Back in 2007, I had lost all my data...it was a similar situation, reformatted and reinstalled but get data back had gotten my data back. I was running winXP on desktop. But it's not working now.
I will try Recuva and see how it goes.
Recuva will give you the recovery % for each file it detects. Odds are that larger files will be over-written and will be unrecoverable. With smaller files, you might be able to get them back. Windows itself with patches will be about 20GB. Depending on the drive size, you might be able to recover those files.
Basically, a quick format will clear the partition table. When Windows is installed, it writes on top of the old data. The more read/write operations the drive performed, the less of a chance you will have to recover your data.
Make sure you remove the drive and use a second computer to recover data. You will be writing over your data if you don't remove the drive and mount it in a different computer.
I have a brand new 2TB external drive, 2.5"hdd external case with cable, a borrowed old WinXP laptop, my laptop's drive out of laptop....guess I'm set up to start. Looking up Recuva right now on this slow laptop. Am I missing anything? Please guide.
So, what you do is install Recuva on to that laptop. You need to attach the hard drive you are trying to recover data off of to that laptop. The easiest way is to get a USB external hard drive enclosure and mount your drive to that enclosure. Then attach that enclosure to the laptop you are recovering to. Scan the external drive and recover any files that is marked as recoverable or green. Here is a guide on Recuva's site: https://www.piriform.com/docs/recuva/recuva-quick-start/quick-start-if-you-know-the-file-names It's not all-inclusive but it provides you with a quick start.
I'm gonna start now. wish me luck.
I will post after I have finished with this.
Recuva got most of my files back. I'm very happy. It's the best software for a recovery job. Few files are still showing up corrupt guess they're goners. Thanks for helping me get back my data.