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HELP! I ACCIDENTALLY FORMATTED MY HDD, HOW DO I GET MY DATA BACK?!? (And reinstall Windows 8)

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January 10, 2014 9:51:01 AM

Hi Everybody,
Yesterday I was trying to install Chromium OS on an external drive (from my pendrive), so I hit install, and it started to format.
About 30 seconds later, I realized that I had selected the wrong disk (I'm not very good with the terminal), so I immediatly canceled it by closing the terminal window, and then shutting the computer off (I turned it off normally with the off button, not by force).
I'm not sure if the program was performing a "quick" or "full" format.
I have tried to not use the computer to avoid corrupting and/or overwriting data.
All i get when I try to boot it up is:
"OS not bootable
No bootable device -- insert boot disk and press any key"

1) Is there any way to recover the data?

2) How do I reinstall/fix Windows 8.1?
(It's a HP pavilion dv7 laptop (1TB HDD), and it came with Windows 7, which I then upgraded to Windows 8 using the downloadable installer (I still have the activation code, but no discs), and finally upgraded to Windows 8.1 with the free update from the Windows Store).

3) Could I reinstall Windows 8.1/8 directly without having to reinstall Windows 7 and upgrading W7>W8>W8.1

I would really appreciate your help, because it's a family computer, and it stores all our pictures from our families cellphones and cameras from the past 2 years.

Thanks in advance.
January 10, 2014 9:57:15 AM

Your info is most likely gone, wiped from your hard drive. Sorry for the bad news.

The only thing I can think of that MIGHT work is to take the HDD out and slave it to a system running Linux and use the Linux system to retrieve your files if some are still on the HDD.

Otherwise you have to pay through the nose at a data recovery facility.
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January 10, 2014 9:58:37 AM

When it comes to installing it you'll have to put 7 back on it and then upgrade to 8. The key you have is probably an upgrade key and can not be used for a fresh install. For the data there is not much you can really do unless you had a backup on your external drive.
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Best solution

a b G Storage
a b * Windows 8
January 10, 2014 11:06:57 AM

Everything is LOST, part of the Chrome install is to reformat the drive into a standard Linux EFS file standard, so yeah ALL the pics gone.

Second, unless you made the original W7 Discs like FIRST PROMPTED when you FIRST TIME EVER turned on the computer, you will have to call the maker of the computer and BUY the replacement DVD using the key on the bottom of your laptop for the license.

I would download and run DBAN on the computer at this point to completely wipe it (including the Linux partitions) so when you get the DVD you can install it without any issues. Then you would need to download and install Win8 upgrade, then Win8.1 update each seperately.
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