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Possible Duplicate:
Recover data loss from accidental quick format

Is it possible to recover data after a hard drive has been reformatted and windows reinstalled on the drive? As a friend has forgot to back up some important word documents.

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marked as duplicate by Sathya Jul 19 '12 at 13:25

This question was marked as an exact duplicate of an existing question.

possible duplicate: , which incidentally, was closed as a duplicate :) In any case check out those questions for possible solutions to yours. – JoshP Jul 19 '12 at 12:35

Yes. The simplest way to understand a reformat is to think of a hard drive as a book, the folders are chapters and files are pages. Windows explorer is just a contents page. So, all a reformat does is remove the contents page. And since you can't see the contents, you can't get access the pages (files / folders), but this doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

However, since you've re-installed Windows, it is possible it's overwritten some of your 'old' pages (files /folders).

I suggest a search for "free hard drive recovery" into a search engine like this.

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It is indeed possible. I'd recommend TestDisk, as it is free and has an extensive featureset. It also works on most OS's.

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That's possible.

There's a similar question on Android Enthusiasts that covers just this:

Data Recovery - How to Restore Deleted / Formatted Files on HD Micro SD Card

You can also search for file carving or have a look at the forensics wiki

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