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I had 500GB portable hard drive. it fell from the table and when i joined it was not showing any data and asked me to format it. i did format. Then again it was not functioning properly so i had to quick format it again.

Now i had lots of data in it. Is there any software which can recover my files and folders with same structure as original

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6 Answers 6

Use a data recovery live CD. I recommended Parted Magic. 1st off before any further damage is done create a disk image using something like ddrescue (included in the live cd). Then from that image of the disk you can run recovery tools. I recommend using TestDisk and PhotoRec, which are also on that live cd.

I have successfully used the above method to recover files from a Mac that was accidentally reformatted to NTFS and had windows installed over OSX.

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There are a number of tools to recover files from a formatted disk both free and commercial. A quick search for disk recovery software will give you a fair amount of choice but I haven't tested these so I won't recommend any particular tool.

What I would like to offer is a few things to keep in mind in this situation.

  1. When you quick format a drive it doesn't touch your files, all it does is zero out the index of which files you have on the drive. They should be recoverable as long as you don't write new files to the drive.

  2. With no index the recovery tools usually have to figure out file sizes on their own and this fails sometimes so you might get corrupted files after the recovery. What I've seen is small files where the tool couldn't find the end so after the recovery they ended up several gigs.

  3. Your drive is probably damaged in some way since Windows could not recognize it and asked you to format it. With physical damage the recovery process can easily hang or take a very very long time to complete.

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You could try Priforms' Recuva, (Windows, Free to use, 2.33MB) which I use to recovered lost data. Under the "Options" and "Actions" tab it has "Scan for non-deleted files" which is meant to retrie files from formatted disks. I haven't tried to recover anything from a formatted disk, but it's worth a go.

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Not to say this won't work or anything, but I have tried this before after simply deleting a file, then emptying the recycling bin, and I could not recover my files with this. But it was about a week later and the page file may have overwritten them by that time, or something... –  David Jun 10 '11 at 16:44
    
@David, yes, you're right. When I use Recuva it's pretty quickly after I've deleted the file so the sectors don't get a chance to be overwritten. After a week (or, indeed, a few hours) the chances of recovery drop rapidly. –  tombull89 Jun 10 '11 at 16:52
    
If @Moorage has only quick formatted it twice, that doesn't even come close to zero-ing out the drive. All it does is delete the index table. He/She should be able to complete the task with this tool. I really like Priform tools, like CCleaner. –  David Jun 10 '11 at 16:55
    
i tried that and it shows all files at one place . it don't show folder tree. i want lost file recovery not deleted file recovery –  Moorage Jun 10 '11 at 17:22
    
@Moorage, there is an option to keep file/folder structure when you recover them. –  tombull89 Jun 10 '11 at 21:38

You could also look into TestDisk and PhotoRec both are from cgsecurity. Website: www.cgsecurity.org

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Best recovery software I have ever used.

Get Data Back

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Formatting destroys the metadata related to filenames and folders (and other metadata too).

There are many tools that can help you recover the data from the files, but the structure is almost certainly lost.

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