Accidentally deleted a drive

I have two drives. A 1TB SSD I intended to install windows on and a 500GB media HDD

In trying to install windows, I accidentally clicked ‘delete,’ on the 500GB drive volume and them immediately shut down the computer and removed the SATA connector.

In disk management now, my 500GB drive now comes up ‘unallocated.’
Can my files even be recovered? I’m assuming not.

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You should be able to get most everything back with a bit of patience and persistence. The most important thing is that you don’t format the drive until you’re certain everything you want has been recovered. All the data is still there. It just needs to be extracted using a recovery tool.

Start with a free recovery program such as Recuva. There is a good probability it will recover everything but if not there are paid tools out there that do a better job.

Edit: You will need to save your recovered files to a drive other than your 500GB. Either save to your 1TB C: Drive or attach a 3rd drive to the system.


Thank you. After scouring the L1tech forums I found a software called ‘TestDisk,’ which seems to be working.
I have not re-formatted the drive
It will take about an hour to complete. Again: thanks.


That’s where the patience part comes in! Good luck :slight_smile:


recuva will do most of it typically it will get 80-90% of your data back IF YOU RECOVER IT CORRECTLY to another drive.

do not try to over write the data your recovering to the same drive as your recovering from.

also formatting doesn’t do much to stop recovery as the drive doesn’t zero the tracks till its time to over write. so anything you remove with a format, will still be on the disk as long as you don’t over write the data before its recovered your good.


gpart (gpart - Wikipedia) will find the filesystem headers/superblocks and tell you the start sectors and sizes of the partitions which were deleted, allowing you to just re-create the partition table. Takes a few seconds on my Windows SSD to find the EFI/system partitions. No need to do file forensics.


mount read only

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Thank you for the useful advice.
I got what I assume to be most of my files back and they’re very neatly organized in a large dump with random file names which I can’t be bothered to go sort out. In other news, my screwing around with my laptop seems to have killed my internal SATA port. I guess that’s probably to my benefit as I’ll no longer accidentally delete anything off there lol. I guess I can add that to my list of borked features - bluetooth and ethernet port. Lol

(For those wondering - The bluetooth doesn’t work because I replaced my QCnfa435a with an AX210, and the motherboard wiring must be such that I don’t get bluetooth. Oh, and I snapped off the hinge for my ethernet port in frustration.)

hmm. it should have recovered the files with there real names (maybe a first letter change)
the ones that came with random names are often incomplete or partial recoverys.
now i may be wrong as its been a while since i used recovr but the last time.

it gave me a list of files with ranging probability’s of excellent, good and bad chance ratings at recovery.
i just selected all the excellent. they show up with the original filename and not a hash.(if they weren’t set to deleted in the recycler)
that should get all undamaged files of the drive.

the good, you could try but you will get a lot of files that dont work and partials of other files.
i think they will show up with a hashed or corrupted name.
one way to tell is compare the original filesystem size with the recorvered. if the recovered is massively bigger. you recovered a lot of bad data along with the good.

I used TestDisk.
I checked out a few files here and there, and there were 100% ok. What wasn’t okay was 3-4 files that had a .mpg extension and wouldn’t play. I think they’re messed up mpeg files.
Also fun to note, the drive was packed up to capacity (500GB) previously but is now only like ~200GB full. I know when I recovered the drive, it had like 2-3 instances of all the files from the solidworks installer.