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I have a 1 Terra My Book Western Digital external hard disk ... Its USB socket got broken so I kept connecting and disconnecting it several times to make it work ... sometimes it worked and other times it told me "This disk should be formatted", anyways ... I disassembled the hard disk away from the rack. I connected it directly to my computer and it was read as "unallocated" ... I used a restoration program over the unallocated partition but it got nothing. I "created" a simple volume from the disk manager and "quick" formatted the hard disk to be able to see a drive for other recovery programs to work on.

I used "recuva" program and "restoration" program and I got nothing ...

I really need your help as It contains VERY valuable data to me (Pictures specifically).


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closed as off topic by Holocryptic, Evan Anderson, RobM, Shane Madden, Zoredache Nov 23 '11 at 19:34

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What filesystem was on the drive? – Mircea Vutcovici Nov 23 '11 at 19:31
I think this would be better on Super User – TheLQ Nov 23 '11 at 19:33
Please read our FAQ next time, this question isn't appopriate for Serverfault but is for our sister site - moving it there. – Chopper3 Nov 23 '11 at 19:35
If he is using ZFS or LVM, this forum is better for his problem, otherwise, SuperUser is better. – Mircea Vutcovici Nov 23 '11 at 19:36
@MirceaVutcovici - respectfully, I think you mis-understand this site. It's for professional system administration questions. The file system that happens to be in use on the poor guy's drive doesn't make this any more or less of a sysadmin question. – RobM Nov 23 '11 at 21:06

You're fscked.

The very first thing you should ALWAYS do when trying to recover data off a drive is to make a block-level copy into another location. By doing a quick format you may have overwritten critical parts of the filesystem.

That said, there are commercial firms who specialize in data recovery. Engage their services. It's going to cost you.

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The data probably isn't gone after a quick format. There will be some data loss, inevitably, but JPEG files are highly recoverable (provided there isn't a lot of fragmentation). – Evan Anderson Nov 23 '11 at 19:31

If you formatted it, your best bet would be either a data recovery company, or hope you had that data backed up elsewhere because it is most likely gone for good.

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Pretty much this. Quick format will mean that there may be a chance to get it back. If it's that important to you, quit mucking around with it on your own and pay someone to recover what they can. And then back the data up! – Holocryptic Nov 23 '11 at 19:28

If you have the skills and a spare drive of the same or larger capacity you could make a sector-for-sector image of the "failed" disk to a spare disk and then use recovery tools on the spare disk. For photographs the PhotoRec tools work very well.

Don't perform recovery against the original disk, though. You don't want to run that disk any more than you have to and risk either damaging the data or having the disk physically fail. That disk is what you'll be sending to a data recovery firm when you find you can't recover any data yourself.

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Make a block level copy of the disk with clonezilla. Backup the entire disk. Use PhotoRec to recover the images.

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