External Hard Drive Recovery

Backup and Recovery
HI there I've ran into a little bit of a problem... ok it maybe is not so little. I seemed to have erased the data from an external hard drive. I was re-installing WinXP on a machine that had RAID and would not boot from the cd so I plugged in the external hard drive which seemed to have make it boot from the CD. (I now realize I could just have held the F8 .. or was it F6??). At any rate after the setup was sucessful - (I formatted and installed 3 times). And apparently one of those times I have managed to format the external hard drive; it is still a mistery to me how that happened. So after I pluged in the hard drive it asked to be formatted becasue the system could not recognize it. That's when it got a little hot in the room. So I plugged it into another computer and am running some softwares to recover the data from it, but my problem is I don't really know what is going on with the hard drive. I'm using the GetBack for NTFS and Disk Explorer for NTFS - trial for now. After scanning the hard drive a couple of times. it's a 300GB Maxtor one-touch, and at 300GB it takes a while to scan it I couldn't find any data it seems. Now I'm using these software packages fr that first time and don't really know what to expect from the software, but I'm supposed to be able to get my data back - if the website is anything to go by. is there any way of telling if the data is still on the hard drive, what should I expect form these software titlesand what is the best way of recovering the data? with the disk explorer I see that the drive I want to recover starts with a lot of zeros -I guess that's becasue the FAT is gone. I can see there is some data on the drive so I assume it's not all gone, but I just want to be able to get the data back after trying for over a week now . Is it better to use NTexplorer or GetDataBack ?

Answer Wiki

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Use some disk edit utility such as norton disk doctor to scan for the directory and data. If
nothing found, then all you data may be lost.

Those disk edit utility can look for any sector
on the drive. Search for something you think
might be on that drive.

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  • Poppaman
    Try using NTrecover, available from http://www.sysinternals.com/ntw2k/utilities.shtml This is the sister site to Winternals.com... You might also want to use streams v 1.5 from the same site, as some info might be located in alternate data streams. There are several other programs available which might be of some use - symantec/Norton has an "undelete" program, but I would NOT instal it on the subject hard drive (for obvious reasons) - try a parallel install and try to run against the subject drive...
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  • TechFerret
    If the external HDD has only been formatted once, then you have a chance of recovering data using GetDataBack. This program can see various format layers, but successful recovery will only be possible from the immediately recognisable directory structures in the program's viewer.
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  • Danielp0
    I've been trying some different things, but after I ran restorer2000 I found out what the problem was. It turns out that the hard drive was in fat32 file system. I think the reason I thought it was ntfs is becasue winxp could have changed the file system. thanks for the replies
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