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unformating a drive

Posted on 1998-12-31
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Last Modified: 2013-12-29
Is there anyway to unformat a drive/recover information if it has been quick formatted under Win95 operating system in the following manner

the computer was started by a boot disk into a dos prompt...

I then proceeded to format the drive (don't worry I actually intended to do this)

format c: /s/q

As I understand it, by adding the /s flag and writing the system files to the drive this has most likely stuffed me up, but I wonder if there is anyone out there who may be able to help me. The general consensus I have from talking to friends is that Norton Utils may be able to fix the problem for me....

 
 
 
 
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Question by:ct1agi
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by:ct1agi
ID: 1731372
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cleikis earned 100 total points
ID: 1731373
The /s flag wasn't what screwed it up, it was the /q believe it or not. That essentially deletes the FAT tables from the partition and sets up new ones. The data is still there, but the indexes to it are gone.

I talked to someone the other day who accidentally formatted the wrong drive (not with /q) and realized it in the middle. He shut off the machine and turned it back on and everything was intact! We surmised that format actually verifies (non-destructively) the surface of the drive while it's ticking away the percentages and deletes the FAT tables in the last 1% (or the only thing it does with /q)

Utilities like norton's unformat do nothing but keep backups of the fat tables and when it "unformats" the drive it actually just restores the backups. Unfortunately, it doesn't work if the norton utilities weren't installed BEFORE the format took place.

I know that doesn't solve your problem, but it's the only answer I know of.. Sorry..
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by:demarb
ID: 1731374
With a format /q you would still be ok since both windows and dos keep a mirrored copy of the FAT and can restore it. But, since you did a /s also, you then recopied files onto the HD. It's kind of like deleting a file. If you go to undelete it before writing anything else to the drive, then you are fine, but as soon as you write to the drive it can overwrite portions of deleted files and the chances of recovery are slim.
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