Unformatting computer.

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I need to know if any of you know how to unformat a harddrive. I compressed my harddrive to save space. Then i had a software problem and my desktop wouldn't boot up. Since my partitions were compressed i couldn't do a successful system recovery. The computer is a HP Pavillion 513w. They don't send recovey CDs with the computer anymore. At this time i have installed, three times, over that partition with Windows XP Pro and Home. If you know how to unformat a harddrive please help.

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http://www.uneraser.com/quest12.htm

With this data recovery software NTFS drives can be recognized and deleted items can be recovered while working from DOS and Windows (Console) environment. It is not necessary to install the utility on your system’s hard drive, as it fits on a boot floppy disk, removing the possibility of overwriting data which you want to recover.

free download too !!

good luck

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  • Charlie0
    "unformatting" a hard drive is never an easy task and is impossible once you have written over the space(you did this when you did the install) If you have a XP cd you should probably just delete the partition and reformat the whole thing, then install your OS and software.
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  • Rgoulding
    Hi, There's a few utils on download.com that do this (read the reviews for each one). Search for undelete or something like that. They may cost $30 or so to register.... Rob
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  • Irishjd
    If you truely want to unformat the harddrive, you need to create a bootable floppy disk that contains the FDISK command (if you dont have any DOS disks available, you can download the freeware version at: http://www.23cc.com/free-fdisk/). Simply boot from floppy and enter fdisk at the command prompt. Answer a couple of questions (yes you want large disk support ;-), and reboot to your OS or System Restore CD. WARNING: FDISK will destroy all data on the harddrive. You will not be able to get that data back without soending a lot of money. Please be absolutly sure you want to do this before proceeding. Good Luck, Jon
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  • PeterMac
    Assume what you want is to get rid of compression because this is preventing you from doing a new install. Running with a compressed system partition is never a very bright idea. Two options really for you. One easy, one complicated and might not work anyway. The easy one first. --Start again - means loss of everything on system - so you may want to look at means of getting anything important off the harddrive first. Delete partition, and re-create using FDISK, or install CD, and then re-install OS onto clean partition. The tough one. --Havn't done this myself since DOS days but principle should still apply if you can find the uncompress program - First delete enough from the Hard drive to give you working space, as a rough guide is unlikely to work if disk is more than half full. - Next use "compact.exe" (should be in winnt/system32 from command line (you will need boot disks) to uncompress the drive (has to be done one folder at a time). If you have not already destroyed too much with re-install attempts you may get a working system back. For the future - always best to create at least two partitions on a drive, a small one for the OS and programs, and the remainder for data, you can then safely compress the data drive without causing any difficulties if you do have to re-install OS.
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  • DanFromSecurity
    I can relate ... I pulled a real lame brain, and deleted the partition on the wrong drive while installing the o/s to a new C: drive. I haven't written anything to that other drive since then ... and havne't had any luck with the 'recovery' software I tried. Looks like I'll have to spend about $400 US to get the data (mostly image files for my wife's photography business ... talk about the wrong drive to trash). If someone has suggestions to other types of recovery software, let me know. I've tried the paid for version of DTIData.com's program.
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  • Hawke1227
    Go to the Manufacturer's website of your Hard Drive. They have downloadable utilities to help you with your issue. One utility lets you do a low-level format which brings your drive to a factor default. Just make sure to read all documentation on the procedure. I have done this to a number of drives that I have had problems with of course you will lose any data thats is still on the disk
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  • Eyesea
    jbcreates, #1) you can try www.undelete.com to see if you can save any of the files you have not written over yet or #2) you could buy another hard drive and install the previous disc as a slave to recover most of your files, at least those you have not overwritten. danfromsecurity try #2 above
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  • OzzDrumz
    Hi, Foget it...its all over!
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  • Airwrck
    Here is the procedure that I've created for the tecnhicians at our company. 1. We purchase another hard drive of equal or larger capacity. We call this drive "new drive" 2. In a diagnostic machine (one that is already running an operating system and has two available IDE channels), we install both the drive that needs repair (we call this drive "old drive"), and the "new drive". We make sure the "new drive" is mounted and we create a partition of appropriate size and type (FAT or NTFS). Drives need to be jumpered properly so pay attention to this. 3. We use GetDataBack (there are two versions, one for FAT and FAT32 partions and one for NTFS partitions) and scan the affected hard drive for data. After the scan is complete, we dump that data onto the "new drive". We can do that iteratively for each partition that requires *recovery* (as opposed to data that can just be copied over because the partition is still readable) 4. We check "new drive" to make sure the data was recovered properly. 5. If the damaged partition on "old drive" has it's data recovered properly, we can eliminate that partition using Partition Magic. 6. We can then recreate the partition using Partition Magic and copy the data from "new drive" to "old drive" 7. If the operating system needs to be re-installed on "old drive" then we do that prior to moving data from "new drive" to "old drive" Here is the difficult if not impossible part for your situation: Reinstalling and writing over the partition has likely eliminated much of the data that you want to restore. The caveat for everyone for next time - ask for help prior to reinstalling or writing over the drive, or take the machine to a qualified computer technician for an opinion/evaluation (most of the good ones will do that for no cost). Also, another caveat - unless you've created a recovery CD or diskette set, do not compress the partition where your operating system is installed. If anything, create a new partition and compress that one. Good luck - send another message if I can add information or clarify what I've described above.
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  • Eyesea
    for future advice: if your hard drive is becoming so crowded that you are even thinking of compressing it - DONT! BUY ANOTHER HARD DRIVE OR COPY FILES TO CD/DVD!
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  • Eyesea
    for future advice: if your hard drive is becoming so crowded that you are even thinking of compressing it - DONT! BUY ANOTHER HARD DRIVE OR COPY FILES TO CD/DVD!
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  • Dlbrody
    Sound is if you will need a new drive. Remember-Compression=Data loss. To recover your data I suggest getting a Linux Live install CD like Mepis or Knoppix. You will be able to boot an OS from the CD and then recover any data loss on the windows partition. These CD's are very cheap and worth alot more. Linux has its advantages.
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  • Ve3ofa
    hopefully those pictures were in a 'now' unused area of the drive. Dell and others now have 'recovery' partitions on the harddrives that are normally 'hidden' from the user esp. since now the installed O/S and software will not fit on a CD.. maybe a dual/layer DVD but just. if you did a full format vice a quick format you're in trouble time for the forensic experts to recover the information and they are not cheap. A quick format only puts in a new fat tabke (FAT32) MFT table (NTFS).. maybe now you know why most IT people say backup, backup, backup.. I knew some people that because it would take 17 CD's to backup their system they balked... @.30/cd we're looking at about $5 for some peace of mind.. I had a buddy that wanted his 'picture' folder backed up.. but spent more time re-areanging the pictures and not doing the backup.. 2cd's 15 minutes and it was done.. re-arrange on your time please.. not mine.. then back it up again.. you'd think after losing 2 drives (Maxtor) in the last year he'd have learned his lesson.
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