Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Possible Duplicate:
Recover data loss from accidental quick format

I was recently helping a friend with trying to be able to see his hard drive on his computer. one thing that I thought was the case was that the hard drive was never formatted, so I was going to format it for him. in the process of doing so, he informed me that not only was it already formatted, but there was information on it. is there any way to recover data off of a reformatted hard drive? it is 1tb western digital mybook essential.

share|improve this question

marked as duplicate by slhck, Dave M, random Jun 24 '11 at 18:32

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

so you randomly reformatted without checking first?!? Eeek! –  warren Jun 24 '11 at 18:19
add comment

4 Answers 4

up vote 1 down vote accepted

You can use tools like:

Recuva FREE

PhotoRec FREE

GetDataBack $79

If all that has been done is the drive has been formatted, then the data may be accessible using recovery tools. If the drive was formatted and then data was rewritten to the drive, such as reinstalling an OS, then any data that lived on area's of the drive that were rewritten are gone.

share|improve this answer
add comment

If its a ms machine / fat32/ntfs, try this "pc inspector file recovery" it should be easy, i dont know any tools for mac recovery, and recoverying files under extfs is not so simple, as far as i can remember you can recover deleted data by knowing date of deletion, but i didnt used linux for some years and i doubt i can help you with any newer filesystem, if you did not did low level format, data should be fully accesible, pc inspector is simpliest tool i know to undelete your files but you need second hard disk to store them, and you may loose your directory structure, remember that data that was deleted by "recycle bin" will be avaliable too, so if your friend have deleted any "valuable" data you may recover it too :)

share|improve this answer
add comment

I've used a tool called Recuva before. It's not 100% guaranteed, but if you recently formatted the drive and haven't done much file activity since you should probably be able to get back whatever you need. Good luck :)

share|improve this answer
add comment

I did this very recently with file scavenger(File Scavenger). I believe this now costs money unless you get the free version which only allows you to recover a limited amount of each file. Older versions may be free(I am not sure)

Example: pictures only recovered a portion

However if you can find a download to an older version I believe it may be free.

Check out a previous thread that may hold some more information.

Recover data off busted Drive

share|improve this answer
add comment

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.