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Thread: Recovering files from accidentaly formatted partition

  1. #1
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    Question Recovering files from accidentaly formatted partition

    Any suggestion or comment would be greatly appreciated...

    I inadvertently formatted the partition where windows xp "was" installed. Ideally I would like to undo the formatting and re-instate all the files. The partition is fine and still there... but "empty". If undoing the formatted is not possible then I would like to recover as many personal files as possible. As you would imagine, most of my life was in there. I am going to use TestDisk in an attempt to "recover" the partition, though the partition is there.
    I've never attempted anything like this before, so any word of advice is welcome.

  2. #2
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    Re: Recovering files from accidentaly formatted partition

    There are several posts ongoing for the same topic, here is one:

    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1784235

  3. #3
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    Lightbulb Re: Recovering files from accidentaly formatted partition

    Been there done that it is a very nasty job, anyway what the actual procedure is:

    -Try Hiren's Boot CD or DVD - you can download them http://www.hiren.info/pages/bootcd also they have a thread on data recovery here

    If all of this fails, well then go the opposite way, but i suggest taking the Hiren's boot cd/recovery tools journey, since then you will see what actually happens and usually they have a high rate of success


    -Use windows for the job (sorry linux users that's the truth)

    -Put the HDD in another computer and try to make an image of the partition

    -There are several programs capable of doing that even on windows

    -Search for a program that would be suitable for you to do the job on windows

    Hope this helped..

    Regards,
    Blackmail

  4. #4
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    Re: Recovering files from accidentaly formatted partition

    If you are not successful with photorec testdisk in getting the actual partition back, the application photorec (which comes with testdisk) can be used to recover certain types of files. Here is a useful link which tells you how to use both:

    http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/15761...buntu-live-cd/

    The photorec instructions are about two-fifths of the way down, and there are also instructions for using two other data recovery utilities, foremost and scalpel.
    Last edited by coffeecat; June 17th, 2011 at 09:37 PM. Reason: Mistake - thanks crispy_420 for picking that up.
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    Re: Recovering files from accidentaly formatted partition

    coffeecat I thought it was the other way around.

    testdisk = partition recovery
    photorec = file recovery

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    Re: Recovering files from accidentaly formatted partition

    Quote Originally Posted by crispy_420 View Post
    coffeecat I thought it was the other way around.

    testdisk = partition recovery
    photorec = file recovery

    Oops.... One mistake. Sorry. That should have been, "If you are not successful with testdisk in getting the actual partition back." Thanks for pointing that out. I've corrected the post, leaving the original error in, struck through for the record. The rest is correct - I hope!
    Last edited by coffeecat; June 17th, 2011 at 09:38 PM.
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    Re: Recovering files from accidentaly formatted partition

    @op,
    if you just formatted over it and have not written any data to it, I would expect TestDisk to work great for you. just make sure you are writing the recovered partition out to a different drive//partition than the one the data was lost off. otherwise the first bit of data you recover will overwrite other bits of data, preventing them from being recovered.
    Things are rarely just crazy enough to work, but they're frequently just crazy enough to fail hilariously.

  8. #8
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    Re: Recovering files from accidentaly formatted partition

    Thank you to all for replying!

    I will be reading today and maybe tomorrow as well before attempting anything. I am currently using the Ubuntu partition to access Internet assuming that, since windows was installed in the other partition (dual boot machine), it should remain untouched by Ubuntu (hoping this assumption is correct). I will follow the advise of getting another hard drive to create an image in and play with without fear of causing more damage.

    Once again thank you, and I will keep you posted during the process.

  9. #9
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    Re: Recovering files from accidentaly formatted partition

    Quote Originally Posted by coffeecat View Post
    Oops.... One mistake. Sorry. That should have been, "If you are not successful with testdisk in getting the actual partition back." Thanks for pointing that out. I've corrected the post, leaving the original error in, struck through for the record. The rest is correct - I hope!
    Regarding photorec:
    -Good part: It tries an OS/FS independent recovery;
    -Bad part: There are many fragments on a HDD usually, and especially on a windooz partition, and so the recovered files have a very low chance of working, anyway that's how it was when i used the program last time, maybe this was corrected, since that was a few years ago

  10. #10
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    Re: Recovering files from accidentaly formatted partition

    I've tried to install TestDisk in Ubuntu but the application didn't run. I will be installing it in a Windows machine. then, I will remove the hard drive with the partition I need to recover and will try to copy the image into an external hard drive...

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