MiniTool Partition Recovery does what it says
Accidentally deleting a partition seems like a major disaster when it first happens. Not only have all of its files disappeared, but you can’t even see that drive any more.
The situation may not be as bad as it seems, though. Your data is unlikely to be erased, just yet (other programs will generally write only to their own partition). And missing partitions are relatively easy to recover, as long as you have access to something like the free (for personal use) MiniTool Partition Recovery.
The program works with regular hard drives, USB and other removable storage devices. And it covers most of the file systems you’re likely to encounter on a PC, including FAT12, FAT16, FAT32, VFAT, NTFS and NTFS5 (although not exFAT, unfortunately).
A wizard-based interface means MiniTool Partition Recovery is generally very easy to use, too. There are only a few steps: select the drive you’d like to browse; choose the area to check (the entire disk, its unallocated space, or whatever range of sectors you need); accept the default Scan mode, and you’re done. The program scans your drive, hopefully finds any missing partitions, and you can restore them in a couple of clicks.
Of course life isn’t always so straightforward, but if you do encounter any problems then MiniTool Partition Recovery has a few extra options which just might help.
If it can’t find your partition with the default settings, for instance, choosing the Full Scan Mode rather than the default Quick Scan will run a more thorough check. It’s also considerably slower, but there’s a better chance of finding your files.
Or, if the program thinks it’s found more partitions than you’ve actually lost, just double-click each one to explore its contents and you’ll quickly find your data.
There is a significant limitation here, in that you don’t get a bootable version on a disaster recovery disc. Which means that if your PC won’t boot because the system partition is damaged then you’ll have no way to restore it.
MiniTool Partition Recovery does deliver plenty of functionality for a free tool, though, and if you don’t have something similar to hand already then it might be worth installing a copy -- just in case.