My problem is I accidentally performed PC RECOVERY without knowing what it does (haha, yeah, stupid, right?). So anyway, I lost all those important files because the whole thing was reset to its factory features. So how do I retrieve all my data? My unit is HP PAvillion dv2000. THANKS!
I thought it may be worth while to give an overview on data on a hard disk and how it works so that people have an understanding in case they suddenly find themselves loosing data on a disk.
When a hard disk comes out of manaufacturing it will have what is known as a factory low level format on it which basically ensures that it is clean and working correctly. When it is installed into a computer a partition is created or in some cases more than one partition can be created on a single physical disk. The parition is then formated to the operating system that is to be installed on it this could be XP or Vista, Windows 98 etc at this point 2 tables are created called FAT tables (file allocation tables). When data is written to a hard disk a pointer entry is put into the FAT table which basically acts as a look up table for where on the hard disk the start point and end point for the data is. (a map to the datas locatetion on the disk surface, like logitude and latitude on a map).
When you delete data or data is accidently deleted all that gets removed is the entry point for the data and not the actual data itself. A standard undelete software package such as Nortons Disk Doctor (or Norton utilities as it may now be called) will easily scan the hard disk and rebuild these tables recovering data.
When you format a hard disk all that is formatted are these 2 tables, again there are software packages out there that will recover these tables and your data will be fully recovered. (there are many people currently being held at Her Majestys pleasure who will bare witness to this when they thought they were safe).
Where things get tricky is that if you have deleted data (or the entry in the tables) and new data is written to the hard disk and it overwrites what was allready on the disk surface most commercial packages will not recover from this. This is not the data entry in the tables but the actual data on the disk surface. If the new data is written to a different area then your original data is still intact and can be recovered. Problem is it is upto the computer to decided where it writes this new data and if it will over write what was there. So as soon as you know you maybe over writing something you have deleted stop the data write. Try a recovery program and you maybe lucky.
When a hard disk looses its partition again data is still on the hard disk and commercial programs can recover the partition, all they will do is re-construct the original partition based on the information on the disk. Again data will be recoverable
Where data is more or less unrecoverable is when a factory low level fomat is carried out, this will make data recovery very hard and expensive. data is written to the harddisk using a magnet (so dont put hard disks near items with a strong magnetic charge they will erase data) so even with 10 or 12 factory low level formats and data written on at each stage previous data is still possible to be recovered by very specialist companys who recover the magnetic signature that will allow data to become visable.
So data can be recovered nearly all the way down the line, so dont panic if it happens to you. At the end of the day it comes down to how much you are willing to pay to get data recovered. Some packages are free as shareware and some more advanced ones you have to pay for.
If a hard disk dies (they all will eventually) remember your data is written to the surface of the disk and not to the electronics on a hard disk, swapping over the electronics from another working hard disk that is the same will allow in most cases data to be accessed again. The only way to prevent data from being recovered on a hard disk is to smash it with a hammer.
I hope this helps to explain to people how to look at going about data recovery.
I will do another one on hints and tips to data storage, protection and recovery
If your hard disk has a problem and gets corrupt and you think the only way to recover the system is to go back to the pre-install cd that came with the computer. Before you re-install your XP or Vista operating systems then first consider the following:-
How much data do I have on this disk, if the answer is a lot and you MUST get it back then the safest option is to go to your pc shop buy a new hard disk, install it in to the computer. Do your recovery to the new hard disk or the new installation XP or Vista (disconnect the old disk first before you do this), install your undelete or recovery software on to this, reconnect the old disk and then recover your data to the new disk, saves over writing data on old disk. After you have recovered all the data you want then re-format this disk so it is clean, and then copy a copy of your data back onto the disk so you have 2 copies of your data. This process gives youa way back if you have decided to just update to a new operating system, ifit does not go smoothly you have a way to fall back to your previous working system with no data loss.
Folks always look at having two copies of your data so that you can always go back to your copy if you have problems on the main disk. It is so cheap to buy an additional internal disk or a USB external disk these days. How much is your data worth to you at the end of the data, if you have photos that are priceless to you the it is a no brainer. A hard disk has moving parts and at some point it WILL die, it maybe a month, a year even 10 years or even longer but at some point it will stop working, if you have a duplicate of your data some where if a disk becomes faulty your data is safe and your options as to what to do to the faulty disk are then open.
Microsoft produce a free software package called Synctoy that allows you to copy data from one disk to another at the simple click of the mouse, I use it to mirror 2 external hard disks that have all my photos, music on, It knows what is on each disk and only copies changes or new data from disk to disk. I also use another external hard disk that my main internal hard disk is backed up to for the applications.
These disks only need to be turned on or powered up when you want to copy more data to them so they dont need to be on all the time if you dnt want.
Other medias that data can also be backed up to are CDs/DVDs , memory sticks or tape. So if you dont decide to use an additional disk then use one of the other options.
I know it sounds obviiouse but you only really think about it when it happens and then it could be to late. The old saying you learn by your mistakes, having been in that position before myself dont let it happen to you. I have been lucky in that I can recover the data as I work in the IT side but others have not been so lucky.
If you would like any more info then please feel free to ask
external hard is always a problem ....but if ur hard disk is corrupted...don't worry the files can be recovered,linux is one of the power full o/s...there is something called force in linux....if you attach ur hard disk while ur using linux...i can gaurantee you that the files will open ....but I vl surely not open in xp....so better get one more hard disk an make a back up of ur corrupted hardisk......once the data is recovered....transfer the files in ur new harddisk....an formate the corrupted hard disk......
You can often successfully recover deleted files from a PC, it all depends on what has happened since the files were deleted.
When you delete files the data itself isn't deleted, just the index entry that tells the system where the data for those files is located. The area containing the deleted data is also now marked as free space so it is available for any new files to be written there instead.
If and when that happens, then it is too late to recover your deleted files so it is very, very important to not save any new files or data to the device concerned.
One of the easiest ways to see if you can recover deleted files is to try some good file recovery software like asoftech photo recovery pro, which not only recover photos, but also vidoes, pictures, documents, etc.
I think you accidentally reinstall operating system on your hard drive that's why you lost all your data from hdd. In my acknowledgment there is no other way to restore data from formatted hard drive without using data recovery software.
There are many file recovery software in the market but I suggest you software which I already used "Recover Data for windows". its helps me to retrieve my files and photos when I needed most.
I bought a program called DATA RESCUE PC it recovers files even after reformating. It works GREAT! I have used it many times on my drives & Friends that to recove lose files. It will even work on drive your PC will reconize. This progam boots on computer restart. http://www.prosofteng.com/products/data_rescue_pc.php
Another option is File Scavenger at http://www.quetek.com. I lost an entire 160 GB HD with all my mp3s, image files and video files. I have a small production company and all our work was stored on that drive. Thank God for File Scavenger. It's the best $50 I ever spent.
Same happened to me, after restoring my pc I lost most of my Mp3s( 6000 + MP3) on my external hard drive that was connected to the computer . but the thing is that the disk capacity keep showing the same free space and used space as befor ! Like its not deleted but I cannot see it !