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A workmate plugged in his hdd to a laptop that was on standby, what happened next was that the original contents of his hdd was wiped and was replaced by the data on the laptop he plugged it in to.

Anyone have any thoughts on the WHY and HOW this happened? I am genuinely curious. And if there is a way to retrieve his original data?

(Yes we all know he shouldn't have plugged it in while it was on standby what I'am actually curious about is the technicalities of why/how his data was overwritten.)

Thank you in advance.

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Was the laptops BIOS set to Intel RAID and configured as a mirror? (wild guess, but the only one that I can think of which actually makes sense). – Hennes Nov 21 '12 at 13:15
By "data on laptop" do you mean the OS and all other files (Mirroed as noted by @Hennes) or simply data files? – Dave M Nov 21 '12 at 13:23
thanks for the very prompt reply Hennes, the laptop though has only ATA and AHCI modes and it was set as ATA. – DuckDuckGoose Nov 21 '12 at 13:30
@Dave M; he just told me that HIS files was overwritten, he failed to mention if the hdd as a whole itself was over written, sorry. – DuckDuckGoose Nov 21 '12 at 13:33
up vote 0 down vote accepted

One possibility is that the laptop has some sort of backup software installed that uses the external drive automatically or on a schedule. Most external vendors offer something like this. However, I have used ones from Maxtor and Western Digital and they have never overwritten any data while doing their backup. @Hennes suggestion seems to match but as no RAID seems to exist, that is out as a reason for the data loss.

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