CAN YOU RECOVER FILES AFTER FOR-
MATTING A DRIVE?
One of the hardest lessons learned about disk management is that formatting completely erases all data on the drive. A hard drive can go from gigabytes worth of important records, treasured memories, and personalized settings to a (seemingly) blank slate in a matter of minutes, thanks to a format. But in some cases, you can get your files back. Read on to learn more.
What kind of format?
There are three common scenarios when it comes to formatting a drive:
Recovering Lost Files from a Formatted Drive or Partition
Whether you’ve performed a quick format, full format, OS reinstall, or repartition, data recovery is always worth a shot. Even if the disk is not bootable or has been reformatted multiple times, you can still scan the raw data for recognizable files. Unless the data has been overwritten, it should still be there. The only challenge is finding it. This is where data recovery software comes in.
While most major operating systems won’t have a built-in file recovery or undelete utility, third-party programs, such as R-Studio, will work on any platform.
The actual steps you’ll take to recover data from a formatted disk will vary depending on the program you use (for example, see the "unformat" how-to for R-Studio). But no matter what you program you use, you’ll want to follow a few general best practices:
While not all formats are reversible, an inadvertent or premature reformat is not the end of the world. Keep the information and tips above in mind as you proceed and you will at least reduce your chances of worsening your problem.