Recovering files from formatted hard drive

By compute1 ยท 11 replies
Oct 26, 2010
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  1. Hi,

    i need help with trying to recover files from a formatted hard drive (vista), problem is that win xp was put on the hard drive after the format, only to find out that the formatted hard drive was the one we needed to keep :mad:

    at a guess i would say no that i cant recover because xp was put on there now.

    any ideas or is it farewell files....
  2. Vons67

    Vons67 TS Rookie

    When you formatted the hard drive, did you delete the partitions? Check out this site...
    "easeus" the recovery tool after a format. I cannot inclucde the entire url because my post count is 0.
  3. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184


    As i understand it, you installed installed XP into a partition (and that partition included data you wanted?)

    I'll assume you didn't delete the original partition.

    1) So when you installed XP it recognized it and asked if you wanted to install in the exisiting partition?

    2) XP Should have then given you formatting options to choose. If you did a QUICK format (Opts 1 or 2) or let the filesystem (opt 5) intact you might be able to recover some of the old data. (if you did a normal format - opt 3 or 4) - the XP disk format would've wiped out the data :(

        * Format the partition by using the NTFS file system (Quick)
        * Format the partition by using the FAT file system (Quick)
        * Format the partition by using the NTFS file system
        * Format the partition by using the FAT file system
        * Leave the current file system intact (no changes)
  4. Vons67

    Vons67 TS Rookie

    That is correct. However, i have only seen the intact (option 5) when performing upgrades. Compute1... sorry for the lost.
  5. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Hi Vons67 :wave:

    I just noticed these are your first posts. Welcome to Techspot :)
  6. Vons67

    Vons67 TS Rookie

    Why "THANK YOU"....LookinAround
  7. pjamme

    pjamme TS Enthusiast Posts: 208

    I did the same thing several years ago. I formatted my Windows 2000 and installed XP. then woke up in the middle of the night realizing i had only archived one DVD of pictures and i probably had many more. The worst was that what i was missing were my wedding pictures. Knowing my wife would be heartbroken I purchase a software called Active Undelete. it was very laborous but I recovered all my photos. It is not free, but if you have no success with the free stuff give it a try. You can see it at:

    You should try not writing files to the hard drive until you have recovered your files.
  8. compute1

    compute1 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 30


    thanks for the response, im pretty sure i deleted the old partion when i reformatted i used NTFS (not quick) so i guess that would have wiped it clean.

    i should have known somthing was wrong when it took over 2hours to format it.... lesson learned double check !
  9. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,168   +986

    Correct - - this is the so called low-level format which writes
    the sector number into the control structure of every sector and zeros the sector.

    it's all gone.
  10. compute1

    compute1 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 30


    well things worked out in the end ... somehow... bought one of the recovery software and got everything back..

    maybe i didnt delete the old partition and didnt delete old one ....anyway thanks for help.
  11. akannitaoheed

    akannitaoheed TS Rookie Posts: 79

    Even when partition information is lost during hdd crash i still get a good number of files back if i have not stored anything new on the drive. I use recuva by piriform to recover most of the time. It's free software and effective as well.

    I however have to use some advanced features on it to get the best out. When you download you may try yourself or ask how to use the advanced features. Download from here:
  12. compute1

    compute1 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 30


    ahh ok after the accident i did not install any other software onto the drive..

    anyway good to know i guess...


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