How to Recover hard drive partition after Format XP install

Posted on 2011-10-04
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I need to recovery data(.jpg's) from my ata drive. It used to be drives c: and e: where drive e: was the mbr and c was my data repository.

After a bad assumption, I did the following:

-XP install disc - deleted all partitions on the entire drive
-Created partition 100GB (C:)
-ntfs quick format and installed xp home; installed like 2 drivers
-created a data repository partition called e:

Based on all that I did, would it ever be possible to recover the previous partitions(c:, e:)? I want my family pictures back!


Question by:tobe1424
    LVL 12

    Assisted Solution

    Short of sending it to a data recovery lab, there may not be much to recovery with consumer grade (even some pro-grade) software.  It will not be a cheap recovery.  I would call for some quotes.

    Author Comment

    Is there any Pro-grade software available on the net? I'm willing to purchase software. I just want to know whether or not it is possible to recover those partitions.

    Many thanks
    LVL 3

    Accepted Solution

    This is one of those scenarios that you won't know until you try.  I suggest you try the following.  Install the drive onto another system that already has windows.  Then run a data recovery utility such as one of the following.  It may take several hours to run but it's worth a shot.  Most data on drives is not deleted until it's space on the disk is over written three or four times.  If you scan the drive with one of these utiilities and don't recover anything your next option would be to send it to a data recovery center which would charge you about $200 to analyse what they can recover then another $500 - $700 to actually recover the data.  I would also recommend a backup software like Carbonite, Mozy, or LiveDrive.

    Author Comment

    Well here is the good news. My asumption was actually correct. I did backup the pictures into an external drive. But this still leaves me with questions.

    Although I always imagined data recovery as a meticulous procedure, I never imagined it costing that much to perform. What does a data recovery center have that we cannot get a hold of?

    Do you need to be certified in forensics to obtain these highly 'clasified' tools? Is it just extremely expensive to own this software or tools?

    Many thanks
    LVL 47

    Assisted Solution

    What does a data recovery center have that we cannot get a hold of?

    Clean room.  May need to take hard disk apart to access platters and data.

    Plus hardware equipment as well.

    For software recovery you can look at products such as GetDataBack  Free to try.  If it sees the missing files you pay for full functionality.
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    Yes exactly in cases where a a hard drive is damaged by fire flood etc and the internal mechanisms are not operational they can swap out the control boards, remove the platters and place them in specialized equpment to read the data from them.  They also will often have specialized software that they have written.
    LVL 14

    Assisted Solution

    it can be recovered

    Go for the option called Format Recover
    It will take few hours, depending on the speed of your computer, but recovery rate will be very high.
    Make sure the secondary harddrive you are attaching and where you want the recovered files to be stored is huge enough to backup the recovery

    LVL 46

    Assisted Solution

    Some tools like GetDataBack claim that they can recover such data. Try it as suggested by dbrunton.

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