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Some coworkers and I are discussing about Hard-disk recovery and one of my coworker said that is possible to recovery a HD even after formatting and rewrite all your space again.

The argument of my coworker is: the magnetic data in disk is never replaced, exist various layers in the disk, even after formatting and all the space rewritten with new data, this new data is written in a new layer.

After formatting a Hard-drive and after rewrite ALL SPACE with new data is possible to recovery the data before formatting?

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You got your answer on StackOverflow. stackoverflow.com/q/8269852 –  dkaragasidis Nov 25 '11 at 14:05
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I used to be lucky with Raise Data Recovery for Ext2/Ext3/Ext4 after having formatted Linux HD and installed Windows. –  quanta Nov 25 '11 at 14:30
    
If you zero-filled the HDD your data is lost for all intents and purposes. –  Hubert Kario Nov 25 '11 at 18:41
    
dup of stackoverflow.com/questions/8269780/… –  RobM Nov 25 '11 at 19:26
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There is a reasonable fear that it might theoretically be possible. But nobody has ever managed to do it on a modern hard disk. –  David Schwartz Nov 25 '11 at 23:02

2 Answers 2

No that's impossible. In the past the width of the track was not erased entirely with formatting, so after formatting there was still enough magnetic data left to recover the data. Modern days Harddrives have a very narrow width track and especially when data is overwritten again (what is also done with secure erase but then with zero's) the old data is not recoverable. See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disk_formatting

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Actually it would be possible to recover some data but not everything. You would need high end instruments to analyse a harddisk that have been wipe and rewritten with all zeros or with ones, multiples times.

You can check :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_remanence

So you might be able to get small part of files but not full files.

Also you must know that there is multiple way to format a drive. A quick format will not erase data:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/302686

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