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I formatted my HDD by mistake, and need to restore data from it.
There is no way to attach an additional HDD to the computer where the mistake happened.

I booted from a Linux CD and copied an image of the whole drive to another computer by network
(dd if=/dev/sda of=/mnt/samba_share/hdd.img), on the image of the formatted drive there were two NTFS partitions.

I know there are programs for restoring data from formatted drives, but is there a way to restore any data from that image?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

I think, you mean to say that you copied the whole drive (after it was accidentally formatted) & saved it on the network and you want to know if your data can be recovered from that copy.

As far as I know, No. As you said, there are softwares that retrieve data from formatted drives. (As far as Windows goes) They do that by reading the FAT table entries that were recently flagged as deleted. Then they try to make out if there was anything useful on the actual hard-drive space. So as you see,they will need the actual FAT table to work on.

Now, copying will only copy data that is present on hard-disk & is NOT marked as deleted. Hence all the FAT table entry will not be present.

Instead I suggest that you try to again boot from your Linux Live CD, try and recover your data from the actual hard-drive. Or you can try UBCD which is another wonderful recovery bootable CD.

EDIT: Since you have already copied the HDD image to another PC, it is worth trying to retrieve your data from the HDD. You can try TestDisk. Its free & only 1.5 MB.

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dd copying actual data from disk, not only visible by OS. in FAT filesystems (FAT12,FAT16,FAT32) FAT (file allocation table) holds links only for files in root of filesystem, every folder has their own "little" FAT. It makes possible restore files even main FAT is not present. Unfortunately my case is many badder then only loosing FAT. I'm loose partiotion table and my filesystem is NTFS. But anyway VERY BIG for you links i'm think it what i'm search for, especially TestDisk. Thnx!!! – Alexey Sviridov Oct 13 '09 at 2:44
Oh, my god! You even don't know how you right :), BIG THANKS! TestDisk can work not only with real HDD, but with HDD image (, it's exactly what i'm need! – Alexey Sviridov Oct 13 '09 at 2:50

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