Deleting a file you need is bad enough, but accidentally deleting your entire hard drive is truly awful.
Fortunately, there are many unformat tools that can restore some, most, or even all of the erased data.
An accidental reformat wipes out drive
Reader George Blalack had a very bad day:
- “Fred, I accidentally did a quick format of my Windows 7 drive.
“I know there is software out there that can restore the files (some even restore the file folder directory structure), but I thought the best start was to clone the drive using imaging software. That way, I could try to restore my files using the clone. If the results [of one application] don’t give me a rebooting drive, I could try other software to restore the files and structure.
“I tried the paid version of Acronis on my XP machine, but it said it would not work. I’m also concerned that it will move data around and make the drive not 100 percent recoverable. Do you know of any imaging software that will work?”
I know of no imaging software that copies the residual data left over from files that have been deleted through reformatting. Although imaging software makes an exact replica of the contents of the current disk structure, it treats empty space (such as space where files used to be) as, well, empty.