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How to retrieve files from external hard drive after quick format


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11 replies to this topic

#1 jonnyD

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Posted 25 March 2016 - 11:32 AM

I accidentally quick-formatted my older external HD instead of my new one (clicked on wrong icon). I thought everything was pfffft! gone forever. Then I spoke to someone who said the quick format changes directory files of the HD so the computer thinks there's nothing on it even thought the data is still there. I gave him my HD and he did something where I got SOME of the files back. There's still quite a bit missing.

 

Is there a utility of some sort to retrieve remaining files? Now that he's done whatever he did, I'm also wondering if that messes up any further possibility of data retrieval.

 

I noticed that the HD is now formatted with exFAT instead of NTFS like I originally formatted it. Does that screw things up for further data retrieval?


Edited by hamluis, 29 March 2016 - 03:14 PM.
Moved from External Hardware to Backup/Imaging - Hamluis.


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#2 Agouti

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Posted 25 March 2016 - 07:14 PM

I gave him my HD and he did something where I got SOME of the files back. There's still quite a bit missing.

Did you ask him why he couldn't recover the rest?  Did you ask him why the file system was changed?  It's possible he couldn't recover the rest because they were over-written.  If you are willing to fork out an exorbitant sum of money, there might be professional services that might be able to work some sort of miracle.



#3 Niweg

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Posted 26 March 2016 - 11:47 AM

 You might want to try Recuva.  It has a good reputation.  I've never used it because I always back up my system and data to external hard drives.  Something you may want to consider doing.

 

 Good luck.


Make regular full system backups or you'll be sorry sooner or later.


#4 RolandJS

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Posted 26 March 2016 - 12:04 PM

After returning the format to NTFS and original Allocation Unit Size, Piriform's Recuva and/or MiniTool's Power Data Recovery may be able to more efficiently extract some more files.  Boot externally, every coldboot and Restart causes Windows OS to write and write and write some more -- leading to greater chances of overwriting what could have possibly been recoverable.


"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (w7forums)

Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)


#5 jonnyD

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Posted 26 March 2016 - 12:06 PM

Yeah, it is my backup external hard drive I'm contending with! I'll investigate Recuva, thanks.



#6 jonnyD

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Posted 26 March 2016 - 12:25 PM

After returning the format to NTFS and original Allocation Unit Size

I've never been involved in any of this stuff as far as recovery goes. I've chosen a file type  (NTFS) a long, long time ago and don't even remember what I did or why I did it. For the most part, the most I've ever done is right-click on the drive icon and click on 'format'. So what do you mean "return to NTFS format" - yes, it's currently showing exFAT, but how can I change format type without re-formatting and losing everything (again)? :scratchhead:

 

 

Boot externally, every coldboot and Restart causes Windows OS to write and write and write some more -- leading to greater chances of overwriting what could have possibly been recoverable.

What do you mean, "Boot externally?". The drive I'm concerned with is an external HD that I plug into the wall for power and connect to my computer via a USB port to power it up and store data on it. There is no boot drive on it.


Edited by jonnyD, 26 March 2016 - 12:29 PM.


#7 RolandJS

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Posted 26 March 2016 - 08:54 PM

Jonny, disregard my earlier posts!  I failed to see you were talking about an eternal hard-drive.


"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (w7forums)

Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)


#8 jonnyD

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 11:54 AM

 

I gave him my HD and he did something where I got SOME of the files back. There's still quite a bit missing.

Did you ask him why he couldn't recover the rest? 

He said he used two different programs: Data Recovery and DiskWarrior (he uses a Mac) and that's all they found. 

 

 

 

I gave him my HD and he did something where I got SOME of the files back. There's still quite a bit missing.

Did you ask him why the file system was changed?

 

As his retrieval programs found files, they were stored on his Mac computer HD, and once his programs were finished, he reformatted my ext HD to exFAT and then transferred my retrieved files back to it. He says typically ext HD are fromatted in exFAT which is why he changed the file system to exFAT. He also said that reformatting my ext HD won't lose any other files on the drive (as long as I didn't try to save other files on it and possibly re-write over existing files), it just changes the way the computer talks to the HD (is this true?) So he said I can try other retrieval programs with the ext HD formatted the way it is (exFAT) and see if I can get anything else.

 

Once I accidentally did the quick-format which caused all this mess, I have not used the ext HD for anything so there shouldn't be anything re-written by me.

 

Questions: does changing the formatting potentially over write files? Can I try another data retrieval program as suggested and leave the current exFAT format with no adverse effects?



#9 chalup

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 04:14 PM

 

 

I gave him my HD and he did something where I got SOME of the files back. There's still quite a bit missing.

Did you ask him why he couldn't recover the rest? 

He said he used two different programs: Data Recovery and DiskWarrior (he uses a Mac) and that's all they found. 

 

 

 

I gave him my HD and he did something where I got SOME of the files back. There's still quite a bit missing.

Did you ask him why the file system was changed?

 

As his retrieval programs found files, they were stored on his Mac computer HD, and once his programs were finished, he reformatted my ext HD to exFAT and then transferred my retrieved files back to it. He says typically ext HD are fromatted in exFAT which is why he changed the file system to exFAT. He also said that reformatting my ext HD won't lose any other files on the drive (as long as I didn't try to save other files on it and possibly re-write over existing files), it just changes the way the computer talks to the HD (is this true?) So he said I can try other retrieval programs with the ext HD formatted the way it is (exFAT) and see if I can get anything else.

 

Once I accidentally did the quick-format which caused all this mess, I have not used the ext HD for anything so there shouldn't be anything re-written by me.

 

Questions: does changing the formatting potentially over write files? Can I try another data retrieval program as suggested and leave the current exFAT format with no adverse effects?

 

 

Wouldn't him transferring the found files back on to the external drive write over things you might want to recover still?



#10 Havachat

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 06:28 PM

Agree - transferring the Data back to the External would now limit any/if  possible further retrieval.

 

Whether a External Drive is formatted as Fat32 / Gpt / Ntfs is irrelevant , prior to the attempts of recovering deleted files.

 

Now that your friend who worked on the drive , gave up early in trying to retrieve anything else and then reformatted once again , and then placed found files back on the drive , only makes it harder again.

 

Depending how important the files were ? they can still be retrieved but probably not by free programs , it would have to be done by a Retrieval Company that specialize in that task , and that may cost you a pretty penny.

 

Also one reason we all say is that Important Data is irreplacable , so have a Backup Plan or two ,  One backup is not enough , if that fails you have nothing.



#11 bianca96000

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 02:09 AM

Unlike USB sticks, many external hard disk drives have A hidden functioning $recycle.bin folder, which means the deleted files will go to Recycle Bin first instead of be deleted permanently right away. Chances are when you connect the external hard disk to your PC, the deleted files will appear in the desktop Recycle Bin. Go to desktop Recycle Bin and check first!

If you can’t find it in your recycle bin, you can try some 3rd party recovery software like Cisdem datarecovery 



#12 jonnyD

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 08:38 AM

 

Unlike USB sticks, many external hard disk drives have A hidden functioning $recycle.bin folder, which means the deleted files will go to Recycle Bin first instead of be deleted permanently right away. Chances are when you connect the external hard disk to your PC, the deleted files will appear in the desktop Recycle Bin. Go to desktop Recycle Bin and check first!

If you can’t find it in your recycle bin, you can try some 3rd party recovery software like Cisdem datarecovery 

 

You say the $recycle.bin folder is hidden. How do I make it visible?






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