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Is possible to format hard drive without losing files?

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Anonymous
a b G Storage
April 26, 2010 5:54:20 AM

Hello,
is it possible to format hard drive without losing files?

More about : format hard drive losing files

April 26, 2010 6:27:13 AM

impossible.. you have to move your files to some other drive before formatting..
Anonymous
a b G Storage
April 26, 2010 7:37:41 AM

impossible.
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April 27, 2010 2:06:46 AM

Format=destroy the data and replace the file system with a new one....yes this should be moved as zip suggested.
April 28, 2010 5:51:10 PM

The whole purpose of formatting is to wipe the drive, so I'm not sure why you're asking. Perhaps if you elaborate on what you're trying to do we could provide some helpful information.
April 28, 2010 6:18:16 PM

No way. That's what format is all about. It erases all data on the hard drive. In fact formating a hard drive means preparing it for storage. When a hdd is formated the drive is divided in sectors tracks and cells. Each cell can store 512 bytes of data and a hdd has hundreds of millions on cells.
August 29, 2010 11:08:16 PM

i think i know what you mean, i am having a similar problem. i need to change the format of 500gb external drive from NTFS to FAT32 and i dont have enough space elsewhere to back up my files. i was told to use Partition Magic but it appears to be incompatible with my OS (vista).
a b G Storage
August 29, 2010 11:10:16 PM

Quote:
Someone please move this to the "stupidest posts/threads on this forum" thread.

LOL


Someone please move this to the "most obnoxious responses on this forum" thread... :??: 

Slightly unnecessary, not everyone knows anything about formatting a hard drive.
a b G Storage
August 29, 2010 11:39:55 PM

It is impossible. When you format a hard drive, you are rebuilding your file system and in affect removing all data on it. If you do a quick format which involves wiping the MFT in NTFS then data might still be recovered as you just wiped the MFT not all data. But if you do a full format where you completely wipe the filesystem itself and rebuild a new one then no, it is physically impossible to recover data.
a b G Storage
August 30, 2010 7:48:10 PM

Hmm...if in windows, a full format maybe...but if you do a proper format where it overwrites then its impossible, not sure how windows does it, but an overwritten drive can't be recovered.
a c 353 G Storage
August 30, 2010 8:40:44 PM

Data can be recovered from a full format. Data is stored in clusters (normally 8 sectors, 512Bytes per sectors. Most recovery utilities check the custers and will make a file based on the cluster (each cluster of a file has a pointer to next cluster). master file table will contain the first cluster to a given file.

To "Get rid of data" a program that wipes the data must be imployed. Data can still be retrived from a Hard drive that overwrites each sector unless multiple passes are made (EXPENSIVE, but possible).- Military "erease If I recall correcty will alternatly write "0" and 1" five times to each cell.
a b G Storage
August 30, 2010 11:47:15 PM

or you can get a freeware that does a 7 pass 0 and 1 fill rate.
a b G Storage
August 30, 2010 11:49:28 PM

DoD 5220.22-STD

^It will be very difficult to recover after that. And many freeware programs provide it.
January 3, 2011 12:34:48 AM

Way back in the '80's there was a utility called NDD. (Norton Disc Doctor) Sometimes, the clusters/sectors on a hard drive could go what we called "Softsided" meaning not clearly defined on the platter.

Back then if things happened to a HD most just replaced it losing all data. I often loaded NDD Reformat which would do a complete read of 1 sector/cluster and store it into RAM. It would then perform a low level format of that sector/cluster, write the data back to the disc and then repeat through the entire HD. It took time, (I usually did it overnite.) So we used to be able to even perform a lowlevel format on a HD (FAT-16) without losing info but I haven't seen an updated utility.

And to those who call this question stupid are showing their noobness.
Anonymous
a b G Storage
April 11, 2012 11:47:09 AM

I have a buffalo 500gb hdd and ive just restored my laptop back to factory settings,and im now having the problem that everytime i plug the hdd into my laptop it keeps saying please format the hdd but i have over 450gb of films music and software backed up on there and i have nowhere else to store it,so my question to you guys is there anything i cn do to avoid me having to format the hdd to get it to work. i had no problems with the hdd till i restored my laptop so i dont know if its because it regnosises it as a new computer or what but if anyone can help i would appreciate it thanks :) 
April 11, 2012 9:57:13 PM

shrink the drive by 50gb if u can and install new os afterwards delete the old os expand the drive transfer what u can shrink the other partition move more files and repeat. this isnt the best method but its seems as its the best option for your situation.
October 28, 2012 12:24:36 AM

V1ctor89 said:
No way. That's what format is all about. It erases all data on the hard drive. In fact formating a hard drive means preparing it for storage. When a hdd is formated the drive is divided in sectors tracks and cells. Each cell can store 512 bytes of data and a hdd has hundreds of millions on cells.


Hi, thanks for info. How do I copy harddrive to USB drive as external drive will have to be formatted after I first transfer it from C onto USB drive?
December 7, 2012 7:56:06 AM

I remember the program well and used it many many times.
I am only replying to you, because I love your last sentence. How the youth of today has no clue...


PeterDink said:
Way back in the '80's there was a utility called NDD. (Norton Disc Doctor) Sometimes, the clusters/sectors on a hard drive could go what we called "Softsided" meaning not clearly defined on the platter.

Back then if things happened to a HD most just replaced it losing all data. I often loaded NDD Reformat which would do a complete read of 1 sector/cluster and store it into RAM. It would then perform a low level format of that sector/cluster, write the data back to the disc and then repeat through the entire HD. It took time, (I usually did it overnite.) So we used to be able to even perform a lowlevel format on a HD (FAT-16) without losing info but I haven't seen an updated utility.

And to those who call this question stupid are showing their noobness.

December 16, 2012 5:55:04 PM

Actually its a legitimate question. I just bought a hard drive and put some data on it and now before it will open its forcing me to format. So were looking for a way to avoid losing the data, which evidently in impossible.
February 16, 2013 10:49:16 PM

Hi my name is chloe, i was recently using my porsche design hard drive to get music of my partners laptop which is a pc and i use mac at home. the hard drive didn't recognise as a device on the pc so i followed one of these threads to "make a new volume" which then worked. when i opened up the "new volume" on the pc... none of my files were on there but i transferred a couple gig worth of music onto it. then when i got home to my mac i tried to take the music off but it was a read only file and my other files were still not there....

is there a way or is there something i can do to get my other files back? I'm not exactly sure whats happened? sorry I'm very new to this.
April 1, 2013 8:26:48 PM

Lar7Gina30aine said:

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:

http://blog4mark.blogspot.com/2012/12/deleted-files-rec...

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.


Thank you for your advice that helped me out of data loss on my sd card when it warned me to format it.
I wasn't stupid to format it since there are important photos that I took for my friends, a new married couple. However I just cannot access them. Each time when I click the card, the PC warned me - not formatted, not formatted... I was crazy at that time since I didn't know how to explain this to my friends that their photos were gone.
Then I tried recuva, the other thread recommended this program, however no luck. Then I tried several other program too. This one you recommend works amazing. I am grateful to the developer. I restored like 200 photos for free. The program is free for 2GB data and I am happy to register it.

This forum rocks.
October 15, 2013 8:14:01 AM

The NSA has all your files backed up for you ;) 
!