Octopuss

Data recovery - do I have any chance?

34 posts in this topic

I've just had terrible thing happen to me.

I was reinstalling Windows and something went wrong, and data disk was wiped and used for installation instead of the correct one. I use fully unattended setup which does all the partitioning for me. I got absolutely no idea why it happened because disk 0 has always been the SSD.

Well I just lost 1TB of data, all documents and all programs, mails and favourites, because the dumb setup decided to magically pick different disk.

Since the data disk was wiped, partitioned, and Windows was installed onto it, do I have ANY chance of recovering any data from it? I doubt. I guess specialized company could dig something out of it, but that would cost me more than two brand new computers, I can't afford that.

Ideas?

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Ideas?

Yes :yes: , but you won't like them :(.

While being wrong, you are right, but you are still wrong. :w00t:

If the disk has been wiped, it has been wiped ;).

On Vista :ph34r: and later a full format (i.e. without the /q switch) is enough to wipe.

Once a disk has been wiped with a "single pass" of 00's (or any other values for that matters) the data is GONE, FOREVER (and no amount of money nor recovery company will get it back).

The only hope you have (cannot say if it applies to your situation) is if the wipe/format affected only part of the disk (and not the full disk) in which case maybe some partial data can be retrieved (only if physically residing on the part of the disk that wasn't wiped).

I have seen a few reports about Vista :ph34r: and later OS re-ordering (for whatever reasons) the disks, it is likely that this is what happened to you, you should put a check (actually more than one) identifying correctly the disks and/or partitions on it BEFORE wiping/formatting.

BTW there is NOT one (valid) reason in the world (if not deleting your data safely before giving away a device) to format "full" on Vista :ph34r: or later, let alone use a wipe program.

You can well wipe the unallocated space AFTER the new install (if you really want to have unused sectors being all nice, rounded 00's and to have possible some advantages with a few imaging/cloning programs that can "skip" 00's).

jaclaz

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I would have assumed that when the OP said the disc had been "wiped and used for installation" that he actually meant it had been formatted and used for installation. If the disc had "just" been formatted, then there is a chance that data could be recovered from it, at least the data that was not written over by the installation. ANY use of the new installation. however, would continue to make that task harder as temporary system files are written and erased from the disc. There are several programs available that do a fair job of recovering data from accidentally formatted discs, and their prices are fairly reasonable.

Cheers and Regards

Edited by bphlpt
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BTW there is NOT one (valid) reason in the world (if not deleting your data safely before giving away a device) to format "full" on Vista :ph34r: or later, let alone use a wipe program.

I always do full format on a newly bought disks as it's the most basic way to check if there are any problems (in fact, some time ago I had an error when formatting a new HDD and in the end it turned out to be defect).

For recovering data you can try DMDE although be careful as it's not really for beginners. This program saved my data a few years ago, and it's free for personal use.

Edited by tomasz86
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I always do full format on a newly bought disks as it's the most basic way to check if there are any problems (in fact, some time ago I had an error when formatting a new HDD and in the end it turned out to be defect).

And AGAIN, the behaviour of the "full" format is DIFFERENT from up to XP and from Vista :ph34r: onwards AND that disk WAS NOT a newly bought one, if it was, there would have been NO DATA to loose :whistle: .

@bhlpt

See:

Up to XP:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/302686/en-us

From Vista :ph34r: onwards:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/941961/en-us

The format command behavior has changed in Windows Vista. By default in Windows Vista, the format command writes zeros to the whole disk when a full format is performed. In Windows XP and in earlier versions of the Windows operating system, the format command does not write zeros to the whole disk when a full format is performed.

As often happens the good MS guys use wrongly "disk" instead of "drive" but if the disk was re-partiioned the final effect is the same.

jaclaz

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I guess I stand corrected, though I could have sworn I had recovered data from a disc that had been formatted by Win 7. I guess it now depends if the OP's unattended did a full format or not.

Cheers and Regards

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I guess I stand corrected, though I could have sworn I had recovered data from a disc that had been formatted by Win 7. I guess it now depends if the OP's unattended did a full format or not.

Perfect, we missed this also :whistle:

http://grammarist.com/spelling/disc-disk/

Just for the record a hard disk, is never "formatted", it is "partitioned".

Partitions or Volumes or drives in it may be "formatted".

jaclaz

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It seems the error was to use an Autounattend.xml file with automatic partitioning and all the disk was wiped!

Change the value about this question to avoid future loss of data !

Edited by myselfidem
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Allright, I wasn't precise with terminology :P

These days there usually is nothing like wipe unless you forcefully do it, either by specialized software or non-quick format.

I couldn't recover anything, because I was double or even triple unlucky.

The data disk was repartitioned by the setup, which is obviously enough to kiss anything on it good bye (I could find traces of lots of mp3 files, but reported sizes were few kB. Not a single trace of any .mkv file, and the disk was pretty much full of movies.).

I was doing backups of some sort using the two disks, but how on earth could I expect this to happen.I only could imagine a disk malfunctioning, in which case I could just copy the important stuff over from the other.

I had two partitions on the SSD, the 2nd being used for programs I don't install. Unfortunately, I could only recover file structure from it, nothing was readable at all, but thank satan for at least that, at least I knew what stuff I needed to redownload. Conclusion: data recovery on TRIM-enabled SSD is impossible.

Now after a bit of time I guess the absolutely worst thing was losing all the favourites (and mails since 2004 too I guess, even if they were not important, just from the sentimental point of view), because over the years I saved loads of interesting and important links.

Guess I need to buy some premade NAS or build a file server myself.

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mysel, you are right. But I've been using this approach for over a year on lots of machines and it always worked without problems. I am extremely curious what the hell happened there. Disk 0 is always disk 0, isn't this kind of decided by BIOS?

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Yes, it seems possible if some changes has been made with Diskpart when there is 2 Disks (Disk 0 and Disk 1).

Edited by myselfidem
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The weird thing is I installed Windows on this machine at least four times in total and it always went fine. I've ran into the rather common (it seems) problem when setup pops up en error message saying there's no driver for CD/DVD drive though. Something MIGHT had gone wrong there since this is directly related to the SATA controller, though. Who knows.

The good thing about this whole thing is that

1) I will start doing some more fail-proof backups from this point on

2) I bought File Scavenger

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I guess I stand corrected, though I could have sworn I had recovered data from a disc that had been formatted by Win 7. I guess it now depends if the OP's unattended did a full format or not.

Perfect, we missed this also :whistle:

http://grammarist.com/spelling/disc-disk/

I, myself, use "disc" for optical media and "disk" for any other case.

While the grammarist is right in saying that the form "disk" is the preferable one for almost all cases, for optical media alone, there's a strong case for "disc" in the trademaks themselves, and their conventional logos, such as:

100px-LaserDisc.svg.png............ 50px-CDlogo.svg.png............ 100px-Blu-ray_Disc.svg.png

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I've ran into the rather common (it seems) problem when setup pops up en error message saying there's no driver for CD/DVD drive though.

Create a new time your Windows image, there is an error maybe about the iso creation !?

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Nope, it works perfectly fine in VM. When I ran into it the first few times I freaked out, but after some googling it seems to be not so uncommon problem.

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