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Recovering Files


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5 replies to this topic

#1 frstmate72

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 06:31 PM

I recently had a problem with my computer and had to reformat my hard drive to get my system working again. The thing is, I have two hard drives, one that I used for my program files, and one that I used to save important files. I accidently erased the wrong hard drive and deleted some very important files. Is there any way to recover these files??

I have Windows XP operating system.

I'm desperate! Please help!!

Edited by boopme, 20 September 2008 - 07:38 PM.
Mod Edit,Moved from 95 to XP~~boopme


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#2 Platypus

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 06:44 PM

Some well regarded freeware that has a good chance of recovering a re-formatted drive or at least some significant files:

http://www.pcinspector.de/Sites/file_recov....htm?language=1

http://www.recuva.com/

http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk

In situations where free software is unsuccessful, or only partially, I've seen numerous statements that GetDataBack succeeded, however this is not free software. But the demo will determine what the program could recover for you.

http://www.runtime.org/

Some of the advice regarding file recovery is general, and applies to attempting recovery using any software:

http://www.runtime.org/recoverability.htm

Edited by Platypus, 19 September 2008 - 06:56 PM.

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#3 perr

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 06:52 PM

Worth a $100?
http://www.grc.com/spinrite.htm

#4 garmanma

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 09:20 PM

The important thing to do right now is to unplug the hard drive and do not use it until you have decided what course of action you're going to take. The less it is overwritten, the better your chances are for recovery
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#5 DaChew

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Posted 21 September 2008 - 08:31 AM

Do any of those programs work if you have done a slow format and installed xp to the drive?
Chewy

No. Try not. Do... or do not. There is no try.

#6 Platypus

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Posted 21 September 2008 - 09:08 AM

As far as I'm aware, whether a quick or full format has been done doesn't alter the possibility of recovery. A quick format just re-initialises the filesystem data structures, a full format also does a media integrity check, but this is a read-only check so nothing on the drive is altered unless a bad sector is found. (In a read-only integrity check, the CRC of the contents of each sector is calculated and compared with the CRC recorded when the sector was written. This confirms the sector is good as it still has a true copy of the last data that was written into it.) In either case the original file contents and filesystem metadata still exist, so there's a high likelihood of recovery.

If major data has been copied onto the drive, such as the case of a Windows installation, some of the previously existing locations will have been overwritten with new data. That will cause two problems with recovery. Some of where the old filesystem metadata was will now describe the new files, so in most cases those old files can't be identified and reconstructed. Secondly, new file contents is being written into the data area of the drive, and if this goes over where recoverable files were previously located, software recovery will produce a file, but at least some of it now contains the data from a newly written file, not the one that was previously there. The situation will be even worse if a defrag was done following the Windows install.

Hence garmanma's warning about not using the drive for anything else before attempting recovery.

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