View Full Version : Recover Data, Formatted HDD

The Error Guy
21-05-2010, 11:04 PM
Ok, I screwed it bad this time!
I (was) fixing a mates laptop (HP Pavillion DV6000) that had a problem with the display and never booted properly. I was going to re-install the OS (Vista) through HP's built-in Recovery Manager. I plugged in my external HD to back up data and whilst doing so my arm brushed against the touchpad selecting the option not to back up data and Restore to factory settings.
Realizing my mistake I pulled the power but it won't boot (bootmgr is missing) the "format" part of the restore process finished in less than 1 second so i'm hoping it was a quick format and his data will be recoverable.

its been a while since I last recovered anything from a format so whats the best way to go about this? its a laptop HDD so restore software really has to be a boot CD/USB.

Thanks for any help... I'm screwed if I dont fix this :p

ill try to restore the bootmgr and see if I can salvage anything but I think most of it will be gone

The Error Guy
21-05-2010, 11:21 PM
No OS exists anymore, bootmgr was a waste of time :(

22-05-2010, 12:47 AM
DON'T write anything to the disk.
Get yourself a copy of testdisk and use it to look for and restore the backup partition records.

22-05-2010, 12:57 AM
Go buy yourself a USB/SATA/PATA adapter like this (you may need a powered USB hub to power the laptop SATA drive thru this as well)
and use something like Recuva to recover the data
If the recovery partition no longer exists you may have to call HP to get recovery discs.

22-05-2010, 01:42 AM
Is a useful live Linux CD which includes Testdisk
which fred fish mentioned...it has saved my a$$
a few times, not to mention the brownie points
I got by recovering the Monster in laws' photos
after she had accidentally deleted them

22-05-2010, 11:07 AM
It completely depends on what has happened.

Its totally different if the HDD has been formatted or partly formatted compared to items deleted.

Just finished a customers PC the exact same thing, using all the programs listed above as well as a few others that are VERY good.

Took just over 2 days of scanning, even letting programs run overnight. Only managed to recover a 100 or so photos of the many that were there.
It didn't worry them to much as they had some on the camera still.

The customers PC had been partly formatted, and the OS totally screwed, Vista as well, in fact there were multi copies of partitions, where there should have been only One.

SERIOUS -- if the data is so important - send the drive to a professional - it costs more, but they will have a far better chance of recovering the data - mucking about if you have no idea what you are doing with the above programs only will cause further lose.

The Error Guy
22-05-2010, 08:26 PM
ok I ended up using a Program called Active@. it seems to have worked reasonably well. just lots of multiple copies of stuff. unfortunately a folder on the desktop that contained most of his stuff has disappeared (the guy was desktop junkie) ill see if I can scrape it together again and save face but I should be ok

Thanks for the help!

22-05-2010, 08:50 PM
The Active@ undelete 7 is one I had the most success with - I used the Professional version. Had the same results with copies, for example all photos had multi copies, all of the same size (Thats what I filtered for only photos).

An example if one was called 0001.jpg it had anywhere from 20 -37 copies 0001.jpg(1), 0001.jpg(2) etc.

Just remember with Vista, the desktop will be under ( from Memory) C Drive - Users - User Name - Desktop.

Some of the other recovery programs mentioned previously were completely hopeless.