HELP,Fast Formatted 1.5 TB Recovering Data Techniques ???

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by angrypizza, Mar 20, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. angrypizza

    angrypizza Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Posts:
    2
    i fast formatted my external hard disk of 1.5tb with "easeus partition partition master" it was about 95%full of data,format was done from fat32 to fat32,scanning it usually takes about 3-4 days depending on the software used,waiting is not a problem ,the main problem is that i red that fragmented data will be recovered damaged so i believe i will have plenty of it

    my questions are the following

    1)is there any chance i can work through some program on the damaged/arased "partition table" of the original disk state to recover it?or an online service or someone that i can post to it damaged mbr or partition table to let them fix it?


    2)should i consider using a software that have strong carping (fixing) fragmented files capabilities to recover them if yes can you name some apart from photorec ?


    3)is there a program that will list after scanning the entire disk healthy files or corrupted files due to fragmentation ,this will help me a lot for filtering the results as i really have too much data to handle there


    4)in case point number 3) isn't there,do you know about any program that i can scan with it recovered files of all there kinds to see what is working and what is not,this will help me avoid double clicking on each considering they are thousands






    *data that i need to recover mainly is in the following order avi,audio,jpg,rar and some txt
    *disk have not been written on it since this issue
    *disk is perfectly working and does not have any physical damage
    *disk is WD elements USB 2 interface
    *no os was on it,no encryption was on it
     
  2. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Posts:
    2,565
    Active@ Partition Recovery and Active@ UNDELETE (Active@ Boot Disk includes both products) can do this (since you performed only a quick format) and should allow you to recover almost everything; it will find file table of the previous system and will allow you to recover even fragmented files.

    Most recovery programs have difficulties with fragmented files, when they perform a surface scan to identify the files. In your case is not recommended, you'll have a better luck to scan for a file table instead of a raw scan.

    Recuva (free) is great on dispaying good and bad files.
    Minitool's Power Data Recovery and Mac Data Recovery http://www.powerdatarecovery.com/ are pretty good too and offer free versions for home users.

    If you use active@ undelete or active@ partition recovery most, if not all, of your files should be fine since you performed a quick format. (Power Data Recovery should be able to do it too but haven't tested it.)
    The other programs recuva,minitool,etc. display good and bad files when you perform a deep scan so there should not be a problem identifying them.

    Panagiotis
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2011
  3. angrypizza

    angrypizza Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Posts:
    2
    thanks for your detailed answer,let me then do the easiest thing using Active Undelete , but i had some problems with it like:


    1)it will display incorrect directory tree and ascii files and folders names
    2) point 1) might appear because i am doing something wrong
    i did some scans and interrupted them to post quick results,if you check the pictures i posted you will notice there are 1 WD EXT,2 unallocated ,3 Extended ,4 logical ,the actual partition , 5 unallocated again.

    4)witch should i scan?

    5)and after it start scanning it should i wait it to finish scan completely or i can stop after 10min and scan one of the 4 partitions that founds?

    Note:
    - each scan will take at least 10 Hours
    - with another utility called "easeus partition recovery" listed the same ascii characters from scanning unallocated space just as Active undelete did


    6)i keep thinking that before writing anything to my partition table with those programs i should preview my files in there window ,is that correct ?


    https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_uOFrwVLppCw/TYjSWHrblXI/AAAAAAAAAGM/P4T1vn8YL74/2Active%20undelete%20scan%20ascii.GIF
     

    Attached Files:

  4. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Posts:
    2,565
  5. frank7

    frank7 Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
    Posts:
    130
    Hey all and what bad news for a first post. By accident I formatted my 1.5tb external drive as well. Only quick format. Used active undelete to deep scan the whole drive. Found lots of partitions and among it one in excellent condition. Since for the time I had nowhere else I chose to put the files on the same drive, same file name and file path. They all recovered great. But then when I checked a lot of the files are corrupted. Like I can't open photos or video seem to have the filename and filesize of the original file but either they don't open at all anymore or they are something completely different from another totally random video even with wrong dimensions being displayed.

    Now I am deep scanning the drive with recuva and hope to be able to recover more files. What else do you suggest? I mean I did not delete the files, only a quick format of the wrong drive and bang, gone, but not deleted, must be there on the disk with the right file content and name hopefully.

    Should I give the disk to a professional? But then what about confidentiality? Can I trust anyone else besides myself when handling my precious data? Like photos from the family from years back, good deep memories and lots of needed documents as well. text files also have the right name but the content is all gibberish.

    I hope someone can tell me that I will get the data back healthy at some point and that it is possible, I just can't get over the fact that first I formatted the otherwise perfectly working seagate drive and that by doing so I now know that it was a very very very bad mistake and it makes me feel dumb and lost.
     
  6. Hugger

    Hugger Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Posts:
    1,003
    Location:
    Hackensack, USA
    I feel for you.
    I know nothing about recovering your data, but as I read your posts I keep thinking that you should find an outside service to do the work for you.
    As for being reliable, I guess you could check with the BBB to see if they had any complaints filed against them.
    My final thought is why, if this drive contains such precious material, do you not have it backed up on another drive that is not permanently attached to your pc?
    Good luck.
    Hugger
     
  7. frank7

    frank7 Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
    Posts:
    130
    Thanks for your reply.

    Yes the more "work" I try to do on the drive the more I have the impression I will only make it worse.

    Perhaps I should not have restored the data to the same drive?

    The strange thing is though that when testing to restore single files, for example one particular corrupt video that should for example be a birthday video and something like a video from school graduation comes up, it is the result that active undelete has found in a deep scan.

