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Accidentaly formatted external HDD

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

so my friend brings in his Maxtor external usb HDD.

He wanted to format his usb-stick ,but took the external drive...

He realized it was the wrong one so he pressed Cancel formatting.

However when we try to get the data back, windows says it needs to be formatted firtst.

It does show up in Disk Management in RAW format (not NTFS or FAT) but it does says OK (Primary Partition)


I tried via Win 7 dvd and Repair to get into a Dos prompt, but could not find it???
So I booted my PC in Safe Mode with Command Prompt, but it told me the drive was not ready or something...
(was trying fixmbr or something)

I tried my linux but somehow it did not boot and came back in windows...

I tried Recuva but it also told me that the drive needs to be formatted.

Last, and still running... I did Recover My Files

It does find files, but veeeeery slow!


Now I also read a lot of forums/threads to format the drive first AND then do the scanning again... Will this work/speed up time?

Or is there any other way...

It's my friends drive so can't afford to screw it up... if it was my drive I'd try harder

I know he "lost" his data anyway, but he would try it himself if he didn't keep forgetting it somehow cigar.gifbiggrin.gif
   
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post #2 of 9
I would change nothing further on the drive - don't format it.

Just let recuva or something similar run, for as long as it takes, then restore the files to another separate drive.

Depending on whether he full formatted, or quick formatted, and how long it ran for before he cancelled it, you'll hopefully get quite a lot back.
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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BorisTheSpider View Post

I would change nothing further on the drive - don't format it.

Just let recuva or something similar run, for as long as it takes, then restore the files to another separate drive.

Depending on whether he full formatted, or quick formatted, and how long it ran for before he cancelled it, you'll hopefully get quite a lot back.

Will do anyway but here goes:



might take a while tongue.gif

And they add a BUY ONLINE button in the program... so I do not hope I need to buy it to GET all the files back... Like: I will search them for you, but when I find them you'll have to pay me to get them back...
   
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post #4 of 9
Recuva is free, I used it a couple times now.
It will be long and you will get a bazillion files that you didn't even think they were here but it will do the job and won't ask for money. However if you are using it in a professionnal environment, you should buy it.
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post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by ASUSfreak View Post

Will do anyway but here goes:



might take a while tongue.gif

And they add a BUY ONLINE button in the program... so I do not hope I need to buy it to GET all the files back... Like: I will search them for you, but when I find them you'll have to pay me to get them back...

Yes, days (or perhaps over a week) is to be expected on a big drive - it's got to read the entire surface of the drive, looking for file headers as it goes so it can recognise which bits of the data constitute files, and if the tables that hold the metadata about the files (their names, dates of creation and modification etc.) have been destroyed, you may end up recovering files but with generic names like 0000000001.doc 0000000002.doc etc. etc.
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post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kamimaru View Post

Recuva is free, I used it a couple times now.
It will be long and you will get a bazillion files that you didn't even think they were here but it will do the job and won't ask for money. However if you are using it in a professionnal environment, you should buy it.

I'm not using Recuva, I tried it but won't acces the disk. (needs to be formatted bla bla)
So now I'm doing it with Recover My Files... so hopefully no need to pay for that...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BorisTheSpider View Post

Yes, days (or perhaps over a week) is to be expected on a big drive - it's got to read the entire surface of the drive, looking for file headers as it goes so it can recognise which bits of the data constitute files, and if the tables that hold the metadata about the files (their names, dates of creation and modification etc.) have been destroyed, you may end up recovering files but with generic names like 0000000001.doc 0000000002.doc etc. etc.

Ah nice... so you can open all files to see whats inside and rename them again. Pfff...
   
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post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Well after 36h it reached 10% so 100% would be like 360h or 15 days...
Then I realised (on their site) you DO have to pay 70€ for it to actually save your files...
So I skipped the progress and found a cheaper way to get them back. The same program whistle.gif

Seems like I only had to choose 5 files and that the rest would also be found??? (the program wizard told me)
Anyway I did and indeed!
13h and 100% completed tongue.gif

BUT!
Seems like it found a FAT and an NTFS partition and all together it was like 6.6TB!!! (the HDD is only 640GB)
And lots of folders/files are with !!!!!!!! signs and stuff (!!!!!!, """""""", etc) --> I guess he lost those?

So I closed the program and told my friend he has to do it because it only takes 13h...

But how come??? Does it mean the disk has been wiped/formatted earlier, reinstalled stuff, formatted again, installed, etc... a couple of times, so building up untill 6.6TB!!!

He told me it was a very old HDD (and 640GB is indeed a number from the old days IIRC)
   
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post #8 of 9
Basically if it can't tell where a file ends, it's probably creating multiple "candidate" files, so for example if it finds a .doc header, but no indication of how long the file is, or whether it's fragmented and non-contiguous, it's probably creating multiple possible files that might be that .doc file, but only one of them can be correct.

Hopefully he'll get a fair bit back.
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post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BorisTheSpider View Post

Basically if it can't tell where a file ends, it's probably creating multiple "candidate" files, so for example if it finds a .doc header, but no indication of how long the file is, or whether it's fragmented and non-contiguous, it's probably creating multiple possible files that might be that .doc file, but only one of them can be correct.

Hopefully he'll get a fair bit back.

Dzjeebus f*cking Christ man (Fear and Loathing Quote...) seems like HDD's are a real PITA how they make files (TOC)

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It's weekend you know biggrin.gif
   
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Overclock.net › Forums › Components › Hard Drives & Storage › Accidentaly formatted external HDD