please tell me there is a way to recovery a file after a format!

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Feb 23, 2003
There are companies that do data recovery but it is very expensive..Do a google search for data recovery.
Oct 26, 2001
Not easy to do but don't use the PC till you have to. I have never used ir know how to do this but am posting what I have read.

Norton Utilities 2001 5.0 - Win9x/Me

Knowledge Base

print this document Document ID:19971110124656
Last Modified:01/24/2001

Tech Manual, App (DOS) - Unformat

Unformat restores a disk's boot record, file allocation table (FAT), and root directory so you can recover damaged or accidentally formatted disks.

The information on a disk is stored in two areas: the system area and the data area. The system area contains bookkeeping information: the boot record, the file allocation table (FAT), and the root directory that DOS uses to find files on the disk. The data area contains the actual data in your files.

On a hard disk, the DOS FORMAT command reinitializes the system area but does not overwrite the data area. Even though the disk appears to be empty when you use the DIR command (the message "No files found" appears), the data that made up your files still exists.

When you run Unformat, it searches the disk for lost bookkeeping information stored in a file called IMAGE.DAT created by the Norton Utilities Image program. This program takes a snapshot of the critical system information area of the hard disk. The recovery process is faster and more reliable with an Image file. However, Unformat can also use a file called MIRROR.DAT, created by other utility programs. Unformat can still recover data without either of these files, but it may not completely recover all of the files. At the very least, without these files, the root directory will be lost. In some situations, you might not get any useful data.

Function guide

Use Unformat to recover a floppy disk or hard disk partition. You can also use Unformat to rebuild a disk corrupted due to a power failure or one that has been damaged by a virus. Although you can run Unformat from a network, you cannot unformat a network drive.

Choose Unformat from the Norton Utilities main screen after booting from the Emergency Disks, or type UNFORMAT at the DOS prompt. Select the drive to recover. Unformat then asks whether you have created an Image file. Answer Yes, even if you are not sure. The Image file, for example, may exist on the disk because other utilities, such as Speed Disk, create it automatically when they run.

If Unformat cannot find the Image file, it still tries to reconstruct the disk. However, it renames subdirectories directly under the root directory to DIR0, DIR1, and so on. All filenames in the root directory will be lost; however, you can use the manual unerase procedure to attempt to recover these files.

Associated Files:


drive: ......... Drive letter of disk to UnFormat.

/IMAGE ......... Uses Image recovery information (excludes Mirror information). (Preferred Option).

/MIRROR ........ Uses Mirror recovery information (excludes Image information).

/G0 (Zero) ..... Disables graphical mouse and all graphical characters.

/BW, /LCD ...... Improves display on monochrome or LCD monitors.
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