Is there a way of recovering outlook archive files from formatted drive?

I have a customer who has formatted there drive and re-install vista, they thought they had saved all of there data inc pst. but they did not save the outlook archives, is there a way oif recovering these??
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Muhammad Ahmad ImranDatabase DeveloperCommented:
you can try to install file recovery software and scan for pst files. success will depend entirely on how the format was performed and how long they have been using the reformated drive. the longer they use the lesser the chance of getting it recovered.

if it is just reformatted using quick format. the chance to recover it is hi.

I suggest using

Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
If they reinstalled Vista, then the odds of recovery are virtually ZERO.  MAYBE slightly better than that... but not too much better.  You can try programs like GetDataBack and others, but odds are because the disk has been written to, it's gone.  The one last hope might be to send the drive to a data recovery service - IF they feel the archives are worth the $400+ it would cost to potentially recover it.
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Don't install the recovery software on the HD you want to recover from, but rather connect it to another PC where that tool is installed on, then use it to scan the disk. I prefer getdataback mentioned by leew above. Provided only The OS and not much else has been installed, chances are that the area the files were on are still untouched. In such a situation recovery is possible. If on the other hand those areas where the data was on has been overwritten with other files, chances are low. With getdataback you can scan the disk using the trial version. If it sees the files you need you can register the tool in order to be able to copy the files off:
Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
When a disk is formatted (quickly), the File Allocation Table (index of disk contents) is cleared but the actual data that was on the disk is not erased, just the index to the position the files are located at is destroyed.

Having re-install a new OS on the drive, a lot of those files will have been overwritten, but there will be many that haven't.

If you are lucky, the area on the disk that the archives are located won't have been overwritten and you might be able to recover them, but whatever you do - DO NOT INSTALL ANY MORE SOFTWARE or use the PC if you want any chance of recovery.  The more you use the PC, the less chance of recovery there is.

Pull the drive out and use one of the tools suggested above or send the disk away for recovery if you want to recover anything.  At this stage, you might be better off buying a new HDD and re-installing the OS on that and then you can carry on working whilst working out what to do.

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Since you have installed Vista after the format, it is very likely that the PST data are overwritten by the new installed files. So the chances of getting back the Outlook PST data is very low.

Anyway, you can try Advanced Outlook Data Recovery at

Maybe it can recover a small portion of the PST data that have not been overwritten yet. Please note you must output the fixed PST file to another disk or drive to prevent overwrite your data again.
pcspcs2011Author Commented:
many thanks for all your help, As suggested i could not recover any files as they had already been over written
Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
So why have you split the points the way you have when earlier comments advise the same things?
pcspcs2011Author Commented:
alanhardisty, these were the solutions i chose to follow sorry?
pcspcs2011Author Commented:
Apologies, very new to this and I thought i should accept the answer that i tried?? Sorry to cause such a fuss!
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