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I've accidentally performed a quick format on the mobile hard disk thinking that the data is useless. Now my mum says that she needs them back.

What are the tools that I could use to recover the data?

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closed as not constructive by slhck Oct 14 '12 at 21:12

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See this question: superuser.com/questions/6810/best-undelete-tool-for-ntfs-fat –  jtbandes Jul 23 '09 at 1:05
    
but all the tools there don't work for formatted partitions. –  segfault Jul 23 '09 at 1:36
    
Are you sure that tools don't work on "Quick Formatted" partitions? As I recall, "Quick Format" basically just overwrites the partition table. –  pcapademic Jul 23 '09 at 4:14
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9 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Not free, but might be a lifesaver: Active File Recovery.

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I've used their partition recovery software before (partition-recovery.com) and I was completely satisfied. –  Chris W. Rea Aug 21 '09 at 16:29
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Lifehacker and I both like Recuva

Check out the life hacker article for more info here: Lifehacker

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I've used this and it's worked for me. Just make sure you put the Advanced options to check for Formatted drives. –  Hondalex Aug 21 '09 at 18:18
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I used Active Partition when I added a hard drive and changed it to RAID thinking it would just copy from the first one. It got all my data back after almost having a heart attack.

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I deleted and repartitioned the wrong drive and Active Partition recovery did the trick. –  Jim McKeeth Jan 29 '11 at 20:32
    
Just used this tonight - great product. –  a coder Sep 23 '12 at 0:24
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I haven't tried to use this one on formatted partition, but it works for recovering files that have been deleted: GetBackData for Windows

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You could try TestDisk. I have used it successfully to recover photos deleted from a memory card but not for a formatted disk. It might work though.

Revision:

You can try DiskInternals. It costs money but the description says it is able to unformat.

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tried but doesn't work. –  segfault Jul 23 '09 at 1:36
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GetDataBack by Runtime Software. 2 weeks ago I recovered 95% of the data on a computer that someone not only reformatted but also reinstalled Windows XP on. You can download and run it for free to see which files can be recovered, but to actually recover the file, you'll need to purchase it.

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Did you pay the high price? Honestly? I'm not sure I should because I'll use it once only... –  Robert Koritnik Dec 14 '11 at 19:04
    
@RobertKoritnik, Yes but only for the NTFS version, and I've used it several (crucial) times since then. –  hyperslug Dec 31 '11 at 5:07
    
Well I did the same thing. Paid the damn license and also just for the NTFS version. I was also able to recover many files. Thankfully. –  Robert Koritnik Dec 31 '11 at 9:56
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Try an application that recovers deleted files and damaged files. You need something that ignores the stated partition and filesystem information and instead tries to infer files directly from patterns in the raw data.

If only I could remember the application I used a few years back to recover some lost files.

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DiskDigger is small, portable, easy to use and above all free, unlike 99% of these kinds of applications out there, try it!

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I'd check out ADRC's Free Data Recovery Tool,

If you want a more barebones hard disk sector viewer and file recovery then try Disk Investigator

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protected by Gnoupi Aug 31 '10 at 9:22

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