Sony Vaio - any chance of getting old data back after a Sony system restore?

BeGentleWithMe-INeedHelp
BeGentleWithMe-INeedHelp used Ask the Experts™
on
Got a sony vaio laptop running vista.  there was some sort of problem and the user did a system restore from the hidden extra partition on the drive, losing all their data in the process since it set the  machine back to how it was when new.

any chance with any of the apps I have running that they will find data on the unused sectors?  would a data recovery firm have better luck?

I'm running recover my files, getdataback, easus data recovery pro.

they are all running and will take a while.  but curious if the reimage includes wiping free space?
Comment
Watch Question

Do more with

Expert Office
EXPERT OFFICE® is a registered trademark of EXPERTS EXCHANGE®
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
The reimage process wipes the drive clean to bring it back to "out-of-the-box" specification in terms of operating system.

So short of a recovery firm, no, I do not think you can recover this data. I think a recovery firm would have a slimmer than average chance because of the reimage (not just crashed and stopped).

Overall, in this situation, slim chance. .... Thinkpads_User
Top Expert 2012
Commented:
You might be able to recover data if the reimage only copied data up to the size of the recovery partition; ie, if the drive was 100GB and the recovery partition was 10GB, anything after 10GB might be recoverable.  This is the reason why discarding drives safely requires a full wipe of the drive with ones and zeroes.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018
Commented:
A working Vista system (expanded from a compressed recovery partition) takes about 40Gb. Still a good thought and worth pursuing.

.... Thinkpads_User
Top Expert 2013
Commented:
it may be possible to recover the data that was NOT overwritten in the factory restore process, but i fear all overwritten data will be lost
noxchoIT Product Manager
Top Expert 2009
Commented:
Agree with posts above. The system image restore your client used does not wipe the hard drive. It simply recreates the partition structure and copies there data from factory image.
If the overwritten partition had more data than it has now - you will be able to restore exactly what exceeded the size of currently restored data.
The overwritten data will not be restored by GDB or other tools.
Using GetDataBack, I got the directory tree.  Just knowing file names of what you lost would seem to have some small value.

When I go to copy off the files from the hard drive, I get (and the directory tree reflects this) several files with the same name then (x) where x is an incrementing number.

I've tried opening any of those files but get gibberish (word with docx file types) or mp3 or mp4 gets 'wrong file type).

a couple .doc files do open to what I am assuming is the correct data -  the couple I tried were shorter letters.

I am trying recovermyfiles now.

any other ideas / apps?
Top Expert 2013
Commented:
here a list of recovery software i use or recommend :
      http://www.pcinspector.de/file_recovery/UK/welcome.htm      pc Inspector -FREE -
      http://www.piriform.com/recuva/download/standard            FREE  -  Recuva
      http://www.stellarinfo.com/                              Stellar
http://www.ontrack.com/                              Ontrack
http://www.recovermyfiles.com/                              RecoverMyFiles

note : while GDB is a very good one, sometimes others, like stellar give a better result

here a free recovery service  (not tried yet)
http://freedatarecovery.us/                              Free Data Recovery
and a low cost one :
http://www.lowcostrecovery.com/index.html                        data recovery Company
a good, and cheap one :
http://www.gillware.com/
noxchoIT Product Manager
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
Seems like the file system structure is a mess. PCInspector recommended my nobus does also good work try it.
I was able to get files back with getdataback.  most were not usable.  some m4A files played!  some .doc files had text, some pictures were viewable.  

thanks!
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
yeah - not always success in these cases

Do more with

Expert Office
Submit tech questions to Ask the Experts™ at any time to receive solutions, advice, and new ideas from leading industry professionals.

Start 7-Day Free Trial