Need help recovering data on a hard drive

A Friend reformatted her os drive with photos and documents on it she never backed up., Need help to recover it. She moved in with us and when she updated windows 7 her computer it went into recovery mode. Somehow she reinstalled windows on the disk. It,s a old HP single core amd 65nm slow computer. I am going to build her a new computer ,but i need to recover her photos. It was bad timing her brother passed away around this time years ago. I never tried to recover data on a reformatted hard drive. I need help. Hopefully it can be done thanks.

If it's been formatted, your best chance is to find someone with the equipment to retrieve data from it. Don't use it in the meantime, as you could overwrite existing stuff.

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There are some data recovery softwares out there that can recover the stuff that hasn't been overwritten. You can try and look for those.

Well there are a couple of solutions here. I'd suggest if the pictures are direly important to her, and she really wants them. Take or send the drive off to a company who professionalizes in data recovery. Even though the drive has been written over once, there is still a good chance everything is recoverable.

If you want to attempt this yourself, you can always download Recuva from Piriform's website and use that. I've had good success with it. But not sure if trying to retrieve it yourself could cause more issues.

I'd seriously suggest sending it to a professional data recovery company.

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The data may still be there - (im not sure what kind of format windows 7 does during the install process).

  • Autopsy - does what it says on the tin, is free & cross platform. I've had success over the years - more so when the drive hasnt been DBAN'd or a few zero write procedutes.
    There are other equivilent forensic tools that are around.

  • This came up just yesterday as well (ozbargain ~ australian bargain site) - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Professional

If the hard drive isnt recognised then something like Spinrite does the trick.

Best of luck.

I accidentally formatted a terabyte hard drive and recovered almost all of the data using TestDisk. The process was fairly easy but may not be recommended if the disk is damaged or failing in anyway and it is usually best to image the disk with ddrescue first if possible.

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Thanks all used Recuva worked fine all is well. Going to build a new system for her this weekend.

yank the harddrive from the computer right now.
then try testdisk.
what ever is there will be recoverable.
But the sooner you take out that harddrive, the better.
normally when you delete/format drives you dont actually delete the files just release what ever space they take up, so alot of files are there just not showing up, but shes just overwriting what ever data is there when ever she turns on the computer.
again try testdisk, it’s about the best tool i’ve tried.