Help! I formatted my hard drive!



Ok, basicly I “quick formated” my SATA hard drive, all the data is on there I am sure, as Restorer2000 found it all in perfect condition. Problem is I havnt got $150 to buy the program (and dont want warez).

PC Inspector File Recovery and iolo Search and Recover 2 havnt been able to find anything for some reason.

Basicly, is there a way I can get the data back without paying loads of money for a program, either freeware, or a trial version with no limit on the amount of files I can get back or file sizes, the trial version so far have file size limits, and some of the files I need to get back are DVD vobs of over 1GB.

Ben :slight_smile:


What OS are you using? Is this drive just a slave/extra storage? Yes there are other ways to retrieve without $$$$$$$$$$$$$$. (provided the scenario is right):slight_smile:


It doesnt have a OS on it, but I am using Windows XP Pro SP2, it is NTFS, and it is just extra storage drive.
Ben :slight_smile:


Try this ben? and Good luck!



Disconnect your primary HDD with XP on it. Connect your Slave as your only HDD. When you boot up, install XP to the drive. I’m not sure about program files, but any vobs or large files that normally dont get touched in a defrag should be there. Then you can install burning software and put them on disc. This worked for me running 2K.


Nothing personal but Ben may want to try that prog first? Just incase the XP writes over them?



So I install XP on that drive?

Isnt there a risk that the files will be overwriten?

I tried PC Inspector and it is unable to find any files for some reason.


PC Inspector File Recovery and iolo Search and Recover 2 havnt been able to find anything for some reason.
None taken, and yea I’m not sure if it will overwrite, as I’m not cochre with XP, but provided its NTFS format (which it will be) it will only install the OS, not reformat. Ben Its a last resort.:slight_smile:


Isnt there a risk that the files will be overwriten?
Theres always a risk.:frowning: Sorry.



GetDataBack has worked great for me before, but the NTFS version costs $79.


Ontrack’s EasyRecovery application series have a good reputation, .


Many years ago, Norton Utilities had program ‘unformat’ I used it once on FAT system, but maybe they have new versions.

I found some page with some names


Ok, I found a program called “Handy Recovery 2.0”, that seems to find the files, but it limits to 1 file per day.

Basicly have all the free ones been mentioned, and there is nothing for around $20.

Ben :slight_smile:


scroll down and find freeware v1 @


The freeware version doesnt find much at all, like most of the file recovery programs I have tried.

Freeware (v1):

Shareware (v2):


but it’s $39.


I was about to recomend the same as I have used it in the past and it worked great (had corupted, overlaping partitions) and got most of the files back intact though I lost the file names. Have you seen what they are friggin charging for it now though? The 89$ version only allows 25 files to be recovered per session and only 5 sessions (that sounds like a free trial, not a 89 dollar package). Even the several hundred dollar packages limit you to 20 recovery sessions (I know, hopfully you wouldn’t have to use it that many times but still, for 500$ I would think you would get unlimited use). It used to be a lot cheaper. I guess they have gotten pretty proud of thier software.


I decided to buy the Handy Recovery 2 program, but they still havnt sent me my serial (its been hours - they are normally sent in seconds), oh well, guess thats what I get for actually buying the software :frowning:

Ben :slight_smile: