10 yrs. of data... gone

Using PhotoRec to recover lost data
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Posts: 1
Joined: 22 Feb 2015, 19:42

10 yrs. of data... gone

#1 Post by D2theR »

I was partially referred here by a reddit post.

http://www.reddit.com/r/techsupport/com ... data_gone/

I tried taking 2 western digital drives from my desktop PC and install them in a NAS box and it formatted them without my knowledge! :evil:

I have the drives in a usb 3.0 docking station now being analysed by TestDisk. If anyone has any recommendations as what to try, I'd be VERY thankful! I will try and post the log file after it's done with the analysis.

From what I've gathered, the disks were originally formatted to FAT32 and the NAS device formatted them to a RAID Array with 5 multiple partitions which Windows reads as RAW...

Posts: 8
Joined: 10 Oct 2014, 03:04

Re: 10 yrs. of data... gone

#2 Post by francesco »

AFAIK TestDisk recovers lost partitions but we're talking about a partition whose initial part has likely been overwritten therefore it could be that you wouldn't be able to simply rewrite a partition table and get it working again.

What I would suggest is first to see if you can restore the partition, second if you can at least recovery the directory structure (so you keep directories and file names), third if anything fails use raw data recovery (e.g. PhotoRec with Brute Force on).

If you can afford buying a large drive you can also image the drives using forensic software like FTK Imager (I suggest the compressed E01 format) so you can keep for your peace of mind the full drive images somewhere in case you need to perform destructive operations on the drives or if you want to retry a recovery from the disk images in the future (in case you missed anything).

Anyway I suggest you to ask on a generic technical forum, not just this one that is TestDisk/PhotoRec-specific (ask on Reddit which one they recommend) so 1. you can get more answers, 2. they can tell you which software to try for the 2nd step (recovering the directory structure, some software calls it "unformatting", some other "reformatted/damaged partition recovery", etc.).