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Hard drive wiped


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#1
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One of my friends thought it would be funny if he wiped my hard drive (I'm still kicking myself for not ever backing anything up). He used the recovery (restore?) disk that came with my laptop when I got it about 3 years ago. It's pretty much as if I'd just bought it. I have a subscription to a PC magazine, and there was this one article about useful programs or something, and one of the programs they talked about was a program that basically overwrote your hard drive with 0s repeatedly until there was no hope at all of recovering anything from it, and it usually took 6-7 overwrites to make data unrecoverable. Also, I read somewhere that when files are deleted, they're actually marked as inaccessible and overwriteable. It is these 2 things that give me hope that I might one day get my data back.

So my question to you, fine geeks, is this:
How do I get my data back?
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#2
Wander

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There's data recovery software available to do that job.
Here's one:
Recuva

You may be able to recover some of your data but not all of it - if your looking for a particular file type (e.g. a .doc file) you can specify only to look for these.
But for whole programs I do not think you can bring them back.
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#3
rshaffer61

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There is NO WAY that I know that you will be able to recover 100% of your data.
Random is correct in his assessment of the issue. The only other option is to take the drive to a Professional data recovery company which can cost a lot of money to do.
Sorry to be the bearer of the news. :)
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#4
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Unfortunate news, indeed.
At least now I know my options. There are some other things I'd like to know; however, I would first like to thank you for your prompt responses.

If I did take my laptop to a professional data recovery company, would they be able to recover my data completely (as if my drive were never wiped, with settings intact, etc.)? And, approximately how much would it cost me? Also, how would they go about recovering my data? Do they use special equipment/software that would be impossible for me to get myself?
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#5
rshaffer61

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There is NO WAY that I know that you will be able to recover 100% of your data.
Random is correct in his assessment of the issue. The only other option is to take the drive to a Professional data recovery company which can cost a lot of money to do.
Sorry to be the bearer of the news. :)


No way to get 100% of your data recovered
Expensive yes as much as a couple of thousand and as little as 500
They use specialized programs and techniques
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#6
123Runner

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The cost is dependant on numerous factors including the size of the drive and what you are looking to recover. You will not get the drive back in a like for like conditition.

As for your "friend", I think you need a new one.
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#7
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I see. Thanks once again for your quick replies.
Well, as I am currently in no position to be spending 500-2000 dollars, I think that I'll have to follow Random's advice and use Recuva to salvage what I can.

I do have this nagging urge to find out a somewhat more exact estimate of how much it would cost due to 123Runner saying that the cost is dependent on the size of the drive and what I want to recover among other things. The drive, being that of a 3 year old laptop's, is a laughable 80GB (gb?) and I would like to recover everything that I can't just download again, and a rough estimate of what that would be is somewhere around 35-40GB.
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#8
rshaffer61

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Go HERE and you can see there is 24 million hits on Google for professional data recovery companies.
You can try websites or call them to see if they can give you a more exact estimate.
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