We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

Have a bad HDD tried recovery through USB/SATA Adapter and accidentally setup new FAT Volume.  Now can't read contents.

I am currently working on retrieving someone's data.  I didn't have my black x box yesterday when I originally got the HDD so I used a little sata to usb adapter.  Winows 7 came up and said that the drive needed to be inspected and repaired (or something like that).  I clicked ok and let it do it's thing for a couple hours.  After about two hours it was less than 20% done so I cancelled.  Of course after that I couldn't read the drive.  I went into computer management and storage management and clicked create new volume because there was no drive letter currently assigned.  Went through the steps to do that and the drive letter showed up but still couldn't access it.  Came into my other office today where I have a black x box and hooked it up and tried to run get data back.  The ntfs version does not recognize an NTFS partition on the disk.  However, if I run the FAT version of GDB it finds data.  When it is done finding data though it can't display it properly.  The file names are just random characters.  Any advice on where to go from here?  I fear that I have screwed it up beyond repair by accidentally changing it to a FAT file system.  But then again aren't there ways of recovering data that is even further gone than this?
Watch Question

Try any of there programs:


there are several more, just google for 'recover lost partitions'


I don't think any of those is going to do anything that get data back wont do.  My problem here is that the disk is being recognized as a FAT file system when in all actuality it is NTFS

These programs might be capable of scanning the surface of the harddisk for know filesystem-patters (such as ntfs). When you (quick)format a harddisk or create a volume as you did, only a small part of the disk which contains filesysteminformation is overwritten, the physical data on the disk isn't overwritten. I'm not sure what your 'scan and fix' did but if it didn't write to disk than software a such stated might be able to find a copy of the old filesystem table or scan the physical surface and find data.
dbruntonQuid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.

Try Active @ PartitionRecovery http://www.partition-recovery.com/

Free to try and see what it makes of your disk.

Or TestDisk

Tutorial http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk_Step_By_Step and see http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/Data_Recovery_Examples

If you use TestDisk take all caution.  As long as you don't save you'll be OK.


ok ntfsundelete actually saw the files.  The problem is it wants you to buy a license and I don't have a corporate credit card.  Is there a way I can manually change the file format from fat back to ntsf?
noxchoIT Product Manager
Top Expert 2009

Frankly speaking GetDataBack or Recuva www.recuva.com should be able to recover your data if it is possible to recover it.
Your main mistake was letting Windows CHKDSK running on this drive and second mistake is trying to format this drive.
If NTFSundelete does see the data (are you sure it sees the data but not its names?) then get a license and recover it.

Explore More ContentExplore courses, solutions, and other research materials related to this topic.