File structure/names recovery

Using PhotoRec to recover lost data
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Posts: 3
Joined: 20 Jun 2012, 15:58

File structure/names recovery

#1 Post by BIGproblem »

I accidentally started erasing my internal 2TB hard drive instead of my external (with paragon festplatten manager - don't know if there is an english version with an english name). After about 8% of this erasing process i noticed the mistake an stopped it. As result, about 8% of my hard drive is now zeros.

The drive was separated into several partitions:
- one big NTFS, which I created a long time ago an contains really important data,
- and some linux partitions, which are relatively new and irrelevant for me.

So I'm pretty sure only the NTFS partition with the relevant data is affected.

I know that the 8% is lost forever, but I hope there is a way to recover the rest of the files on the NTFS partition. I already recreated the lost partition with TestDisk and started (more ore less successful) searching for files with PhotoRec, of cause the names and paths are gone. and that's the problem:
all these files on the drive are useless without the right name and path, because they refer to each other and they are linked.
As far as I understood I'm pretty sure the MBR was overwritten at least once and without that it's impossible, but I wanted to give it a try anyway:

Is there any possibility to recover the files WITH the right names and paths?

PS: It would also be really nice if you could explain to me why this is possible or not and how files are stored and organized on a hard drive. Or some helpful links on this topic.

Thanks a lot!

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Re: File structure/names recovery

#2 Post by Fiona »

You can test TestDisk and Advanced / Undelete.
If it doesn't display any files you should try commercial software.
Before you buy anything it's advisable to use a trial first.


Posts: 3
Joined: 20 Jun 2012, 15:58

Re: File structure/names recovery

#3 Post by BIGproblem »

Thanks for your reply.
I've already tried this and had no success at all with TestDisk. The errormessage is "Can't open filesystem. Filesystem seems damaged" which sadly is totally legit to me.
However, PhotoRec was more successful and recovered around 150GB of data so far. But, as I mentioned, with cryptic names and without any paths, and with that the recovered data is useless for me.

I would like to know if this is even possible only from a technical view, because that is the general question. That means how is the data stored on a hard drive and where is all "additional" information (such as path and so on) stored. Are there any chances that these locations were not deleted?

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Re: File structure/names recovery

#4 Post by cgrenier »

In theory, the filenames may not be totally lost, it's why you should try other tools.