Accidentally deleted usb thumb drive partition

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mancow

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Ok, I'm stupid. Now that we have that out of the way this is what happened. I was working on reinstalling a factory Windows XP OS on a friend's Dell. I had copied the NIC driver to a thumbdrive and it was in the USB port. The first installation disc was bad and so I started over. In the process of doing so I didn't pay attention and selected the USB drive that was connected when it asked if I wanted to delete the partition. I was planning on deleting the C driver partition of course and starting fresh so no bits of the fist failed install remained. Well as I said, I selected the USB drive from the list. As you can expect, the 4 Gig USB drive shows as unformatted and will now not accept a format attempt.

I assume all data is forever lost......or is there any hope? If so, what should I do?
 
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N_Jay

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I am only guessing, but you could try starting windows installation and telling it to create a partition on the USB drive to install into?
 

mrhex

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Abandon all hope, ye who enters here.

Ok, I'm stupid. Now that we have that out of the way this is what happened. I was working on reinstalling a factory Windows XP OS on a friend's Dell. I had copied the NIC driver to a thumbdrive and it was in the USB port. The first installation disc was bad and so I started over. In the process of doing so I didn't pay attention and selected the USB drive that was connected when it asked if I wanted to delete the partition. I was planning on deleting the C driver partition of course and starting fresh so no bits of the fist failed install remained. Well as I said, I selected the USB drive from the list. As you can expect, the 4 Gig USB drive shows as unformatted and will now not accept a format attempt.

I assume all data is forever lost......or is there any hope? If so, what should I do?
Hmmm.... well thats a bummer. I am assuming that the NIC driver something isn't available anymore? Um contrary to popular belief that are ways to recover files from USB drives. In fact some of the stuff that you can recover can be scary. I also assume that the USB drive was formatted to FAT(this can sometimes be a good thing).

One thing that you have to remember about FAT variants is that they don't in fact 'delete' files from the disk. They simply remove the entry from the file allocation table. Then the OS overwrites the first character of the filename with a special character until the file space is overwritten. After that the OS simply re-maps that area of the disk for re-use.

The fact that you state that your USB flash drive is corrupted can be both good and bad. It is possible that the USB flash drive is corrupted somehow(which I don't think is the case). Or it may not be. In either case this can be good, simply for the fact that you haven't used the USB flash drive, thus preserving any files written on the USB drive. This has happened to me on many occasions and I have used a free utility called PhotoRec.

PhotoRec scans a specified target disk in raw mode, scanning for specific header patterns to recover. It usually mounts the drive in read-only mode to further preserve data on the drive. You are going to need at least 4 to 5 GB so that PhotoRec can copy all of the files found on the USB drive to another location.
The link for PhotoRec can be found here:
PhotoRec - CGSecurity

The author of the above utility also makes an unformat utility called TestDisk. As always your mileage will vary. Hope that helps.
 

poltergeisty

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There are lots of undelete utilities out there. I've used them many a times. :twisted:
Your case is unique in that you accurately deleted the damn partition . :lol: ..Sorry I think you can undelete a partition, don't know for sure.( Edit- That first utility says it will recover from formatted drives, Though that is just formatted drives not deleted partitions :lol:) I know you can recreate a partition though. Plug the USB stick in and right click the "My Computer" icon (or in the start menu) and select manage. Select, Storage | Disk management. You may be presented a wizard righ away saying that you nee to make a drive active or something like that, can't remember now. If not then you should see the unallocated disk there, just right click and choose the option. Make sure it's the right one! :lol:

Freeware downloads System Utilities - Data Recovery Tools at SnapFiles.com

If computer management can't partition this may. EASEUS Partition Master Freeware download and review - manage disk partitions from SnapFiles

Good luck cause you gonna need it.
 
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poltergeisty

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slicerwizard

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Hmmm.... well thats a bummer. I am assuming that the NIC driver something isn't available anymore?
Um, I'd guess that he's more concerned about other data on the drive. Nobody gets too upset over a driver file.

To restore the partition and its files, copy the partition table from an identical drive to the fubar drive. It should be found in the first sector.
 
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