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Accidentally erased my external - fixes?
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Green Eagle
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Post: #1
Accidentally erased my external - fixes?
Quick story,

I re-formatted this PC over the weekend because I have done a lot of stuff to it and thought about starting anew. No problem, have done this about a dozen times over the last 5 years.

I have two external drives. One for weekly, OMG - backups just in case and one for just storage 2tb.

So, I was on the phone with my dad and I was re-formatting the OMG drive. I wasn't paying close enough attention and I clicked on the wrong drive letter and using WD Smartware Pro program reformatted my storage drive.

For emphasis, this drive contained a little over 1 TB of info. Albeit, it was a lot of recursive files and documents. This is where I saved a lot of movies and documents, but the main concern are my pictures.

This drive hosted every digital picture I have taken since around 2006. I have a lot of 'Family' pictures on there that are now lost. Those are the ones I want back. The movies, games, documents and whatever else I don't care about.

In a stupid drunkard move, I just said screw it and starting using the drive again. I have transferred about 20gb of info to it. Woke up, unplugged it.

Like I said, there are backups of backups of the pictures on there. Even though I know I have overwritten some information ... Here is the question and I ask this with all of my heart.

Has anyone been able to recover files from a re-formatted HDD in the past and how did you do it?

This loss is monumental in my little world. Any help will be so greatly appreciated.
11-04-2013 11:25 PM
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OldeWolfe
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Post: #2
RE: Accidentally erased my external - fixes?
Dayam GE, sorry about that...to answer your question, no I have not, don't have the skills for it, but I understand that some files can be recovered from a reformatted HDD. It is expensive because it takes people with special skills. Google it and I'm sure you'll find someone who can do it. Unless they're local you'll probably have to send your HDD to them.

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11-05-2013 02:26 AM
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Spinebuster
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Post: #3
RE: Accidentally erased my external - fixes?
I think its still possible but i have never done it before. There should be a program on the wonderful internet that will let you retrieve the data. Its gonna cost you though.

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11-05-2013 05:10 PM
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Green Eagle
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Post: #4
RE: Accidentally erased my external - fixes?
I tried some freeware (purchase to get-er-done) stuff but it didn't recognize any hidden lost files. Thanks for the vote of confidence. Still sick over it, but I was talking to my landlords about it and they have a buddy that they will give me an email address to see if this is up his field. He is some sort of master of stuff like this they say. Will see.

There is also a company I found here in Indy for data recovery. Almost afraid to call because I know it will be a lot of $$. Still mauling over the options and finally calmed down a bit over it. Made me aware that digital content can be easily made to vanish within 30 seconds with no undo button. I am not an so much an amateur but hell, how many times have I lost this site and had to start over Smile. I do learn from the mistakes though.

I am pretty sure it will be recovered, was hoping someone has been through this process before. I will surely post something if it is saved or not and how it was done.

Just need to talk to some other sources and see what is the better avenue. Told my family about it and they just assumed me as the IT guy and I have so many family pictures that no one else has they were a little 'mad/sorrowed' over it. Some have a few copies of some good ones thank goodness.

Will post back.
thx
B
11-05-2013 11:18 PM
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Takavoncracka
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Post: #5
RE: Accidentally erased my external - fixes?
It actually depends on how you reformatted the drive. It can be "light" formatted, where everything is just flagged to be overwritten or "fully" formatted where all the bits on the drive are reset to 0. In the former case, items may be recoverable, but in the latter case...they may in fact be long gone. I think any computer-proficient person has done this at some point in the past, I know I have. It is usually something you never do twice Smile But yea, that really really sucks. Let's hope they can recover it.
11-07-2013 04:30 PM
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Tasadar1
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Post: #6
RE: Accidentally erased my external - fixes?
Back before windows you could use DOS to list all files, even the ones that have been tagged to be overwritten. You might try using MS DOS prompt to see if you can list them. If you can you should be able to re name the tagged files and they will be accessible again. It would be slow going one file at a time, but it would be cheap.
(This post was last modified: 11-07-2013 04:53 PM by Tasadar1.)
11-07-2013 04:51 PM
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Green Eagle
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Post: #7
RE: Accidentally erased my external - fixes?
Thanks bud, I will research that avenue just to see what it yields. Just sitting on this right now. Waiting for a an email address. Landlords went out of town for a week, so waiting.
11-07-2013 09:37 PM
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Green Eagle
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Post: #8
RE: Accidentally erased my external - fixes?
Just for the information purposes. I went to one data recovery business that was on my way to work after work. This was their fees. $99 to run diagnostics on the drive (non-refundable). If files are found recoverable, then that will be advanced to the $250 per 500 gb of information. Just to run the diagnostics (albeit) to step in the door is $99 for service.

Waiting for my landlords to come back, but if I am told a $300 program that he suggests will do it, I will buy that and you can rest assure that I will share it if you guys have the same problem. If it is a $1500 program, well ... we are all out of luck Sad. We will see I guess.

will update...
11-08-2013 11:00 PM
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ThePlaneswalker
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Post: #9
RE: Accidentally erased my external - fixes?
I use Recuva. Its mainly for undelete, not unformat level of scanning a drive, but it will do something. Also some really old apps out there (ontrack easy recovery pro) will scan the raw disc space for files and you get a big pile of unorganized, unnamed files in the end.
11-10-2013 01:32 AM
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