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I just did a huge mistake. Yesterday, a friend of mine asked me to install Windows XP for him. I have done this task hundreds of times, but yesterday I was tired when I started the install procedure and I formatted the D partition and installed Windows on it.

Now I'm running PhotoRec on that partition, but it recovers the files in a weird way (filenames and directory structure are lost).

My question is:
How can I recover as much is possible from the previous data of that partition?

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Just in case you don't know: STOP USING THE COMPUTER. –  Hello71 Jul 15 '10 at 1:06

4 Answers 4

If you dont have any luck using TestDisk you could try Active Partition Recovery or GetDataBack. Both of these are paid alternatives but I have used both with good results, worth a try if TestDisk doesn't find the files.

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Since you know about PhotoRec, you probably already know about TestDisk. TestDisk provides options for recovering lost partitions. If you are able to recover the lost partition... there is a good chance that it will not boot. You may however be able to boot the hard drive as a secondary disk on another computer or boot Knoppix or some other live CD in order to copy files off the partition.

But I would first try the undelete option of testDisk. See the link below:

http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk:_undelete_file_for_NTFS

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ty about testdisk tip. I'll read about it –  user38996 Jun 3 '10 at 5:49

I've found Runtime's GetDataBack to be the best at this sort of thing, it and it has a mode for Persistent filesystem damage - when you've wiped it and continued to use the partition. It's not free, but it's very good, and I think you can download a trial of it..

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If you don't have any luck with the excellent Testdisk, there is an alternative:

http://www.minitool-partitionrecovery.com/recoverymore.html

This also works very well. It's also free for personal use.

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