    Even when I restore it to a new drive or another partition it is not the birthday video but the graduation video. All the file paths and original file locations are fine though, so the folder structure is still complete and readable, not like in the screenshots above. So I would hope the data inside is too.

    So I have no clue to check if the available data is the right one, if the date and other file attributes are correct. Basically it just gives me any data and squeezes it into the recovered files no matter if it is right or not.

    The run with revuca has finished and here I can clearly see that the file headers are bogged for the photo files, well at least some of them. At times whole albums at times only 2-3 photos per album.

    Is there a way of fixing the file headers somehow?

    Are they lost from the quick format?

    I mean I did not DBAN this drive, merely a quick format so the damn data should be there somewhere, no?

    What other software could I try to run on the drive?

    Thanks for any help towards this. Not even having a backup from the drive makes me feel even worse and really totally dumb now.
     
  8. frank7

    frank7 Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
    Posts:
    130
    GetDataBack also gives me mostly missing or damaged file headers after scanning. Where are the headers gone and can I somehow restore them? All my documents are also lost it seems. At first I thought the recovery went fine but then looking at the files I see it is all messed up. If anyone has an idea what I could try lastly before I give this to a lab it would help me quite a bit. Thanks.
     
  9. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2007
    Posts:
    829
    If I where you I would give testdisk a try. I recovered data from 400gb drives that got damaged during partitioning accidents (the 2 times I used it, it restored all my data). It has an addon called photorec that can recover data when the partitions can't be rebuild/restored.
    Very powerful program and its free. Will run from a gparted livecd or from within windows using only the testdisk/photorec exe file (no installation required).
    Testdisk has always worked for me where other programs wouldn't even recognize the drive as a valid drive.
     
  10. frank7

    frank7 Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
    Posts:
    130
    Great! Thanks for your reply. Will give that a shot.

    Feel slightly better today in terms of having lost, or perhaps not quite lost, dear family memories. Got in touch with a professional data recovery and still need to hear back from them in terms of recovering data from a drive that has gotten written over by the original data already. I still can't believe how completely utterly braindead it was to overwrite the drive again.
     
  11. frank7

    frank7 Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
    Posts:
    130
    Just to update this, jonyjoe81, your suggestion with TestDisk and PhotoRec, did indeed help, I have gotten back most of the data, however not all the file headers are there, so to speak I have gotten about 75% of the original data back. This mistake I did was hopefully (fingers crossed, touches wood) the only one in my life, later I found out that on another laptop I have most of the precious family photos and videos that were basically the missing 25% from the formatted drive, so to speak, in the end things here are not that bad.

    All this however has thought me a big big lesson and I have now copied valuable files, photos, videos to another external drive that I just have for backup. Thanks for the input again. TestDisk is indeed powerful when you learn how to use it and want to avoid paying thousands of $, £, etc for professional data extraction.
     
  12. andyman35

    andyman35 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Posts:
    2,336
    If you ever find yourself in a similar situation,I strongly suggest that before doing a thing,you create a full disk image of the affected drive.You can then mount that image and run any data recovery utilities upon the image.That way if anything goes wrong you can always just create a new image to work on;preserving the original.
     
  13. pidbo

    pidbo Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2006
    Posts:
    198
    I don't think it's a good idea to save the recovered files to the same drive, you have to be careful not to overwrite the files that you are trying to recover. If you have problems with a drive that is not accessible sometimes you can re format it in the same format exactly (fat32, ntfs, or whatever) as previously and then your recovery software will "see" it and work to retrieve data to a seperate drive in the same format. You won't save your operating system but you may save some precious family or work files. You want the drive that you are tring to recover data from to be as undisturbed after the event that initially spoiled it, as possible. This is often a long process to recover files (it wont be a ten minute job) and different recovery softwares have different success rates


     
  14. frank7

    frank7 Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
    Posts:
    130
    andyman35 and pidbo, thanks for your replies. Your advice is for sure what I would have done or should have done at the time, but being shocked and all I took things too hasty and without thinking properly. I should have just rested the whole thing for a week and then started work on it, instead of doing things under state of shock. Naturally I made the wrong choices, but luckily I did get back most of the data. Hopefully this will stay a once-in-a-lifetime mistake (knocks on wood), it has surly thought me a though lesson, but through this I have gotten much more precise when it comes to computer work. Thanks for your input!

    In this thread I have learned that for example OSFClone and OSFMount and FTK Imager are good for imaging drives before starting recovery and extraction work.

    You won't believe but at the time I did not even have another drive of the same or bigger size to actually copy an image to it. I basically got caught with my pants down and it has surly taught me a lot!
     
  15. pidbo

    pidbo Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2006
    Posts:
    198
    frank7, I'm glad that you managed to get back most of your data. I'm sure this has happened to us all at one time or another, I have lost everything completely, twice, I know that feeling in the pit of your stomach and the face turning white, particularly when you have sentimental family stuff that has gone. I learned over the years that backup, backup, backup, is the thing. Always be sure if that big drive with all your stuff on it drops down dead you can slip in another drive and that you will at least have most of your stuff on it and be up and running again quickly...it's still maybe not quite the same but better than it all going down the plughole.
    When a drive is up and running try not to let it get too far without that backup or image safely tucked away outside the box, it's tempting when everything seems to be working well to get lazy and think I'll do it next week or later sometime. Been there done that.
    I know I first used a pc at a local university "lab" in the mid nineties and students used to save all their work to floppy drives; lots of times I'd see them lose everything when the floppies packed in or an accident had occured, most of those young people had never used a pc before uni and used to say things like "it was there a minute ago" and then gradually it dawned on them! I can remember the beseeching, panic stricken looks in their eyes to this day.
    Best wishes for the future Pid

     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.