How can I recover a laptop that does not recognize the hard drive at boot after deleting the C and D drives?

Mellody Mcdowely January 28, 2012

I have an issue with my dad’s laptop, a Dell C640 (very old model). I tried to format the hard disk pp01l, but I don’t know how and why I deleted the C and the D from the hard disk, which made the laptop not find the hard disk through booting, so I don’t know what to do now. Please help.

  1. Milan Dhoj Shahi
    July 26, 2012 at 2:09 am

    I have an issue with my own laptop, a Dell N 4050 ( I 5 model). I tried to format the hard disk, but I don’t know how and why I deleted the C and the D from the hard disk, which made the laptop not find the hard disk through booting, so I don’t know what to do now. Please help.
    For that I'm ready to pay any amount, as my laptop possesses very much important documents. I'm looking for your fast response as soon as possible. For your contact you can contact to me on :
    Name: Milan Dhoj Shahi
    Address: Kathmandu, Nepal
    Contact No. 0977-[removed by admin]
    Email. [removed]

  2. Jason
    February 8, 2012 at 10:48 am


    If you just want to see your hard drive or be able to get it back you can boot off a windows CD as mentioned above or if it's an old laptop you may still have a floppy drive. Format a floppy disk if you can add a few good old DOS commands like format. To make the disk bootable if my memory serves me from a command prompt type

    Sys :

    Eg sys a:

    This will copy the old dos system onto a floppy and allow you to boot. I haven't tried it but it might work with a USB drive too. From there you can then do what you want. You may need to edit the autoexev file for it to see the cd drive.

    And yes to everyone I probably am older than you!

    • JUliks
      July 8, 2012 at 8:36 am

      hi there. i have the same problem. i tried to format my hp laptop with a linux ubuntu and i did, but i didn;t like it so i decided to reformat it and install windows. during the installation it asked me to total format or to preview it. i selected the total format but when i select it it says that there is no hard disk inserted and the installation doesn't go on. what can i do?? now evan linux cant start.

  3. Anonymous
    February 5, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    The OP seems like she had overwritten her previous partitions by formatting, which might affect the chances of getting her data back using this method.

  4. Amirrudin Abu
    February 5, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    agreed install linux/ubuntu; i did mine but didnt try recovering any file...

    February 2, 2012 at 3:04 am

    Hello, with active partition recovery, did you buy the product or are you going to try the demo?  Regardless of what you do, you can copy the image to a CD.  Once you do that, you change the booting order in your computer to start from CD/DVD.  The program should start with that.  In order for you to recover those partitions, the disk you want to recover does not have to be active, that is why you start from CD/DVD.  In the demo version, the program will tell you what it can recover but it will not recover it for you. 

    With EASEUs, you would have to create a bootable disk.  You can follow the instructions provided in next link to create the disk or bootable USB:

  6. Desertrose1901
    February 1, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    thanks I tried it but I couldn't download it  because I don't have windows yet.

    • Joe Dokes
      February 5, 2012 at 11:55 am

       Get an Ubuntu Live cd and boot it. I know TestDisk is in the repo. Install it and figure out how to use it. I just formatted my SSD by accident and I recovered it completely in about 1/2 hour this way. And it's all free software. You can surf the net on the Ubuntu Live cd for info on how to use it.

    January 29, 2012 at 4:24 am

    Hello, If you did a full disk format, the partitions in it were lost.  There is no way the system would recognize any partition when booting.  You would need software to recover deleted partitions but there are no assurance of success.  The following software also includes software to recover deleted files even after reformatting.  Here is a link for Active Partition recovery.  Keep in mind that these are paid options:

    or, you could try EASEUs Partition Recovery:

  8. Oron Joffe
    January 28, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    You could try unformatting the disc with a utility such as . Success is not guaranteed, but it's worth a shot!

    • Desertrose1901
      February 1, 2012 at 5:48 pm

      I will give it a try, thanks

      • Ed
        February 6, 2012 at 2:44 am

        If the laptop doesn't have any important files, it is better to install a new OS rather than recovering the old one as it will take more time.

        Just find a Windows CD and install it.

        • Desertros1901
          February 6, 2012 at 10:57 am

          There is no important files. I tried to install new windows but it's keep showing that : there is 0 hard disk found or there is 38154 MG left space which I cant understand where is the rest it is 40GB hard disk. 

        • Ed
          February 6, 2012 at 11:56 am

          38154 Mb(?) is equals to 40Gb. That is your hard drive. Maybe you deleted the whole partition. Just make a new partition out of that free space.

  9. Anonymous
    January 28, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    well if you format the hard drive containing windows then laptop will not boot into windows. you have to reinstall windows and i am afraid after format your files are lost. Now you can try to boot on hirens boot cd and choose to option mini windows xp, so that you can see if you have files that can be recovered.

    Active Boot disk shareware

  10. Trevor Lenten
    January 28, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    What are you trying to do? install a new OS? you could try booting a linux live cd if you want to try and recover files if there are any left. 

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