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I tried to install Windows 8 on my MacBook using Boot Camp. Because the normal installer did not recognize the partition that was made by Boot Camp, I opened up the command promt and ran DISKPART. I selected my drive, selected my partition and entered CLEAN – and boom, my entire hard drive shows up as being totally empty. I do have a 1 week old backup and rolling back to it would not be too terrible, but I wonder: is there a way to restore my files?

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Repartitioning a disk like that is, unfortunately, a fatal operation for the data on it. There's an outside chance you may be able to take advantage of a data recovery service to extract some of the data from the drive but this is an expensive way to go.

Good thing you have that backup.

As a general rule, before I do anything on my machines at the OS level (upgrade, reinstall, cross-grade, etc.) I take a snapshot of my drive using Carbon Copy Cloner and I test to make sure I can boot the Mac from that copied drive. Once I've confirmed the clone is stable, I proceed with the work on the main drive. If I goes wrong, I just clone the external drive back to my main drive and it's like I never messed it up in the first place.

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Thanks for your answer. I think I managed to recover my files so easily (see my answer) because only the data drive was damaged, and the system was still intact. I am making a snapshot right now though :) – fabian789 Oct 17 '12 at 15:09

Ok, I managed to fix it myself! What I did was:

  1. Put TestDisk on a USB Stick
  2. Boot into Single User Mode (by holding down CMD-S). This worked because I have two hard drives, a SSD and an old HD, and the System on the SSD still worked
  3. Run TestDisk on the damaged volumne
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Two products I'd try:

I'd start with Data Rescue since it doesn't touch the drive and specializes in recovering files. If you already have a backup and don't mind trying to recreate a new directory listing, Disk Warrior would be your first stop.

Both have excellent phone and web support, have been around for years and years and offer clear demos of the product if you are hesitant to spend $$ initially.

Disk Warrior can make things worse if you let it write changes to the drive, so be sure you're sure you don't need to recover files or have a verified backup before clicking the "change data" button once the tool has previewed what it intends to do for you with your recovered data.

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