Did Windows 10 really delete my HDD partition?

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I mentioned in another thread a number of weeks ago that the Anniversary Update seemed to brick one of my laptops, a Dell XPS12 that's by all measures a very nice laptop. I'd like to keep using it. But, it's ultimately not our primary computer, so it sat on the closet shelf until tonight. I made a Windows 10 Recovery USB Drive from our Windows 10 desktop, and booted to that on the laptop. I used these instructions to view the partitions on the drive. I was afraid the drive was toast. And maybe it still is. It's a Crucial M500 240GB mSATA SSD. The list disk command reports the drive as 125 GB in size. But, it does see the disk and it does list the status as "Online". So it seems to see at least some of it. When I select it and list the volumes, I see only a 32 GB recovery partition. Huh? I'm baffled. Is it possible for just PART of an SSD to go dead? I was hoping to simply repair Windows' boot sector, but it seems as if that volume is really gone. Could Anniversary Update have done this...or just a freak coincidence? I'm downloading Ubuntu right now to make a bootable stick out of it so I can boot that and see if I can view the contents of the SSD. But, it doesn't look good at this point, does it?
 
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You'd be wise to back-up first before doing any updates....of any kind. You'd be more wise to back up more often, especially all of your personal data, if not the entire OS.
 
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SSD's can get bad sectors just like a normal HDD. Or they can get corrupted - they are basically just huge fast SD cards smile If Ubuntu can't read it then I'd hit up the warranty dept for a replacement of the SSD.
 
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SSD's typically have a good life cycle. Mechanical drive tend to live longer as SSD's degrade very slightly with each read and write. SSD's are also known to give many warnings well in advance before they fail. However SSD's store data threw charge. The charge naturally dissipates over time so it's not wise to leave SSD's sitting unused for extended periods of time. As long as your BIOS hasn't been corrupted the computer "should" still be in working order even if the SSD is going bad.
 

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Originally Posted By: sleddriver
You'd be wise to back-up first before doing any updates....of any kind. You'd be more wise to back up more often, especially all of your personal data, if not the entire OS.
All data is stored remotely via cloud and external hard drives. None of our machines have any data on the OS drives. The BIOS does load, and it seems to see the drive. I haven't been able to get Linux Live to create a good boot stick yet...will keep playing with it later. Thx guys.
 
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Originally Posted By: Hokiefyd
All data is stored remotely via cloud and external hard drives. None of our machines have any data on the OS drives.
You are indeed wise! Congratulations...I separated the OS from my data on my newest machine and it sure makes it easier to back-up, update, etc.
 

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Okay -- I'm really dumb -- and I think the drive is wiped. The 125 GB drive the windows recovery stick found was itself (it's a 125 GB USB drive). And the 32 GB partition it found was the only partition on that stick -- Windows 10 formats the stick into a single 32 GB recovery partition. The tool didn't see ANY hard drive in the laptop. I confirmed this by booting our desktop off the stick, and the stick saw itself, plus the installed hard drive in the computer. The laptop BIOS can still see the drive. It seems that the drive is physically still there and live, but any and all partitions are gone. I have an mSATA 2.5" drive adapter on order from Amazon so I can plug this thing into another computer to see if I can restore the partition (or even completely reset the drive with a new format). If so, I can recover back to the OEM Windows 8 and I'll leave it at that for that machine!
 
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Originally Posted By: Hokiefyd
Okay -- I'm really dumb -- and I think the drive is wiped. The 125 GB drive the windows recovery stick found was itself (it's a 125 GB USB drive). And the 32 GB partition it found was the only partition on that stick -- Windows 10 formats the stick into a single 32 GB recovery partition. The tool didn't see ANY hard drive in the laptop. I confirmed this by booting our desktop off the stick, and the stick saw itself, plus the installed hard drive in the computer. The laptop BIOS can still see the drive. It seems that the drive is physically still there and live, but any and all partitions are gone. I have an mSATA 2.5" drive adapter on order from Amazon so I can plug this thing into another computer to see if I can restore the partition (or even completely reset the drive with a new format). If so, I can recover back to the OEM Windows 8 and I'll leave it at that for that machine!
If you had already updated that machine to Windows 10 prior to the 1607 update( I assume you did )it converted your Window 8 product key code over to the Window 10 one( numbers may be different but Microsoft records it as changed ). Your Windows 8 will no longer be "licensed" or have a useable product key code. The only way to retain the license/key code on Windows 8 is to do a roll back using Windows 10 within 30 days of trying Windows 10.
 
