so I'll give it a try next time.

Other than that, if anyone knows a good way for deep scan/recovery, still listenning. (my scan is nearly done)
You dont have to move the Libraries.
You just have to create a few folders on other drives, and use those. Most current applications will default to the last place you saved.
 

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