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Repair information on hard drives or hard disks. Hard drives are magnetic data storage devices. They are used in most desktop, laptop, and server due to their low cost and high data density.

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How to restore files from formatted hard drive

Hello iFixit, I have a problem to restore my data from my hard drive. Here is the chronology :

1. My computer won't boot.

2. So, I have to reformatted the drive, and reinstall everything. But i didn't have any backup from it.

3. I continue working with my computer.

4. Suddenly, i remember that I need one file from my hard drive. But, it was formatted, so i don't know if i can find it.

5. I've been searching all around, and i ended up using Data rescue and Disk Drill, but still no luck.

I hope it's clear enough. Any answer, or suggestion will be very helpful for me.

It's so desperate.

7 Respuestas

As everyone writes above, the format will wipe your data and cause data loss. Therefore, after receiving the “not formatted error” message, you need a hard drive recovery freeware to retrieve your data and format it to restore its normal use. This freeware offers four recovery options for every user to cope with nearly all possible recovery problems: “Advanced File Recovery”, “Format Recovery”, “Deep Scan Recovery” and “Partition Recovery”. It always works well. You should have a try.

You could download this freeware there:

Important note: You should never place new data on this hard drive to rewrite your original files, if you still want to get them all back.

You should buy a new drive or memory card to save your recovered data in case of data loss.

You should format it after the recovery process.

You should remember to back up your data regularly in the future.


I really don't understand your approach to fix this issue for any hard drive. You are saying that I have to buy a software to fix the issue... Well, I tell you to read the guide in this link and tell me.


- de

It's to late, according to what type of format you did possibly someone like Drive Savers might be able to get it:

"Time machine" is a built-in backup tool that works with your Mac and an external drive, As the problem you described, I read it. The files deleted in Trash bin could be a different problem which Time machine can't solve. you can read this article and learn more. I hope it will help.

Try rebooting and formatting your hard disk

It is possible to recover the file you are looking for, provided that you do nothing that reinstalls the OS or data files. Since you have reformatted the drive and reinstalled everything, the chances have decreased to recover the file. As mentioned by others, you can take the drive to a professional recovery service but it will cost quite a bit to retrieve the file. Most of these services do not charge if they are not successful.

For future reference: if you are not able to boot and you are not able to fix the boot problem, buy a replacement hard drive the same or larger size than the original. Set up the new drive, install the OS and your applications. Then you can connect the old drive to recover the data, either by using an external drive case or if your computer supports it, add it as a second drive. Make sure the new OS does not try to format the old drive, you can look for recovery tools to find and recover your data.

In a cost/benefit analysis, which is cheaper spending around $1000 for data recovery or spending $100 for a replacement hard drive? Prices will vary .

Hi Dear,

Its a misconception that data once formatted can't be retrieved back so, the file that you need is still safe and can be recovered back by using a data recovery program. Actually what happen whenever we delete any data then that data becomes invisible to the user but it still remains in the storage media like hard drive. Also only overwriting can cause permanent deletion of the data. If you want to gather more information you can visit this link


Due to formatting your computer it's tough to retrieve your lost file/data; but still you have some hope, try Data Recovery Service provider company they can recover your lost data. One thing more please don't try free tools, once overwrite can cause your permanently lost your valuable data.

Ref: Hard disk Data Recovery Services


I stand corrected.

- de


Opps, you have overwritten the files; in this situation both software and services won’t help you.

Note - Do not start work on the same computer after losing the data.

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