Reformatted HDD, all partition deleted - recovery options?

A forum on data recovery using the professional data recovery software R-STUDIO.

Reformatted HDD, all partition deleted - recovery options?

Post by mesnia » Thu Feb 12, 2015 9:53 am


I have this HP laptop with 750 GB HDD. Couple of days back the laptop failed to start. It shows me some error and instruct me to run Windows Repair.
I purchased HP's windows repair/installation disk (CD) and boot it from this disk and perform the installation. The installation process does a reformatting on the HDD as well.
Here is how I set up the partitions before the laptop failure: Original laptop had only one partition (C: drive), I re partitioned into four logical drive the moment i received my new laptop way back in 2010)

I created C:(windows), D: , E: and F: drive of approx 150 to 200 GB each.

After the Laptop failure:

I ran the installation/repair disk from HP and in the process it performs reformatting and also deletes all the partition I created earlier. Now after this repair It installs a new Windows and only one drive is left(basically it resets to factory settings).

I had stored lots of important document and photos on D: E and F drive. All is gone.

I want to be able to recover the data that was saved on this three partitions. I have few questions.

a) Is R-Studio a right software for this case?
b) Can I install R-studio on the same laptop(victim with one partition) and run recovery on partition were the OS resides and store the recovered data on external USB Hard disk ?
c) If i purchase R-Studio(network) and install it on my friends PC, can i use it to recover data from my laptop by connecting in a network? Can i install the same software in my laptop later using the purchased license?

Site Moderator
Posts: 3169
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2008 2:13 pm

Re: Reformatted HDD, all partition deleted - recovery option

Post by Alt » Thu Feb 12, 2015 10:54 am

There are several answers for your several questions.
What can be answered for sure:
The bad:
When a new Windows was installed, it surely overwrote some data on a certain disk area. If your files to recover were at that place, they are gone for good. No software can recover them, and no commercial file recovery service is available for that situation.
The good:
No more that a hundred GBs have been overwritten during that installation, the rest of the disk still contains the data of the files and previous logical disk layout. Luckily for you, most of your files were on the disks situated far beyond that 100GB area.
What is most likely:
a. R-Studio is software specifically created to help in this situation. Whether it really helps you or not, depends on many things. But R-Studio has a very good option - you may try it for free. See this topic for details: What to do if I don't know if R-Studio can recover my files?. You may read how to recover files in R-Studio in its on-line help: Data Recovery Using R-Studio. Yours is Case 2 "Recovery of files that have resided on a data disk with a damaged file system, or on a previously deleted or re-formatted partition".
b. Highly not recommended. Although most likely (most likely, not for sure!!!) the R-Studio's files will not overwrite the files to recover, there's no guarantee that they will not. The best way to get files from your disk is to get the disk out of the laptop and connect it to another computer where R-Studio is installed. And yes, you have some places to store recovered data, it may be an external USB disk.
c. If you cannot connect the disk directly to another computer, a way balancing the cost and gain will be to use the Demo mode of R-Studio and try to use its network capabilities. In this mode, you can do all necessary file recovery operations except you cannot save recovered files. But you may preview files and estimate chances for successful recovery. Then you may purchase a local version of R-Studio and create an image of the disk through the network which the local version can do. Then recover files from that image. The drawback of this method is that you have to have an additional storage for the disk image. If this is not the option, then you have to buy the network version. But don't buy anything until you have enough reasons to believe that you can recover you files. Multiple successfully previewed files is a good reason for that.
I believe that you cannot transfer an R-Studio installation from one computer to another, but I'm not sure, and the best way to learn that is to ask our sales department.


Re: Reformatted HDD, all partition deleted - recovery option

Post by mesnia » Sun Feb 15, 2015 12:41 am

Thanks Alt. Let me check if I can run from another laptop

Post Reply