Windows gone

#1
Hi there guys and girls.

So I decided to try Windows 8 on my Windows 7 PC so I went ahead and try dual boot.
I entered the W8 setup screen and when I got to the part where I need to select a partition I wasn't able to because I was told I needed a GPT partition so I went ahead and opened a command prompt and went ahead and used diskpart to format noël the partition that I needed but it went ahead and cleaned the entire hard drive.Now I keep on trying to bring back my files without loosing but I can't boot into windows because it's "gone"
I tried using GParted live CD but I can't get it to boot after I analyze the hard drive.After I everything is analyzed I manage to see my old partitions and everything but I can't get it to boot back into windows.

I would deeply appreciate your help to get this back
Thank you in advance
 


patcooke

Microsoft MVP
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Microsoft MVP
#2
Your first priority must be to recover any lost data files. To to this effectively you first must make sure that no activity takes place on the drive - no formatting, directory or file creation - nothing. Remove the drive and install it to a usb caddy to ensure that it will not accidentally get overwritten. Install another drive to the pc and install Windows it it. Then install a file recovery package ( I strongly recommend zar - trial available from here: http://www.z-a-recovery.com/download.htm - it's not free but it's good). Run zar to get you data back from the drive in your usb caddy ensuring that you specify the new system drive as the drive to be used to store recovered data. You can then safely archive all recovered data before resetting your system to whatever configuration you wish.

Note for future - ensure all essential data is backed up regularly - especially before making major system changes.
 


#3
I think your biggest mistake was not realizing that when you convert a disk from MBR to GPT....it converts the whole disk and not just a partition. This conversion should only be done before any OS is installed. As far as I know GPT is only needed for drives over the 2.2 TB using UEFI firmware. Here's a FAQ about it....

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/gg463525.aspx
 


Ralph Bromley

Extraordinary Member
#4
I think your biggest mistake was not realizing that when you convert a disk from MBR to GPT....it converts the whole disk and not just a partition. This conversion should only be done before any OS is installed. As far as I know GPT is only needed for drives over the 2.2 TB using UEFI firmware. Here's a FAQ about it....

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/gg463525.aspx
Correct, so the OP might have jinxed windows by mistake.
 


Saltgrass

Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
#5
For me, the question is did you use the Diskpart "Clean" command on the drive, or just use it to format one partition? GPT is a Drive configuration, not a partition configuration.

Windows 7 can be install in the UEFI configuration and can use a GPT configured drive. You just have to boot to the UEFI version of the DVD and have the bios set to use a non-secure boot OS, which normally means enabling the CSM.

If you cleaned the drive with Diskpart, you can get it back, but the third party Partitioning software has to know the drive was originally a GPT configuration. I used Partition Wizard and it recovered my drive after cleaning (intentionally) to recover the drive, but there are some steps involved.

Have you gone into the Bios and selected the Windows Boot Manager as your first boot priority. If you did not format the entire drive, or clean it, it may still boot.
 


#6
Hi there

Well I managed to access my computer using Ubuntu Live on a USB
In Ubuntu I can see my partitions and all my files are here now the what I need to figure out is how to get Windows to boot again.The partition is intact and all the files are there I just need to configure it so it becomes bootable again.
 


Joe S

Excellent Member
#7
Since you can access the drive with Linux I would copy data on to another drive before trying anything else.
Joe
 


Saltgrass

Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
#8
Hi there

Well I managed to access my computer using Ubuntu Live on a USB
In Ubuntu I can see my partitions and all my files are here now the what I need to figure out is how to get Windows to boot again.The partition is intact and all the files are there I just need to configure it so it becomes bootable again.
Would please confirm, when you boot and go to the Boot Device Menu that you do not see a Windows Boot Manager listed? If not, what do you see?

Since we can't tell what you really did when you "formatted" the partition, we need to find out.
 


#9
Nothing is shown.
I tried even installing a new copy of Windows and no driver shows in the installation menu.
 


#10
What if I save the entire windows partition would I be able to get it to boot again?
 


Saltgrass

Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
#11
What if I save the entire windows partition would I be able to get it to boot again?
The question is hard to answer without knowing the condition of your current install. If you could get us a picture of your partition configuration, maybe we could see the actual condition of your system. A camera would work and you can attach here using the More Options button, I believe.

But if you have your Windows partition, you should be able to use a Bcdboot.exe command to restore the boot files, although I do not know why they might be missing. And you need the other required partitions as well.
 


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