Question Partition recovery no unallocated space on drive

Apr 24, 2022
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I am looking for some guidance on how to solve this problem. I have a Dell XPS 13 7390 laptop that has 512 GB SSD. When I got the machine I created a second partition on the SSD. Basically I divided the SSD into 2 roughly equally sized partitions. Last week, the second partition (D:) disappeared, what exactly caused this I'm not sure. Now I have just a C: partition. The amount of data stored on the remaining partition appears to be equal to the sum of what was previously stored on the two original partitions. The amount of data stored on the C: drive is much more than the original size of the partition. I assume that this is because it now contains the data that was previously on the no missing partition. I can't see any of the folders that were previously on the partition that was lost, although the files that were originally on the smaller C: drive (when there were two partitions) are visible. Curiously the disk management tool doesn't show any unallocated space on the SSD.

I contacted Dell support but they haven't been able to suggest any answers. I have investigated some of the Partition recovery tools but most appear to assume that unallocated space would have appeared as a result of the loss of the partition. I am very interested in hearing what suggestions the forum members might suggest.
 
Apr 24, 2022
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Yes I agree that all the data is there however as I said in my original post. The folders that were in the missing partition are NOT visible in Windows File Explorer. If they were I could live with the situation.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Yes I agree that all the data is there however as I said in my original post. The folders that were in the missing partition are NOT visible in Windows File Explorer. If they were I could live with the situation.
You misunderstand.

There is no second partition consuming 1/2 the drive. The C partition we see is all of it (minus those little ones to the right).
The C partition would have had to magically expand itself to take up what you had designated the D.
I do not see how that is possible.

There is no missing space on that physical drive, Disk 0.

Is there maybe a second physical drive in there, which is now disconnected or faulty?
 
Apr 24, 2022
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No there's just the one physical device. That's all there ever has been. There were two partitions (C and D) on the SSD. Something happened, D "disappeared" and C "grew" to basically fill the available space on the drive. Folders that were on D are not visible in C yet appear to take up space on the drive.
 

USAFRet

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No there's just the one physical device. That's all there ever has been. There were two partitions (C and D) on the SSD. Something happened, D "disappeared" and C "grew" to basically fill the available space on the drive. Folders that were on D are not visible in C yet appear to take up space on the drive.
It cannot happen like that.

What you seem to be saying is:
512GB drive
The C consumed almost all of that.
Then, you shrunk the C to 200ishGB
Created a second partition, D, consuming the other 200ishGB.

Then....magic
The C somehow expanded itself to retake the other partition, the D.

Is this correct, in your eyes?


Because it cannot do that.
 
Apr 24, 2022
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All I know is what I see. There were two partitions on that SSD and now there's one. The amount of space filled on that partition is more than the available space on the original C partition and in fact appears to be equal to the combined space filled on the two previous partitions (C and D). I'm assuming the definition of the partitions has become corrupted?
 

USAFRet

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All I know is what I see. There were two partitions on that SSD and now there's one. The amount of space filled on that partition is more than the available space on the original C partition and in fact appears to be equal to the combined space filled on the two previous partitions (C and D). I'm assuming the definition of the partitions has become corrupted?
And all we know is what we see.
There is no evidence of a second large partition.

This is where full drive backups would come into play.
 
Only way I can imagine something like that happening is with virtual hard drive.
If a virtual hard drive was created, consuming space on C: and appearing as a separate drive.
Then virtual hard drive was lost somehow, but consumed space on C: remained.

Try searching for .VHD and .VHDX files on C: .

Maybe describe a bit in detail, how exactly you did this:
(what software was used; what steps were done)
I created a second partition on the SSD. Basically I divided the SSD into 2 roughly equally sized partitions.
 
Last edited:
Apr 24, 2022
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I created the second partition over a year ago so I honestly don't recall the specifics. That being said, I know I didn't purchase any software to do this. It would (most likely) have utilized tools already part of Windows 10. A quick Google search generated pages that layout a process by which an existing partition can be shrunk creating unallocated space to create a new partition. I imagine that is how I created the second partition.

I just searched the C partition for files with .VHD and .VHDX extensions and found none.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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I created the second partition over a year ago so I honestly don't recall the specifics. That being said, I know I didn't purchase any software to do this. It would (most likely) have utilized tools already part of Windows 10. A quick Google search generated pages that layout a process by which an existing partition can be shrunk creating unallocated space to create a new partition. I imagine that is how I created the second partition.

I just searched the C partition for files with .VHD and .VHDX extensions and found none.
That IS the only way this could have been done.

Shrink the original C partition, then format the resulting empty space and give it the drive letter D.
Either some software or from the Windows commandline.

But then, magic happens....somehow the C expands itself to consume what was the D.
I can't see any way for that to happen.


But YOU are the only one who knows what you did.
We out here can only see things as they are now. And from where I sit, that didn't happen.
 

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