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Quick Format by Mistake

Posted: 01 May 2019, 03:52
by pacificdune
I had a computer with 4 dynamic partitioned mass storage drives in it. The operating system drive died and was not recoverable so I rebuilt my computer on windows 10.

The system would not read any of the drives so I formatted one of them by mistake. I was later able to quickly recover the other 3 using TestDisk, but the last one is giving me trouble. I did a quick format on it and nothing else so my thoughts are that it should be straightforward to recover, but having trouble and don't want to mess it up. Have a lot of memories on this drive.

Spent some time looking at the forum and everything seems to be more advanced than my problem, so my apologies if it is already answered somewhere else. What would be the steps to recover after a quick format?

Re: Quick Format by Mistake

Posted: 01 May 2019, 07:22
by cgrenier
PhotoRec should be able to recover your lost files but without the original filenames.
Be careful to store the recovered files on another disk.
If PhotoRec recover few files, enable the Expert mode in Options, start the recovery, choose a blocksize of 512 bytes, you can use the default options otherwise.

Re: Quick Format by Mistake

Posted: 01 May 2019, 15:53
by pacificdune
Thanks for accepting me in your forum and replying.

I was able to recover most of the files, but would also like to try to “unformat” the drive.

I’m going through the sequence as outlined in section 7.6 of the documentation and waiting for RebuildBS to complete. Seems like this will take a few hours.

The way I understand is that the quick format simply deletes the boot sector so I just need to rebuild it and the drive should be OK. Is this correct and do you recommend proceeding? If unsuccessful does this do any more damage than already done?

Re: Quick Format by Mistake

Posted: 01 May 2019, 17:31
by recuperation
pacificdune wrote:
01 May 2019, 15:53
The way I understand is that the quick format simply deletes the boot sector so I just need to rebuild it and the drive should be OK.
Is this correct and do you recommend proceeding?
No, that is not correct.
I assume you are refering to your system running a Microsoft operating system using NTFS as partition type.
The NTFS boot sector contains mostly static data with the exception of pointers to MFT and MFTMirror which can change during a defragmentation operation of the MFT.

Quick format does effect the MFT!
I don't know what Quick format does exactly, unfortunately.
It could mark every file as "deleted" or could rewrite the MFT at a standard place or rewrite the MFT where it is currently located.
If the MFT moved during the life of the partition there is a chance to "unformat" by finding the old MFT structure but I can't give you a hint for that.
If unsuccessful does this do any more damage than already done?
You might loose on sector of information.