Hi- I hope someone here can help me- a friend suggested I post here as there seem to be some very knowlegable folks here. Here's mt sit--rep: While helping my mom reload her computer with win XP, I left my USB Maxtor external HDD connected to the system, and when the WinXP installer displayed the drives to be reformatted, it somehow showed the EXTERNAL drive as the C: volume, and I accidentally told it to delete the partition on that drive. I caught the error right after I told the system to delete that volume, but it was too late- the volume was deleted. I got WinXP loaded OK, but now when I connect my external hard drive it thinks it needs to be refoamatted (because I deleted the volume information). It only deleted the partition formatting- I'm pretty sure and did not overwrite any of the data, and I NEED IT because I sent her backup files from prior to the reload to the external disc prior to installing XP! Is there ANY way to restore the partition WITHOUT overwriting/deleting the files on the drive?????? Naturally, if I DO reformat then any data on the drive WILL be gone forever. I tried some apps like EasyRecovery and R-Studio that advertise that they can show you the files that can be recovered. but nothing I've tried seems to work: they simply "scan" the external drive for minutes or hours and just sit there, never even finding the block sizes or any files at all... Shouldn't the DATA still be on the drive since I never OVERWROTE any of it?? ANY help would be greatly appreciated! Please get back to me ASAP if you have anything I can use. Thanks a million in advance.