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I have a situation.

I got married 6 months ago and stored some very important pictures on my laptop which was running Linux. Later I formatted the whole hard drive, installed Windows and a hacked version of Mac (just to play around) and I have been using the laptop for last 8 months or so after that.

Is there any software that can recover the files for me? I am happy to pay money!

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8 months' worth of data (and two OSes) writing over your previous Linux installation? If that's the case, I'm afraid that the chances for recovery aren't high. – Jin Sep 26 '11 at 9:42
what if it had been 4 months ? – anonymous Sep 26 '11 at 9:48
It doesn't really matter now since you've wiped your disk for three times. Well, better back up next time before playing around with other OSes :) – Jin Sep 26 '11 at 9:50
Seriously though, how would you think there was any way to recover this? You do have read the warnings during formatting? You know, the ones about permanently erasing data? – slhck Sep 26 '11 at 9:50

3 formats? if they're a quick format, maybe- but it seems unlikely. If even one was a full format, forget about it, its not possible. I'd probably give testdisk a whirl , but practically speaking any method of recovery would involve a blue phone box and a slightly insane two hearted alien traveller.

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+1 for TARDIS :) – Jin Sep 26 '11 at 9:49
there must be a way :( – anonymous Sep 26 '11 at 9:51
Nope, not on this earth. Especially if you've used the laptop for almost a year. – slhck Sep 26 '11 at 10:18
Let me put it this way. Any sector (that is to say, one block of data) that has been written on won't be recoverable. Every single bit of data reduces the chance of recovery. Considering the time scales involved and the number of formats, its HIGHLY unlikely - you could give a few file level recovery apps a try, but realistically I wouldn't take a recovery job on those odds. – Journeyman Geek Sep 26 '11 at 10:47
The Blinovitch Limitation Effect over a LapLink cable might be spectacular to witness; but not at close range. – JdeBP Sep 26 '11 at 11:57

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