USB drive format -any way to un-format?

Hi All, in a little bit of a pickle here. I did what i know i shouldn't have - i took an End Users word for something and now im in a bit of  trouble.

back story: user tells me to configure a usb drive (a seagate 2tb) for time machine (he is using a imac with 10.10.4 os). he says that he thinks he has some info on the drive. i check the drive - i see nothing there, does not even come up on the mac. seems to be formatted for FAT32. i ask him is he sure he was backing anything up to it - he says it never worked right,  but he wants time machine to work

i format the drive for mac, split it into 2 partitions (1tb each), one dedicated to time machine

only now do i find out that unbeknownst to me the user had a parallels install from which they were copying the files to the usb.

So the question is: is there any utility i can use that would let me see the contents of the drive before  the format? Very important as the EU is an executive.

thanks very much in advance...
wolfgordonAsked:
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

strungCommented:
Just to clarify, are you asking whether you can recover data from a drive after formatting and partition it?
0
wolfgordonAuthor Commented:
yes, i would like to retrieve the files that were there before the format / partition occurred.
0
C_ParlatoCommented:
I've had some success with http://www.recovermyfiles.com/ but its not free.

I've also used PhotoRec, but it's a pain in the butt.   It's free though.  http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/PhotoRec
0

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Cloud Class® Course: Microsoft Azure 2017

Azure has a changed a lot since it was originally introduce by adding new services and features. Do you know everything you need to about Azure? This course will teach you about the Azure App Service, monitoring and application insights, DevOps, and Team Services.

rindiCommented:
Scan the disk using getdataback, and if you see any files that would be usable, register the tool so you can copy the data off.

http://runtime.org

But basically if you didn't see anything on the disk before formatting it, it is unlikely that you'll see anything now.
0
strungCommented:
Macs can read both FAT32 and NTFS as well as their native format, so if there was anything on the drive before you formatted it, you should have seen it.  The exception is that any files whose name begins with a period are invisible to a Mac, but it seems unlikely that all the file names would begin with periods.

Either there was nothing on the drive to begin with or the drive was so badly corrupted that nothing could be seen.
0
nobusCommented:
i would run a disk diagnostic on the drive first - to ensure it works ok
you can use the UBCD for this :
Hardware diagnostic CD    UBCD

go to the download page, scroll down to the mirror section, and  click on a mirror to start the download
Download the UBCD and make the cd   <<==on a WORKING PC, and boot the problem PC from it
Here 2 links, one to the general site, and a direct link to the download

since the downloaded file is an ISO file, eg ubcd527.iso - so you need to use an ISO burning tool
if you don't have that software, install cdburnerXP : http://cdburnerxp.se/

If you want also the Ram tested - run memtest86+ at least 1 full pass,  - you should have NO errors!
 
For disk Diagnostics run the disk diag for your disk brand (eg seagate diag for seagate drive)  from the HDD section -  long or advanced diag !  (runs at least for30 minutes)

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/                        ultimate boot cd
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/download.html             download page

**  you can make a bootable cd - or bootable usb stick

for completeness -here's how i handle disk problems : http://www.experts-exchange.com/Storage/Hard_Drives/A_3000-The-bad-hard-disk-problem.html
0
nobusCommented:
i would run a disk diagnostic on the drive first - to ensure it works ok
you can use the UBCD for this :
Hardware diagnostic CD    UBCD

go to the download page, scroll down to the mirror section, and  click on a mirror to start the download
Download the UBCD and make the cd   <<==on a WORKING PC, and boot the problem PC from it
Here 2 links, one to the general site, and a direct link to the download

since the downloaded file is an ISO file, eg ubcd527.iso - so you need to use an ISO burning tool
if you don't have that software, install cdburnerXP : http://cdburnerxp.se/

If you want also the Ram tested - run memtest86+ at least 1 full pass,  - you should have NO errors!
 
For disk Diagnostics run the disk diag for your disk brand (eg seagate diag for seagate drive)  from the HDD section -  long or advanced diag !  (runs at least for30 minutes)

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/                        ultimate boot cd
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/download.html             download page

**  you can make a bootable cd - or bootable usb stick

for completeness -here's how i handle disk problems : http://www.experts-exchange.com/Storage/Hard_Drives/A_3000-The-bad-hard-disk-problem.html
0
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Your online hope is GetDataBack www.runtime.org
If it fails to find the data on it - then send the drive to professional recovery services such as Gillware.
0
wolfgordonAuthor Commented:
the program found some of the files, which was good enough. thanks
0
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Mac OS X

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.