Question Hard Drive Partition gone?

Kasper_

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Hello people.

Last night my PC was fine, I turned it on today and it seems like windows did an update.
My had my drive partitioned into C and D, the D partition had all my games and things installed onto. When I turned my PC on today the drive is no longer visible and it seems that all the space is on the C drive but I cannot find the files.
I have tried:
Uninstalling the drivers and updating them for the drive.
Uninstalling the windows updates
Looking for the partition to see if it has lost its Letter using a couple partition programs, as well as scanning and trying to recover lost partitions.

Looking at the hard drive using partition programs doesn't seem to show an unassigned parition it is just gone.

All the scans I have run say that the drive is healthy so I am unsure as what to do.

Hope someone can help. Many thanks!
 

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
You're absolutely sure that the C drive you're looking at seems like the entire drive is physically one partition with all space on it? You might want to use Recuva but your mileage can and will vary. Which version of the OS are you currently on?
 

Kasper_

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I have looked in Windows Disk Manager, the partition is not there.
I am on windows 10 version 1803 build 17134.765.
I will try that program thanks
 

onespeedbiker

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You also might want to try easeUS Partition Master, which can restore a lost partition, however this utility is not available with the free version.
 
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Kasper_

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I have tried to use easeUS Partition Master but it also shows no missing Partition as disk management does. All the space seems accounted for except that the C drive was paritioned to about 100GB, All the items I had installed to D: are unable to open and I cannot find them on C so I'm rather at a loss
 

USAFRet

Titan
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I have tried to use easeUS Partition Master but it also shows no missing Partition as disk management does. All the space seems accounted for except that the C drive was paritioned to about 100GB, All the items I had installed to D: are unable to open and I cannot find them on C so I'm rather at a loss
A partition can't just expand and consume the whole drive by itself.
And I've not heard of any Windows update doing that by itself.
 

Kasper_

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Hello sorry,
So it is a 240gb hard drive, I split it in 2. So around 120gb each. I have looked on the hard drive and used the search function and cannot find any of the files on there.
There isn't any issue with the 200gb and the 500gb drive.
I just accidentally made a different drive the active drive and rebooted and says bootmanager is missing so i will have to get a USB and repair the windows installation, it seems I will just have to do a clean install and if that fails I suppose purchase a new hd.
I only tried the free versions of the programs people suggested but all of them showed all the storage on the C drive. It's a shame I dont understand what's happened.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Your Disk 0 is showing exactly what a 240GB drive should be.
I can't think of any automagic mechanism or Update that would remove a partition (the former D), and expand the C partition into that space, without direct user intervention.
 

Kasper_

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Your Disk 0 is showing exactly what a 240GB drive should be.
I can't think of any automagic mechanism or Update that would remove a partition (the former D), and expand the C partition into that space, without direct user intervention.
I know that's why I'm confused. Turned my PC off last night on auto shut down, turned it on today after work and had this problem after windows update
 

onespeedbiker

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Partition Master has a trial version of their paid Partition Master Pro that is different than the free version. It will tell you if a partition can be restored. This different than recovering lost data. worth a try
 
A partition can't just expand and consume the whole drive by itself.
And I've not heard of any Windows update doing that by itself.
I think I had it happen once with a system on Windows 8 (maybe?). Fortunately it was a new system I was prepping for a client so there was no data loss. I had split it into C: (OS) and D: (Data) partitions. I was installing all the Windows updates so the client wouldn't have to. One of the updates was a major Windows update. After that finished, it was back to just a single C: partition covering the entire drive again.

I was dumbfounded, and spent a bit of time wondering if I had really repartitioned the drive, or just dreamed I did it while I was falling asleep the previous night. But I was fairly certain that I really did repartition it. Now that I see this problem report, I'm almost completely certain that I really did repartition it.

My guess was that since I had used a 3rd party partitioning program to repartition, it somehow set up the partition table differently than Windows expected. And when Windows installed the update, it read the D: partition as an error in the partition table. It thought the drive was supposed to be a single partition, so it "fixed" the partition table to show a single partition. Obviously there was no way to replicate it to test what caused it. It spooked me enough that I didn't repartition that drive again, and was extra careful to instruct the client to make sure to do backups.

If this is what happened, the data for the files on the D: drive is probably mostly still there. It's just that the MFT (master file table - the index for the files) was obliterated so there's no easy way for the OS or recovery software to locate the files. It's like spilling hundreds of millions of jigsaw pieces on the floor, since you no longer know which 4k clusters go with each other to create each file. The MFT keeps an index of the first cluster of each file, and the last bytes in each cluster point to the next cluster where the file's data continues (at least that's how it was done in FAT; I assume NTFS is similar). Without the MFT, the computer has no idea which of the hundreds of millions of clusters on the drive are the first clusters of a file.

Recuva in deep scan mode may be able to find some or most of those files. In that mode it basically tries to put those jigsaw puzzle pieces together again. But be forewarned that it can take a very long time. Fortunately, HDDs are biased towards writing data on the outermost tracks first, which is where the original C: partition was located. The clusters which used to be the D: partition are unlikely to have been overwritten yet (other than the newly-created recovery partition).

Anyhow, it's a good reason to make sure you have a backup even if all you're doing is installing updates.
 
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In that screenshot the pc is unbootable.
System Reserved partition should be active (bootloader is located there). C: partition should not be active.

Anyway - the story about C: and D: drives magically combining themselves doesn't sound very believable.
Only way this could be possible, if 3rd party partitioning software was used to merge C: and D: partitions. This can not happen without user intentional actions.
 

Kasper_

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Sep 16, 2015
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In that screenshot the pc is unbootable.
System Reserved partition should be active (bootloader is located there). C: partition should not be active.

Anyway - the story about C: and D: drives magically combining themselves doesn't sound very believable.
Only way this could be possible, if 3rd party partitioning software was used to merge C: and D: partitions. This can not happen without user intentional actions.
Yeah I was fiddling with disk management when I took the screenshot.
As for the merging I have no idea how that happened. I hadn't opened or used any partitioning program in years.
Anyway thanks for trying to help guys I will have to do a clean install and make a new partition
 

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