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Recover lost files on HDD (Resolved).


Best Answer Wussy Smurf , 21 February 2016 - 09:03 AM

Thanks for the reply, I figured it out.  I didn't have to go to any extremes, but apparently there are a few programs that claim to be able to recover data from formatted hard drives. I i... Go to the full post »


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#1
Wussy Smurf

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Hello all,

 

I screwed up and installed Windows 7 on the wrong hard drive.  It completely wiped out all the files that previously existed on said hard drive and replaced them with Windows 7 files.  Does anyone know of a way to recover those lost files?  Does the first entry in "Previous Versions" contain them or is that just the first attempt at installing windows?

 

Thanks!


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#2
phillpower2

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Hello Wussy Smurf,

 

Does the first entry in "Previous Versions" contain them or is that just the first attempt at installing windows?

 

 

Not quite sure what you mean by the above so my answer may not be what you are asking, a fresh install of Windows 7 formats the HDD or partition on the HDD where it has installed as part of the installation procedure, wiping all data on the HDD or partition where Windows 7 has installed in the process, nothing can be recovered by the average user and very little by security experts such as the NSA or MI5 etc, an upgrade will allow you to keep most of your documents and files etc but certain programs may need to be installed afterwards, in this instance check for C:\Windows.old


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#3
SleepyDude

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Hi,

 

I have done data recovery on similar cases. By default Windows will do a fast format so the data continues to exist on the disk if not overwritten by the new files saved on the disk by the windows setup.

A recovery like that can only be done using paid software like GetDataBack, R-studio, etc. the programs can be downloaded to check what they can recover by previewing the files then you decide to buy them or not.

 

You should install the HDD as second drive in another machine to avoid writing new data to the disk because it reduces the chance of recovering the files. During the recovery process the files recovered need to be saved to a different HDD.

 

If you don't have another computer to install the recovery programs GetDataBack provides a Linux live CD that can be used to do the recovery without using the new Windows install.


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#4
Wussy Smurf

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✓  Best Answer

Thanks for the reply, I figured it out.  I didn't have to go to any extremes, but apparently there are a few programs that claim to be able to recover data from formatted hard drives.

 

I installed an SSD HDD and disconnected my old primary drive.  I left a second old backup drive in the machine that was about the same size as the new SSD.  I thought windows was installing on the new SSD when it was actually installing on the old backup.  I believed all my files were on the backup and thought windows formatted the drive and installed over the files.  I thought this was odd because windows doesn't usually do this on a hard drive that's already formatted.  ANYWAY, I did some research and chose a program that claimed it could recover files even if the drive was formatted.  You're supposed to save the files to another media, so I removed the SSD and reinstalled the old primary hard drive.  There I found the old primary and SECONDARY partition, the secondary held the data I was looking for.

 

It's a sad time when you come to the realization that you're an idiot...I'm at that realization!

 

Thanks.


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#5
SleepyDude

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Hi,

 

If you find a free software that can successfully recover the data in a situation like that please post the name and website, it will help others facing a similar situation.

 

In my work we do recovery for your users from time to time, we tried several free tools but none of them produces good results in complicated situations, we decide to invest on GetDataBack and so far we helped several people.


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#6
phillpower2

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That is great news Wussy Smurf, pleased to hear that the drive had not had a full NTFS format and been wiped clean which was I thought you were saying had been done  :unsure:

 

As for free software worth trying, Puppy Linux which is pretty good for accessing data on flaky HDDs but never tried it in a situation such as yours and the same for Recuva (free) and like SleepyDude has said it would normally cost a fee for anything that could provide better results, once again, glad that all was not lost  :thumbsup:


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#7
Wussy Smurf

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I originally found a demonstration of iCare on Youtube, but it said there was a limited number of files you could do free.  I was afraid if I used the trial version then bought it to get the rest of the files, it may cause problems.  Then I found Recuva and was about to use it when I found the partition.  I originally found a couple others also, but I didn't save the page and I can't find the site this morning.  I did a search on reviews of one of the products and it led me to a site that tested 3 or 4 free programs.  I DIDN'T USE EITHER of the above mentioned programs, therefore I CAN'T RECOMMEND OR ATTEST THAT EITHER ACTUALLY WORK.  I am usually a very skeptical person when it comes to these types of claims, but I was kind of desperate!  I have a lot of old patches and add-ons to games that have been on my systems for decades that I didn't want to lose.  Yes, I'll be doing a backup of these programs on a separate drive today.


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#8
iammykyl

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Gday Mates.

Possible solutions, only if you can find a Windows Old Folder.

https://support.micr...en-us/kb/971760

http://www.sevenforu...stallation.html


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