View Full Version : Formatted & reinstalled: Data recovery possible?

11-10-2004, 01:10 AM
Hey guys,

me dad formatted and reinstalled xp the other night, and he backed up to a pst file all his contacts and mail from outlookxp, but on trying to imprt the file it says, "Not a valid PST file", like the absolute biatch you expect MS software to be...

Anyway I was wondering, is there any chance, that for free, we could use some progam to look up what was previously on the hard drive?

I used that prog that was on a pcw disk called... ummm... it started with, murphies law would have it that i've now lost the disk... but yeah that prog was for non nt only..

Another thing tho before we/I go on this crazy data hunt, what do ya reckon the chances are of getting data back, when the drive was a full format ntfs, and xp has been reinstalled... when the new data overwrites the old data, does it start at the start, or push everything.... IE, does the last part of the drive fall off the edge of the hard drive, or does it just overwrite from teh start?


11-10-2004, 01:26 AM

If you stop using it know and take it to an Expert, you will get some back if you know file names ect. Does the data justify the (What will be) Savage cost of such.

some one here will /should be able to advise about some easy to use recovery programs used with some sucess.

The more you use it the worse/harder it gets obviously.


Greg S
11-10-2004, 04:33 AM
For free? Your chances are zilch. Even if you're desperate and need the data, there's still only a percentage of the data that would be recoverable, and Murphy says the data you want will be lost

11-10-2004, 08:57 AM
Try these two and see if they work.
here (http://www.webattack.com/get/restoration.html)
here (http://www.pcinspector.de/file_recovery/uk/faq.htm)

11-10-2004, 09:04 AM
If your money is unlimited, then data recovery experts may be able to help.

The PST file is usually very large and therefore likely to be fragmented. That makes recovery a very expensive and time consuming job (if even possible) as the file will be in bits across the drive.

Try the following on the PST file you have saved however:

Alan Cottrell
11-10-2004, 09:58 AM
Hello Willie,

Before trying any data recovery programmes,

Make sure that you are performing the import function correctly.

If you have backed up the PST file to CDR or CDRW media, you will need to copy the PST file to a location on your Hard Drive, then change the attributes from read only to archive (or on xp just uncheck read only)

After performing the above tasks, try the import function again, this time importing the archived file from your hard drive.

If your PST is indeed corrupted the chances of recovery range from excellent to zilch, (depends entirely on the size of the drive and the amount of fragmentation) if you have a 120GB drive and are using 20GB the chances would be excellent, if you are using a 20GB with 15GB used the chances would be much less and so on.

Also compressed files are more difficult to recover from fragmented drives than uncompressed also reducing chances of successful recovery.

However there are plenty of tools out there that will at least tell you if your PST is recoverable (easyrecovery and magicrecovery are two that are very good) you can download the demos and they will tell you if the file is recoverable or not.

You can then make your mind up as to if it's worth purchasing the programme or trying the professional approach.



Billy T
11-10-2004, 06:44 PM
I would take Godfather's advice and run scanpst. It has twice recovered corrupted pst files for me with no loss of data. It makes a backup before it starts anyway so you have nothing to lose.

It can take several passes to complete its work, so be very very patient, but what's time when you get the result at the end? The only drawback was that all files earlier than the (presumed) corruption point were unable to be deleted.


Billy 8-{)