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Sleepy
28-06-2006, 10:14 PM
Hi i've just been given my brothers computer, he has a Compaq Presario S5020AN, Athlon XP 2400+, 40GB Hard Drive, 256MB RAM, CD Writer, running Windows XP Home SP1.

Now what he/someone did is used the Compaq Recovery partition, and this reset all the software back to when he brought it.

This wiped all his word documents, emails and almost a years worth of photos.

Is there any free/pay software available that i could use to recover these files? Or is there any place that would charge a reasonable amount to get it all back?

Thanks.

bob_doe_nz
28-06-2006, 11:04 PM
Probably not, in many cases it (recovery CD) overwrites what was previously there...so good luck. :dogeye:

KiwiMR2
29-06-2006, 12:33 AM
Are you sure there all gone?? There is two options with Compaq/Hp desktop recovery, destructive (so wipes EVERYTHING & back to day one) and Non destructive which only re-installs windows but leaves the data.

Cheers
KiwiMR2

Sleepy
29-06-2006, 03:01 AM
Are you sure there all gone?? There is two options with Compaq/Hp desktop recovery, destructive (so wipes EVERYTHING & back to day one) and Non destructive which only re-installs windows but leaves the data.

Cheers
KiwiMR2

Yes i'm sure there gone, they must've done the destructive option, I did a search of the computer for *.jpg and *.bmp file and go nothing. Enabled all the system folders etc.. incase it was somewhere there, but no luck. Can anyone recommend free/purchased software that will able to get these files back? That they have used and work.

Graham L
29-06-2006, 03:18 PM
Yes, Compaq recovery CDs seem to like formatting the disk. Frees lots of disk space. ;)

To see if it's worthwhile, boot a live CD Linux, such as Knoppix. Get a root prompt in a terminal window and do dd if=/dev/hda | strings -4. dd is a programme which Dumps Disk contents. I'm assuming that the disk drive will be the first ide drive "hda". The pipe ("|") sends the output to the strings command which will output any printable characters which exist in strings of four or more ("-4") and outputs them to the screen. If you see lots of recogisable words which are parts of user type things (because dd doesn't care what it's looking at ... and there are lot of strings in Microsoft Windows) you have a chance. A quick format doesn't overwrite the data, just removes the easy ways of accessing it. A Restore CD is likely to put the OS in pretty well the same places as the original, so the user data might be intact.

There are a number of programmes which will recover data... some free.

A major problem is that you must not try to recover the files to the same disk. Almost all recovery programmes write new files, unlike "undelete" programmes, which just have to fix up the directory entries. Writing files is certain to overwrite unrecovered important files while recovering less important ones. Murphy's law has no exceptions.