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I recently began formatting a USB external drive in Windows when the power went off.

When I powered the drive up again and connected it, the partitions don't show up under My Computer. When I go to disk management, I see the drive, but now it is labeled as unallocated space.

The drive was initialy partitioned into 2 drives. I can't see either drive now. I tried running GetDataBack NTFS recovery tool and it only comes up with errors. There seem to be no information on the drive from the data recovery utility.

I know the information is there but how do i find it.

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<<Moved from Answer as comment>> I'm really surprise that GetDataBack didn't work. I'm curious, what errors specifically did you do. Also I've found that using the "sustained file system damage" option works the best at finding the files. –  KronoS Feb 10 '11 at 21:59
    
What do you want to retrieve from a disk that you intended to format? –  mouviciel Nov 23 '11 at 13:54
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3 Answers

First you should try using TestDisk on your usb key, if it succeed you will get your partitions back. The way it works is by scanning the volume and trying to find markers of your old partitions and recreating them.
In case it doesn't work you can always* get your data back using PhotoRec which searches your volume for magic numbers and dump files it finds to another volume.

Both are free, opensource tools and they work great, if those can't find your data there is few hope to find them with other tools (not that you shouldn't try to do it anyway).

* "always" as in "your data was not overwritten by the formatting tool", the "quick format" options in windows only touches the boot sector.

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I'd suggest trying RecoverMyFiles, using the "Recover a Drive" option. I've successfully recovered files even after a successful format. The trial version will let you see your files and will tell you how likely it is that the data can be recovered. The full version costs $70, but if your data is important, I'd consider that a bargain.

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You've stated that the power went out in the process of reformatting. You will not be able to get your data back unless you want to spend a boat load of money getting some of it back from HDD specialists in the field... They charge thousands to recover SOME data but not all.

So once again you stated you lost power in the middle of a format; because of this I'm sure the journal is corrupted which means you need to completely reformat the HDD.

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