Solved

Unformat a drive?

Posted on 2011-09-09
29
806 Views
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Scenario....

Friend had the dreaded System32\Config\SOFTWARE is missing or corrupt.
Rebooted
Hit 'F'whatever to start the recovery, not realizing it was going to be a DESTRUCTIVE recovery.
Yanked the power cable as he saw "formatting".....
Needless to say, it produced an NTLDR is missing.

I have recovered the data (course with the Partition Tables hosed, there are hundreds of odd folders with random data, instead of a nice and pretty NORMAL structure).....

Question is.....

Now, I am curious to see if the partitions can be recovered with the data INTACT. I can fix the OS, not worried about that. Drive is healthy, would LOVE to be able to not have to reload all apps so if I can recover the OS/drive structure' that's the ideal mission....

Please no google searches, I can do that myself. I have found TestDisk in particular, which says it can do what I need. Just looking for other experiences out there...

Thanks!!
0
Comment
Question by:johnb6767
  • 10
  • 7
  • 4
  • +4
29 Comments
 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:shbasm
ID: 36512335
yes you can but you need some advanced tools
http://www.salvationdata.com/
0
 
LVL 87

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 36512372
I have used testdisk to recover lost partitions on an HD, but it turned out that the partition was too damaged for that to be of any use.

In your case depending on what type of format was being run (Quick or Full), the chances of recovery are Good or bad. As the quick format doesn't do anything destructive testdisk should be able to recover that, but with the full format it is very likely that important info is lost already and then there wouldn't be much point in trying the recovery.
0
 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:shbasm
ID: 36512507
this device is for data recovery in case of full format
file extractor from salvationdata
http://www.salvationdata.com/data-recovery-equipment/file-extractor.htm
0
 
LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:ChiefIT
ID: 36512679
You lucky dog:

You saved data on a non-OS partition, which will make it easy to recover data. So, all you really have to do is a repair install of the OS, it appears.. Even if no worky, recovering the OS is not really that hard.
0
 
LVL 66

Author Comment

by:johnb6767
ID: 36513098
No, data was on the OS drive.... (not my setup, sorry)... I know better...  :-)

Goal now is to strictly recover the drive intact. Data is in fact secured (recovered via Ontrack). Finishing the copy to an archive drive as we speak.......

RE: Salvation Data....

Reminder, I don't need data recovery. Can this recover the partitions?


0
 
LVL 66

Author Comment

by:johnb6767
ID: 36513192
Oh, and once the data archiving is complete, I have already DL'd TestDisk to give it a run..... Im fairly certain the recovery process initiates a Quick Format, so I am hopeful.....
0
 
LVL 66

Author Comment

by:johnb6767
ID: 36513792
Anyone ever used Easeus' Partition Recovery Wizard in their Partition Master Product? Forgot I already had that one installed....  :-)
0
 
LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:joeyfaz
ID: 36514784
Not rubbing your error in your face but for the future, when you see something referencing System32\Config\SOFTWARE is corupt, that means the registry hive file is corrupted. You can use a program like knoppix or windows ultimate boot cd to restore the backup version of the file.
0
 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:shbasm
ID: 36514839
yes Salvation Data

can restore data in case Partitions are formatted or deleted
there is another software with good Reputation
http://www.prosofteng.com/products/data_rescue_pc.php
0
 
LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:ChiefIT
ID: 36515383
You could send it in to a data recovery pro... I have seen them recover data of a raid five that was doused in salt water.. For a single, non raid array, it won't cost too much.. For my raid array, where the backups stopped working, it cost $15K...

It's amazing what they can recover..
0
 
LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:ChiefIT
ID: 36515386
Another thing you might consider. The damage done via formating may be only the OS. It depends on how much formatting was performed. So, you could put this in a USB drive shell and plug it in as an extra drive to see what data you do have left that is manageable.
0
 
LVL 91

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 36515421
this product should recover the partitions : http://www.ptdd.com/      
0
 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:shbasm
ID: 36515435
as it is concluded from the question author looking for an extraordinary solutiom
file extractor from salvationdata
is a tool used by data recovery professional guys i advice to get this tool if
-you cant live without your lost data
-you want be data recovery professional
0
 
LVL 87

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 36516095
I did also try the easus product with the other HD I mentioned earlier on on which I ran testdisk, but didn't have any better results with that either.
0
Get up to 2TB FREE CLOUD per backup license!

An exclusive Black Friday offer just for Expert Exchange audience! Buy any of our top-rated backup solutions & get up to 2TB free cloud per system! Perform local & cloud backup in the same step, and restore instantly—anytime, anywhere. Grab this deal now before it disappears!

 
LVL 66

Author Comment

by:johnb6767
ID: 36520642
@joeyfaz

Please read the question... Not concerned with the error. I know what it is and how to fix it, not the scope of this thread.

