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I have an external HDD that has been mistakenly re-partitioned and some data written on it.

Previous Partitions were: 480GB NTFS + 20GB FAT32

New partition is all FAT32 and only 70mb of data has been written to it.

Is there any way I can recover all the data from the original NTFS partition?

PS: I have os x & windows

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2 Answers 2

You probably will not recover all of the data. The first thing I would do is get an image. Then you can operate on the image without further compromising the physical disk. Look into using linux and dd, it's solid.

Once you have your image, you can run a plethora of tools. I like Piriform's recova (http://www.piriform.com/recova) for "light" data recovery. IE, stuff that's non-critical but "it would be nice," to have it back. Anything more serious and I start looking at linux-based tools. I have, on occasion, used Data Rescue 3 with varying degrees of success. It runs on OS X, and not free.

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+1 for taking an image of the drive to work with. Once you've got an image you can try all the tools you'd like on the image w/o harming the original. You're very likely going to lose some data but it's highly likely you'll be able to get something back. –  Evan Anderson Jan 7 '11 at 0:19

If the data is critical to you, turn off the machine it is in immediately and don't do anything further with the disk. If you're serious about this data, don't risk using any programs programs that claim to recover data cheaper than a data recovery company can - you might just inadvertently trash the disk and anything recoverable on it.

Contact a data recovery company and explain your situation. They aren't cheap, but they are usually very swift and can often recover 100% of the lost data.

Going forwards, you might consider getting another external hard disk to use as a backup drive, so situations like this won't be as disastrous in the future.

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