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I would just fresh install windows 10 /w update. check out the drive in another computer and see if you can see/partition/format it. Its a major update.. issues can happen... besides the normal issues that Micro$oft did.. such as resetting default apps and repinning their [censored] apps to your taskbar.
 

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Originally Posted By: NHHEMI
If you had already updated that machine to Windows 10 prior to the 1607 update( I assume you did )it converted your Window 8 product key code over to the Window 10 one( numbers may be different but Microsoft records it as changed ). Your Windows 8 will no longer be "licensed" or have a useable product key code. The only way to retain the license/key code on Windows 8 is to do a roll back using Windows 10 within 30 days of trying Windows 10.
In this case, I think I'd just order the product recovery media from Dell and do a fresh install of 8 on it. That, or maybe I'll play with Linux again, or Remix OS. Who knows. I have an mSATA adapter coming in the mail tomorrow from Amazon, so I'll know more then.
 

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I received my mSATA adapter in the mail today and plugged it into the desktop with the 240 GB SSD in it. Microsoft's Disk Management console sees it as 224 GB of unallocated space. Great...so the Anniversary Update really did hose the partition. I was able to create a new volume on it no problem. Seems to be a working SSD. I'll take that as good news. Not sure what I'll do with it. I'll probably play with a few different OSes on it. I may give Neverware a try: https://www.neverware.com
 
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If you had left it alone there were recovery methods you could have used to bring back the partition. But too late now. you have a legit w10 license.. why not just install w10 anniversary on it from scratch with a usb stick?
 

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I'm generally not interested in Windows anymore. Not because of this (but it didn't help), but I'm not a huge fan of Windows 10. I used to like it, but have found it rather buggy on my computers. It didn't seem to be this way in the past, but it's gotten worse. This Dell laptop was never all that stable with Windows. The two-finger trackpad scrolling would work about half the time. What was consistent was the volume glitch -- after a boot, the volume was always muted, even if the volume control would indicate it wasn't. You physically had to mute the volume with the control, then un-mute it again for sound to work. It was that way with both Windows 8 and 10. I don't know if it's a hardware problem or software...I just know it was always flaky. I've really wanted to like Linux in the past, and have tried it a bunch of times on different hardware. I always seemed to have trouble with drivers...either graphics drivers or wireless card drivers. I love my Chromebook. It's an old Samsung Chromebook with an ARM processor. So I thought I'd give Neverware's offering a try. Cloudready they call it. It's their proprietary product based on Chromium OS. I installed it on both this Dell XPS12 and also on our old HP Compaq Presario laptop, on which Linux never ran very well. I'm completely blown away at how well Cloudready runs on them. The Dell is a real screamer. As it should be -- it's basically an Intel i7-powered "Chromebook" with 8 gigs of RAM. The wireless card worked without any issue. All of the function keys work in Chromium as their multimedia icons would indicate (volume, brightness, etc). The touchscreen works as a touch screen. I can flip the lid (it's a convertible) and use it as a Chromium tablet. The CPU fan hardly runs at all. This computer just idles running Chromium. And I'm totally impressed with it on our old HP. It has a Broadcom wireless NIC that Linux/Ubuntu never recognizes, and I always have to use a backdoor to get it to work. Neverware's Cloudready apparently has the drivers for it built-in, and it knew the hardware straight away. The dedicated volume up/down/mute keys just above the keyboard work as they should. Both computers suspend as they should when you close the lid, and shutdown as they should. Interestingly, both of them seem to lose their mouse icon after resuming from sleep. You can see where it is by right-clicking...the trackpad still works, it's just the mouse icon/cursor doesn't display. A shutdown/restart fixes this. This is the only operational anomaly I've seen so far. Both also allow two-finger scrolling gestures on their trackpads. This is a feature that was always intermittent with this Dell in Windows. I use Office Online and OneDrive for our cloud storage, and all those apps are, obviously, agnostic to OS. For this reason, Chromebooks work great for us. I don't need or care to have productivity suites installed like MS Office or even LibreOffice or Apache OpenOffice. The no-cost online version of Office works great for us, and it's really all we need. We'll never get away from having at least one "real" computer, for local photo and movie storage and things like that. But the rest of the computers are essentially "dumb terminals" that just reach out to the cloud. We don't need Windows for that. So far, Neverware's offering seems like the real deal. It's, by far I'd say, the best no-cost OS software I've used to date. (I don't use "free", as I know that word has a certain dual meaning in the world of computer software.)
 