So far, none of the Easeus tools can detect any partitions to recover. Not paying for additional utils, without seeing them work first....

To reiterate.... Only looking for a method to recover the existing partitions (pre quick format)...... Might not be possible... Also not worth professional recovery services, as I have recovered 98%+ percent of the USER data.....
0
 
LVL 66

Author Comment

by:johnb6767
ID: 36520682
So far, no utils can deteect a missing partition, as they all want to only scan UNALLOCATED space.....
0
 
LVL 66

Author Comment

by:johnb6767
ID: 36520770
To clarify....

Here is the drive.....
System was quick formatted. If there was a way to restore the $MFT/$MFTMirr, I might be ok....

I deleted the partitions, and told EACH util to find them, and they only found the most recent one.

I think what I am asking is not going to happen.....
0
 
LVL 66

Accepted Solution

by:
johnb6767 earned 0 total points
ID: 36520821
Am I on to something here?

 The greyed icons... Looks like remnants of the porevious drive?
Question is, how would I go about RESTORING them?

This is a bit deeper than Iusually ever care to go. This is from Active@ partition recovery. Dont want to buy the license, if it wont do it, but this is the first time I have even found remnants of the previous $MFT..... I know the $MFTMirr is about useless but I am hoping the key is the 245MB $MFT thats deleted....

I know I have used a linux boot disc to access these in the past.....

Thoughts?
0
 
LVL 91

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 36521118
best contact ActiveRecovery for their opinion
0
 
LVL 91

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 36521969
i wonder which one that is.. (lol)
0
 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:shbasm
ID: 36522374
try this
Partition Find and Mount is a fully functional software without expiration date or trial period and can be used for as long as you like. The only limitation it has is the speed limit of the data transfer from recovered and mounted volumes. The limit is 512 KBytes per second which is enough for generic home use.
you can pay to raise the speed
http://findandmount.com/download/
0
 
LVL 66

Author Comment

by:johnb6767
ID: 36522450
PFM doesn't do anything for me, as the Partitions are currently mounted under their NEW Partition Table.

Contacting Active@'s support this morning......

I don't think it will actually restore that partition to the drive though. Think it just gives you the option to recover the data based on that partition's $MFT....
0
 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:shbasm
ID: 36522696
after recovering 2 Gb data from 1 Gb flash memory I have to be convinced That there is no
deleted data cant be restored . But you need the right tools . Partition Find and Mount  mounts the partition and recover the in it . but as you reached so far  contacting active  is a wise choice
0
 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:shbasm
ID: 36522871
Although I did not care for partition if recovered the data
0
 
LVL 66

Author Comment

by:johnb6767
ID: 36522949
Part of this is just my own darn curiosity at this point...... :-)
0
 
LVL 91

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 36523107
i wonder if this could help john?  http://www.diskinternals.com/partition-recovery/
0
 
LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:ReclaiMe
ID: 36525348
You cannot practically recover a
mountable file system
in-place
after a quick format.

Given the complexity and also risks involved, there is no commercial software available to do the recovery in-place. The accepted practice after a quick format is that you make a copy of the data, reformat the damaged volume, then copy it back into place. Implementing something reliable enough for end-user operation which will restore the volume in-place is much more expensive (in development, testing, and lost data) than data extraction (copy off to safe place). Hence, in-place recovery was pretty much dropped by data recovery software vendors after DOS/Windows 98 and FAT. Norton Unformat was probably the last end-user software to do this (on FAT only).
0
 
LVL 66

Author Closing Comment

by:johnb6767
ID: 36585592
I was able to get partial results. Turns out that this WILL restore the original partition, and I was able to see the FileSystem (what was left of it) after the detected partition was recovered, and a 'chkdsk' was run.

And as an FYI, thier support was less than helpful, as they could not answer the question....

Thank for the good assistance, but this was resolved on my own.
0

Featured Post

Save on storage to protect fatherhood memories

You're the dad who has everything. This Father's Day, make sure your family memories are protected. My Passport Ultra has automatic backup and password protection to keep your cherished photos and videos safe. With up to 3TB, you have plenty of room to hold the adventures ahead.

Join & Write a Comment

In this article you will get to know about pros and cons of storage drives HDD, SSD and SSHD.
For both online and offline retail, the cross-channel business is the most recent pattern in the B2C trade space.
This tutorial will walk an individual through the steps necessary to configure their installation of BackupExec 2012 to use network shared disk space. Verify that the path to the shared storage is valid and that data can be written to that location:…
To efficiently enable the rotation of USB drives for backups, storage pools need to be created. This way no matter which USB drive is installed, the backups will successfully write without any administrative intervention. Multiple USB devices need t…

707 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question

Need Help in Real-Time?

Connect with top rated Experts

18 Experts available now in Live!

Get 1:1 Help Now