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I had just finished a reinstall of windows xp and had put all my files back in place, then when I was out my little sister saw the dban disk I used and she thought it was a game....

When I got home I was welcomed to a formatted pc and a sister who complained that the game was terrible....

Now, Is there eny way of recovering the files?

As far as I can tell I was quick erase or something.

There is also no backups.

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You might want to browse some of the existing question - – dsolimano Jan 10 '12 at 13:51
@dsolimano: Formatting is not exactly the same -- it usually overwrites only the filesystem metadata, not the files themselves. – grawity Jan 10 '12 at 14:04
Agreed, but given that the answer is basically that the data is gone, it can't hurt to see if the data recovery tools can find anything. – dsolimano Jan 10 '12 at 14:09
Lesson learned: Make sure users that aren't smart enough to identify that it is not a game disk have a LPU account, also make sure that it can't auto boot from such media. Also, make sure you have back-ups against other forms of data loss. Even just backing up your user folder doesn't take long and can save you a thousand. I'm afraid you aren't going to be able to recover much. I don't have anything anymore from when I was your age, so be confident that it's not the worst thing on earth to happen. Although, sad that you lost your files and I hope it doesn't involve loss of homework... – Tom Wijsman Jan 10 '12 at 14:45
truecrypt will not help here, as booting from CD will simply bypass the HDD bootloader. You could simply make the HDD first in the boot order, though, and it would prevent such accidents. – grawity Jan 10 '12 at 18:09
up vote 4 down vote accepted


If dban was triggered in its default setup, your data is gone.

Also, where did the files come from after the reinstall ?

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I did a reinstall, so natruly i baked up before i did the reinstall, but i moved it back after the reinstall so theres no backup now. – Stephan Jan 10 '12 at 14:09
if you moved it, that's by far your best bet to recover the data. The data will still be on the drive you moved it from unless its been since overwritten. It should be possible to extract something from there. – Sirex Jan 10 '12 at 14:15
I cinda already tried it, sorry to dissipoint you. – Stephan Jan 10 '12 at 14:30
try using photorec on it. – Sirex Jan 10 '12 at 14:39
Thanks but there is no OS on it, cuz im afraid to install it again, cuz it formats it, and that might make it sothat i cant recover – Stephan Jan 10 '12 at 14:45

All methods DBAN includes have been designed to ensure that the data cannot be recovered – at least not with currently available technologies.

Although the documentation inside the disk itself says that "short DoD 5220.22-M" is the default, not "quick erase" (and I could not find what "quick erase" actually is), but with modern hard drives it doesn't really make a difference – overwriting data even once makes it sufficiently hard to recover from such high-density media, as shown by several studies.

Advancing technology has created a situation that has altered previously held best practices regarding magnetic disk type storage media. Basically the change in track density and the related changes in the storage medium have created a situation where the acts of clearing and purging the media have converged. That is, for ATA disk drives manufactured after 2001 (over 15 GB) clearing by overwriting the media once is adequate to protect the media from both keyboard and laboratory attack. (2006 NIST Special Publication 800-88 (p. 7))

This only applies to data that has been overwritten, so if you managed to interrupt DBAN before it finished its first pass, you might be able to recover what hasn't been touched yet, perhaps using PhotoRec. If the entire disk has been erased, though, you are out of luck.

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Sorry but when I got home it said the erasing was a sucses – Stephan Jan 10 '12 at 14:11

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