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No data was written to it. Is there a tool that will allow me to do it? I would prefer a free tool, but please recommend non-free if only such software can do the job.

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To be precise - I do not need to restore the partition. I care about the files. I would like to recover the files that were on the NTFS partitions (there were 2). – michal Jul 23 '10 at 14:15
up vote 5 down vote accepted

You may want to try Testdisk. I saved some real hard data using it on NTFS and ext disks. Maybe with a little luck using its deep search you can recover something.

It has a live cd too.

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Testdisk did a perfect job - I was able to completely restore the NTFS partition table after an ext4 format :D – michal Jul 24 '10 at 13:24
Good to know! I am really impressed by Testdisk now :) – coredump Jul 24 '10 at 18:25

If by "unformat" you mean, "reformat as NTFS" the answer is yes. If by "unformat" you mean "revert it to the NTFS it was formatted as before I reformatted it" the answer is no.

Formatting a disk completely destroys the partition information on the previous disk. It's possible that you could recover something with some partition recovery software (a la Partition Magic) but not certain.

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I meant recovering data from it – michal Jul 23 '10 at 14:15
This is why you should take backups. You can try Glary Undelete, but I can guarantee most of your files will be damaged: – Chris S Jul 23 '10 at 14:54
@michal: The data is there, but the part of the filesystem that tells you what data is part of what file? That's gone. The old unix method was to grep the hard drive looking for strings that were part of the file, and trying to figure out where the file began and ended...But that only works if the file is laid out in contiguous disk space. – Satanicpuppy Jul 23 '10 at 17:02
Thanks for the tips. Testdisk with its deep search feature did a perfect job and I was able to restore the NTFS partition table. All files are there. If anyone has a similar problem in the future - just don't let windows run chkdsk on such partitions as it deletes all files. (It did delete some system files, which I didn't care about before I stopped it). Otherwise all files are there and are accessible. – michal Jul 24 '10 at 13:26

unformat ntfs partition? free tools easier and more functions. BTW, read-only more lost file types can be previewed non-free tools also data recovery wizard by eausus getdataback

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