Recovering files from overwritten drive?

Discussion in 'Application Software' started by jetjock, Jun 6, 2010.

  1. jetjock

    jetjock MDL Senior Member

    Mar 6, 2010
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    I'll spare the details of my stupid blunder, but I need to recover a bunch of pictures from a hard drive that was accidentally overwritten with an image of a different OS. Does anyone know if there is software I can get that will accomplish this?
     
  2. NoJuan999

    NoJuan999 Experienced SLIC Tool Operator

    Jul 31, 2009
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    You can try one of these apps:
    GetDataBack
    or
    GetData Recover My Files
     
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  3. paulpp

    paulpp MDL Novice

    Apr 25, 2010
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    If you replaced it with another windows versions try looking in Windows.old within your root on your partition
     
  4. Whiznot

    Whiznot MDL Member

    Nov 5, 2009
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    You must stop using the drive with the lost files and attempt recovery with and to some other boot drive. Recuva might work but if that free utility shows that the files are not recoverable you might consider trying to recover the original partition with the free Easeus Partition Master which includes a partition recovery wizard.
     
  5. urie

    urie Moderator
    Staff Member

    May 21, 2007
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    You could try some of the tools members have pointed out but i very much doubt if they will recover much due to the fact you actually overwritten with an image of a different OS. If you had perhaps done a quick format or deleted partiton then it may have been possible but the fact you have written to the hard drive chances are slim.
     
  6. mrthuvi

    mrthuvi MDL Member

    Apr 2, 2008
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    The chance are a lot higher that you think, urie. I have helped a few friends of mine to recover from overwritten drive, all worked out pretty well. But with commercial software though. But It did take a lot of time to recover (~10 hours).
     
  7. microjunk

    microjunk MDL Novice

    Oct 20, 2009
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    This is a good topic to talk about. I am in school now for data forensics and cyber security.

    If you are still using the drive now, after the blunder, then your recovery rate is not good. Once the drive has been written over, formatted, or even erased, the chances of good recovery are slim. You may want to consider how much those pics mean to you and are they worth spending some money on. R-data is a good tool and so is file scavenger. Get data back is good too, if you haven't formatted or replaced the system, which you have. You may try it first but you may only get about half the pics if you're lucky, and most of those wont be too useful. There are also companies out there that can supposedly recover anything for the right price.

    I have made many mistakes in the past, several like this, and the only thing i can tell you is too make many backups as you go, either on thumb drives, cd-dvd, or spare hard drives.

    good luck (dont sweat it, this happens to the best of us)
     
  8. mrthuvi

    mrthuvi MDL Member

    Apr 2, 2008
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    It could also depend on the size of the partition and and the size of the OS. Say, your partition is 20 GB, and you install 5GB XP in there, the chance that your file is not overwritten yet is if of course higher.
    But, as i said before. I have friends installing in the wrong partition before, and all of them managed to get their data back (1 of them even used the windows for 1 day before reinstall in the right partition and start the recovery process). Although, they did have a hard time separate them with the junk files the software also recovered.
     
  9. jetjock

    jetjock MDL Senior Member

    Mar 6, 2010
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    Many thanks to all of you that have posted here. So far I have run Recuva, but no luck yet. Will try a deep scan tonight and see what that finds. I don't have very high hopes of finding anything because of just what I did and how I did it. I'll post here tomorrow with results.

    I really appreciate all you guys pitching in with suggestions. Thanks again to all!
     
  10. jetjock

    jetjock MDL Senior Member

    Mar 6, 2010
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    Had time to run a deep scan today, but didn't find any of the pics I lost. Thanks again for the help.
     
  11. King_Jay16

    King_Jay16 MDL Junior Member

    Jul 29, 2009
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    try a premium program and see what the results are like "Get Back My Data" or Spinrite or Power Recovery.
     
  12. sandipandi

    sandipandi MDL Novice

    Jun 6, 2010
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    #13 sandipandi, Jun 8, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2010
    Remember to install the recovery tools on a different drive...and halt all actions ongoing on that drive you want to recover files from...good luck. Recover My Files is good :)

    *sorry to hear that* I hadn't read your post about not being able to find them. I take it you may have formatted? I would try a few more utilities before giving up, pictures are the easiest by far to find again, but if you're not finding *any* files then of course it's a lost cause. I tried to find some VMware files one time, found like virtually every other file I had on the OS besides them since they were way too big to have recovered from a "format" intact.
     
  13. jetjock

    jetjock MDL Senior Member

    Mar 6, 2010
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    I have two identical hard drives; one had Win XP, the other Win 7. 7 got FUBARed so I had to recover with an Acronis backup image. Unfortunately, installed it to the wrong drive so now I have two drives with the same programs and files. I had no idea which was which, so it's entirely possible I had been using the former XP drive with my pics on it for a couple months before discovering pics were missing. They were about the only thing on the drive that I hadn't moved over to the 7 drive. That's why I had little hope of finding them, since I didn't even know for sure which drive to scan. Tried both, but no luck. GetDataBack requires removing the over written drive before running. Unfortunately, I don't know which one that is. Pics I lost, while a sad loss, were not important enough to keep beating my head against the wall over, so I guess I'll just have to chalk it up to stupidity and move on!

    Thanks again to all who offered help. Folks in this forum are the best I've run into in all my years on the Web, and I remember having to type in numeric ID's before there was Windows or browsers, so that's been quite a while!
     
  14. fdjc

    fdjc MDL Member

    Feb 27, 2010
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    Two programs I would suggest, although you should attach your hard drive to another PC for them to work properly (if it isn't already a slave/data drive).

    As previously mentioned - GetDataBack, very damn good in the past I have found.

    As well (because it is images you have lost) I would look at CardRecovery
    and see if it can scan the drive, its very successful on phone and camera memory cards but I have not tried it on a normal HDD before. I retrieved all photos from a wiped SD card for my mates gf a few months back like.

    If you can...try to get this on some soft of windows boot disc like BartPE.