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Originally Posted By: Hokiefyd
It's an old Samsung Chromebook with an ARM processor. So I thought I'd give Neverware's offering a try. Cloudready they call it. It's their proprietary product based on Chromium OS.
Chromium and Chrome OS are both Linux distros. It's odd that Cloudready works better on [some piece of hardware] where another Linux distro does not. I saw a Reddit thread a while back where one of the devs was talking about the difficulties of "baking in" some proprietary technologies (like Flash and PDF support, a la Chrome). I'll bet drivers would be an even worse headache.
 

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Cloudready says that most laptops with Intel graphics and wireless hardware should work well. Indeed, our Dell XPS12, which is pretty much 100% Intel, works great. But I fully expected it to not be able to find the Broadcom wireless on my Compaq laptop, like none of the Ubuntu or Linux Mint varieties have been able to do. But, despite Neverware's suggestion that Intel stuff works best, Cloudready found the Broadcom stuff right away and it just works. It's still not super fast. It still struggles to play YouTube full screen at full resolution. This is something it's never been able to do well, regardless of OS. It's an old Yonah Celeron M from 2006...no OS can fix old hardware when it comes to things that rely on it so much (like multimedia). But, back to the Dell, it runs great on Cloudready. Its smallish 12" 1920x1080 screen is a little hard to see. Thankfully, Cloudready offers me a choice of resolutions, all in 16:9 format. The one I like best is 1536x864. Things on the screen are closer in size to our Samsung Chromebook (1366x768 on an 11" screen) and, unlike how sometimes happens when you run an LCD outside of its native resolution, there's absolutely no fuzziness or ghosting. It's absolutely crisp. Outside of the one issue I'm having where the mouse cursor disappears after a sleep resume, it looks and feels like a very polished product. The invisible mouse issue has been reported on their Zendesk forums, so it seems to be an issue that others are experiencing as well. We're now down to just one personally owned Windows machine.
 
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Needless to say (but I will and have before) Ubuntu et al often get a bad rap for not rescuing an old or corrupted Windows machine or not supporting all the hardware; The problem with lack of wireless adapter support is the mfg refuses to release the implementation details; consequently no driver can be written. A linux certified device (like from system76) or one made for a business environment is a far better fit if you are seeking an enjoyable linux experience.
 
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Hokiefyd

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Originally Posted By: simple_gifts
Needless to say (but I will and have before) Ubuntu et al often get a bad rap for not rescuing an old or corrupted Windows machine or not supporting all the hardware; The problem with lack of wireless adapter support is the mfg refuses to release the implementation details; consequently no driver can be written.
Yes. I think there is sometimes a difference between expectation and reality. Linux/Ubuntu is often suggested as a fix-all for anything and everything (or, at least, that's how it comes across to me). To be sure, it absolutely has certain advantages over other operating systems, but hardware compatibility isn't often listed as a potential hurdle to folks considering trying it. It can end up being a frustrating experience for those whose expectations were too high.
 
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Originally Posted By: Hokiefyd
but hardware compatibility isn't often listed as a potential hurdle to folks considering trying it.
Neither is software (in)compatibility, which might be an even bigger issue. As time passes there seems to be less and less hardware that flat-out doesn't play nicely with Linux; but folks who depend on Outlook or Office or Photoshop, et al. are snookered.
 
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