I'm an idiot. I ordered some new computer parts recently and had an issue with my computer deadlocking hardcore style after my build was complete. This lead to tons of trouble shooting different hardware parts and reformats/reinstalls until I isolated the issue down to the motherboard. I ordered a different mobo and was ready to rebuild and reformat the system for the last time. I had been using a secondary backup 160 GB Western Digital HDD as my backup data drive through out all of the test rebuilds and reformats.
Well on my very last rebuild, the one that counts of course, I accidentally clicked the "Delete" button on the wrong HDD during the Win 7 setup and wiped out my backup HDD instead of my main 1TB Western Digital Caviar Black HDD. After freaking out and calming down, I then proceeded to delete and reformat the correct primary HDD and finished my Windows 7 install as normal. My new computer is working great but in the process I lost all of my backed up files and data that were on my secondary HDD.
I really want to recover my files from the old HDD somehow. I have not formatted the HDD or done anything at all to it since I accidentally clicked the "Delete" button on it within the Windows 7 setup utility. It is listed as "Disk 0: 160 GBs Unallocated Space" right now. My friend suggested trying to mount a drive letter to it through Windows - Computer Manager and then use a program such as Recuva to try and recover the files from it. I'm not familiar with such a process although it sounds easy enough. My concern is accidentally making the situation worse by trying that. So I figured I'd come ask on here for help before I do anything else and make things worse.
So my question is, can I recover the files and information from that HDD? If so, how should I proceed?
Again, all I did was accidentally click the "Delete" button on the HDD within the Windows 7 Setup utility. I did not click to Format the drive and I have not written any new information to the HDD since. The drive is 160 GBs total and I was using about 80 GBs of that space for my back up files. I don't believe that the Windows 7 setup utility could have wiped out 80 GBs of data in the blink of an eye as it only took the setup utility half a second to process when I clicked "Delete". So I'm hoping that Windows 7 simply marks that drive/data to be overwritten or something instead of actually deleting all of the data on it and that it might still be recoverable somehow as a result.
I'm really freaking out and upset about the loss of all that data. If anyone can help me out on recovering that data, I will be eternally grateful. Thanks everyone!
- The HDD that I'm trying to recover the data from never had any version of Windows installed to it.
- It was originally formatted using the Quick NTFS option in Windows XP.
- Simply used for storing backup files. Again did not have Windows installed to it.
- Currently is not listed within "My Computer" as it is just "Unallocated Space".
- Shows properly within "Computer Manager" as "Disk 0: 160 GBs Unallocated Space".
- I could "Create New Volume" on it within Computer Manager but I'm afraid to do so as I'm afraid it will want to format the drive during that process. I do not want to accidentally make the situation worse.
- I'm very computer literate and can handle directions very well. I have just never dealt with this type of situation before and am completely clueless as to where to begin.
I downloaded the EaseUS Partition Recovery utility for free from the link just below. I installed it and ran the program. It was able to detect my secondary HDD that I had accidentally deleted even though it was not showing in the Windows Control Panel. I did a quick scan of the HDD and the program quickly found and restored my deleted partition along with all of the files and folders. It honestly took 10 minutes if even. What an awesome utility. If you accidentally delete a partition just stop what you're doing, download this utility and let it scan the HDD and it can probably recover it for you. I'm very excited to have my data back! Sorry for the long winded question for such an easy solution, haha. I hope maybe this saves someone else from panicking in the future.
I've been there too and have tried various recovery utilities to extricate myself from the predicaments I get myself into. Most everything I've tried worked to some degree at least but the utility that seemed to work the best for me was a product called Emergency Undelete. It' s super robust and well thought out but the only drawback is it isn't free. In my case though I didn't mind because what was at stake was worth 100s of times more than the few bucks the product cost me.
If some of the free solutions don't work you may want to try this one out.
Actually, I take it back. If I were in your shoes I would consider this one immediately because the more you write on the drive where your data was the less chance of recovering it.