Unformat Toshiba hard drive

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millitheKidd

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Dec 28, 2010
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Ok, I want to approach this very carefully. I'm a web developer, not a hardware guy. So, here's what I did. I'm working on a Toshiba laptop (L665 or something, not sure, it's pretty new) for a lady and I was going to wipe it for her, so I booted up with Parted Magic 5.7 and unhid the HDDRECOVERY (E:) partition because I was looking for a place to drop some pictures before I wiped out the C: partition. So I thought, "Oh I'll just drop the photos in that partition, wipe it, and then move everything back over, being careful not to mess up any of the restore files". Then I realized her My Pictures folder was larger than the free space left on that restore partition. So then I thought, "Oh, I'll just create a new partition like (F:) drive, dump all her grandkids photos in there (believe me, there was a LOT), and then move everything back over after the wipe and delete that partition when I'm done". Here's what happened. I went through the regular factory Toshiba OS restore thing and I guess it deleted my F: drive partition with, yep, all her pictures. Man, what to do now? Is there a way to like unformat this drive and get that partition/pictures folder back even though I let it go ahead and set Windows 7 back up last night? I didn't do anything else to it, I just let it run it's course and set Windows back up.

Any advice will be very appreciated, but if anyone has a step by step procedure, that would be awesome.

milli
 

millitheKidd

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Sorry guys, for some reason my colon/parenthesis turned into smileys. I'm new here, can you tell? :)
 
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Unfortunately, I don't think that you can "unformat" a drive. What you could do, is if Windows is set up and everything you could get an un-delete program to try and recover the files, but the chances of that working are slim, but you could try it. You might not get all of the photos. :(
A decent un-delete program: http://ntfsundelete.com/downloads/ntfsundelete.exe
 
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You could always try "Recuva", to recover the lost files. It can be found on the same page in my signature that says "CCleaner/Defraggler"
 
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There's still expensive hopes if you haven't done anything on that hard drive after the partition was destroyed: send it to a data recovery professional, or pay for recovery software and pray it works. I've tried several free programs, ways, anything, to recover files during my tech career and, dude, none of them ever worked. Sometimes, and just sometimes, a hard drive would come back from a specialist with files in it; however, I never tried to purchase software as wasting cash and having an unsolved problem in hands gets you fired instantly.
 

millitheKidd

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Dec 28, 2010
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Wow you guys are awesome. I downloaded PhotoRec and ntfsundelete but I haven't installed ntfsundelete yet. However I do have PhotoRec scanning right now and it has already found so much stuff including 356 jpegs. Whew, I think I'm gonna be okay. Thanks guys for all your help.

~milli~ Next time, I'll be more careful; like as in, burning someones stuff to CD/DVD. Lesson learned.
 
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For future use, try looking into a program called "RecoverMyFiles." It is a paid program but works very well, even on formatted drives. It can find and recover Office docs, pics, etc. Costs about $80 I believe, and takes a LONG time to scan an entire harddrive. I've used it on a formatted drive with success.
 

DoubleHelix

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You might want to verify that you can actually open the files you're recovering. Pictures are especially susceptible to corruption when recovered. The files might exist, but they might not open.
 

millitheKidd

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Thanks guys for all who answered. DoubleHelix, I did have that problem on a digital camera one time where I had to retrieve some deleted photos for my brother-in-law. I used about 3 different programs including Recuva and out of all the photos recovered, a couple of them were corrupted. It was weird, Windows would show the thumbnail fine but when you clicked on it to make it full size, it was like grayed out or something. Or half of the photo was grayed out.
geek117 thanks for that, I did go and check that site out, and it sounds good, but they want like $69.00 dollars or something. Right now, I'm a little short on cash, know what I mean? PhotoRec finally got through scanning and I clicked on a couple of jpegs and they opened fine, but you just never know, heck it recovered so many files, I've got my work cut out for me just going through everything. Whew, I dread it. :eek:

Once again, thanks guys. ~milli the Kidd~
 

millitheKidd

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Solved: guys thanks for all who responded; I just wanted to let everyone know what I did. I downloaded EASEUS Partition Recovery 5.0.1 and it worked absolutely great. I got my deleted partition back with ALL the pictures that were in there too. And it was FREE! I even went as far as opening up several pictures just to make sure they weren't corrupted and every one of them opened right up.

http://www.easeus.com/partition-recovery/

I highly recommend it.
 
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