Data recovery - do I have any chance? ouch!
Posted 28 September 2012 - 03:06 PM
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.
Posted 29 September 2012 - 06:27 AM
Yes , but you won't like them .
While being wrong, you are right, but you are still wrong.
If the disk has been wiped, it has been wiped .
On Vista 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 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 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).
Posted 29 September 2012 - 07:25 AM
Cheers and Regards
This post has been edited by bphlpt: 29 September 2012 - 07:31 AM
Posted 29 September 2012 - 07:25 AM
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.
This post has been edited by tomasz86: 29 September 2012 - 07:28 AM
Posted 29 September 2012 - 08:08 AM
And AGAIN, the behaviour of the "full" format is DIFFERENT from up to XP and from Vista onwards AND that disk WAS NOT a newly bought one, if it was, there would have been NO DATA to loose .
Up to XP:
From Vista onwards:
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.
Posted 29 September 2012 - 10:38 AM
Perfect, we missed this also
Just for the record a hard disk, is never "formatted", it is "partitioned".
Partitions or Volumes or drives in it may be "formatted".
Posted 29 September 2012 - 01:07 PM
Change the value about this question to avoid future loss of data !
This post has been edited by myselfidem: 29 September 2012 - 01:13 PM
Posted 29 September 2012 - 01:15 PM
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.
Posted 29 September 2012 - 01:18 PM
Posted 29 September 2012 - 01:32 PM
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
Posted 29 September 2012 - 01:35 PM
Perfect, we missed this also
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:
Posted 29 September 2012 - 01:40 PM
Posted 29 September 2012 - 02:06 PM
All your tests will always work OK, ever: they should, since they're not mission-critical and you have nothing to loose.
Now, this does *not* mean it's safe to use unattended procedures with unbacked-up precious content present in the machine, because then things become mission-critical and you've got *a lot* to loose, and this means things will go wrong at this point: that is what Murphy's Law is all about. Sorry!
You should have at least opened the box and physically disconnected the HDD where you had unbacked-up precious data, before proceeding unattended. Or created a pair of full, known-good, off-line backups, which would be the best course to take. Sorry, my intention is not at all to lecture on you, just to get the matter in the right light (or focus, or whatever such metaphor you like most).
Posted 30 September 2012 - 04:57 AM
NO, it isn't.
Heck!! I am trying to reduce the chance of misunderstandings.
- Re-partitioning a disk changes (at the most) 4*16=48 bytes in the MBR and, if Extended Partition volumes are used a bunch of other sectors. <- in practice EVERYTHING CAN be recovered if only primaries are created and ALMOST EVERYHING if also logical volumes were created
- Re-formatting a pre-existing partition (with the same filesystem it was there before) under MS OS up to XP (or in later OS with the /Q switch or "quick" mode) overwrites the filesystems structure <- EVERYTHING that was not fragmeneted CAN be recovered - possibly losing the original filename
- Re-formatting a pre-existing partition (with a different filesystem) under MS OS up to XP (or in later OS with the /Q switch or "quick" mode) overwrites OTHER parts of the filesystem structure <- in most cases almost EVERYTHING can be recovered, often including fragmented files and their names
- Formatting a new partition made at different addresses than the pre-existing one under MS OS up to XP (or in later OS with the /Q switch or "quick" mode) overwrites other areas <- results will differ on a case per case basis, but in many cases a large number of files can be recovered
- If a disk has been wiped, NOTHING can be recovered.
- If a partition or volume (newly made or pre-existing) has been formatted on Vista or later OS without the /q switch, the area occupied by the partition of volume will be wiped and NOTHING can be recovered from it
Fully Unattended is (of course IMHO) overall a "foolish" approach (because of Murphy's Law) in each and every case, EXCEPTION made for "bare metal" deployment.
Please note how OP never explicitly stated WHICH windows OS was used, though in his profile there is "Windows 7 x64".
This post has been edited by jaclaz: 30 September 2012 - 05:00 AM
Posted 30 September 2012 - 01:06 PM
Fully unattended setup is great... as long as you have only one physical disk in the PC
Posted 30 September 2012 - 01:15 PM
If you ONLY repartitioned, you didn't write "only" 10 Gb.
If the subsequent format and/or install overwrote 10 Gb then you have lost the first 10 Gb, including, most likely the $MFT (I presume it was a NTFS partition).
ANY non fragmented file residing physically beyond the overwritten area can be recovered, often losing it's original filename.
The fact that you were not able to recover anything means NOT that anything wasn't recoverable, it simply means that you were not able to recover anything.
And without any meaningful detail (the ones you completely failed to provide) and EXACT sequence of the steps you performed, even if I wanted to find an explanation, I would not be able to.
This post has been edited by jaclaz: 30 September 2012 - 01:19 PM
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