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How to undelete parts of a formatted disk

Posted on 2016-10-20
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Last Modified: 2016-10-26
I was setting up Windows 10 so I dragged some files and folders to Onedrive for Business by way of backup. Let then W10 format the drive and installed. Runs fine, but upon inspection OneDrive for Business has the files but not the folders. I do not understand it and wonder what to do. Can I still undelete the files on the formatted disk?
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Question by:TheoRichel
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20 Comments
 
LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:William Fulks
ID: 41852272
Did you start formatting before it finished uploading all your files? Seems odd that it missed the folders unless you ran into some kind of file security area.

Anyway, yes you can try using some file recovery software but results may vary depending on how much you've written to the disk since formatting.

One I've used before is made by EaseUs and it's free. There's a ton of paid ones out there too that may do a better job. http://www.easeus.com/datarecoverywizard/free-data-recovery-software.htm
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Author Comment

by:TheoRichel
ID: 41852286
Thanks. No I didnt start the formatting before I finished uploading the files. It's 5 gigs and I kept on eye on it to see if the upload was ready or not, and it took the time I expected for the quantity.  I thought I saw that everuything was there, but well it wasnt. I was aware of the EaseUS software and I will check out your link, so thanks again.
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LVL 55

Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 41852332
The best undelete experience I ever had (and I had some): https://www.runtime.org/data-recovery-software.htm
The best free one: http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk

As a general rule: to recover as much data as possible: stop working on that disk, shut down win10. Connect that disk to another working system as a second drive and recover from there.
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 41853320
since you installed W10  - it may have overwritten your data, so your chances are not good for recovery
for recovery, McKNife posted the best tools i know
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Author Comment

by:TheoRichel
ID: 41853623
So far I am trying out EaseUs and it has found a lot of recoverable files. Point is I am not after a few files of which I know the names, but after the contents of a specific directory, and the directory structure is unavailable now, The files it has found are ordered per file type.
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LVL 55

Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 41853877
We cannot help you with the state of your drive, you need to try these tools.
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LVL 92

Accepted Solution

by:
nobus earned 250 total points
ID: 41853948
then i recommend GetDataBack - it preserves the folder structure
But it is not free
However it will show for free what it can recover - then it's up to you to decide to buy it or not
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Author Comment

by:TheoRichel
ID: 41854088
@nobus: I am trying GetDataBack out. They want me to install it on a healthy system and then connect the formatted drive to it. But this is a laptop and I wouldnt know how to turn it into an external drive. So I connected an external drive to the laptop, installed GDB on that drive and ran it, but to no avail, it only seems to see the newly installed files, the Lost&Found directory remains empty.
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LVL 55

Assisted Solution

by:McKnife
McKnife earned 250 total points
ID: 41854101
Look at the link I gave you: https://www.runtime.org/data-recovery-software.htm
There is a section "Run GetDataBack from the Runtime Live CD or a WinPE Boot Medium" - that applies to you.
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Author Comment

by:TheoRichel
ID: 41855312
@McKnife: Thanks. I understand the procedure. However, when I use Winbuilder to make a Win10 PE version I steer it to the usb-stick with the W10 files that I used to install W10 on the laptop in question. But though that source is good Winbuilder complains that it cannot detect the W10 source and exits. Reading elsewhere I understand this has something to do with a Wim-file and with a product key. I have that product key, so ????

The Windows version on the laptop (was 7, is now 10) is not important for the coice of the Winbuilder version is it?
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LVL 55

Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 41855335
Before troubling, why not use the other option, the "runtime live cd"?
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 41855364
yep - seems much easier, and faster to me too
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Author Comment

by:TheoRichel
ID: 41855371
Oh gentlemen you make me feel so stupid.

However: I should shut down the laptop now and insert te live cd (usb) to boot from, but...W10 wants to update and I see no option to avoid that. Just pull the plug?
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LVL 55

Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 41855384
Open a command prompt, and launch
shutdown -f -s -t 0
It will then shutdown immediately.
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Author Comment

by:TheoRichel
ID: 41855460
Hmm it then says 'Getting Windows Ready, dont turn off your computer
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Author Comment

by:TheoRichel
ID: 41855463
Í've turned it off nevertheless
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Author Comment

by:TheoRichel
ID: 41855468
But to no avail. When I start it again the updating screen is there again
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Author Comment

by:TheoRichel
ID: 41855475
Had not shutdown properly. Have done so now. GatDataBack is running
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 41855760
ok post results
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Author Closing Comment

by:TheoRichel
ID: 41860335
I have recovered a lot and now I will have to wade through thousands of files, but it seems like I goit everything back, so thanks a lot.
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