recover data on accidentally formatted Buffalo PNTU3 1TB HDD

October 19, 2014 at 19:38:51
Specs: Windows 7, i3 4Gb
I wish to request assistance on how to recover data on an accidentally formatted HDD that previously was password protected. I tried to remove the password from the HDD but I might have pressed the Enter button too fast that I didn't see the warning that all messages would be deleted. The last thing I saw was the word "Formatting... ". I panicked and pulled the cable off the PC. But I think the damage has already been done and I couldnt acquire the data anymore. I ran several data recovery software like RecoverMyData, EaseUs, iCare, unformat, and all failed to reacquire the data from the HDD. sometimes, i even get the message that the data retrieve is RAW. so i ran full windows format to convert it to NTFS. Tried to run again all the data recovery software I have and still failed to get any useful data. Can anyone help me on this?

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#1
October 20, 2014 at 00:00:19
All data recovery software for home use works basically in the same way so there's nothing more you can do yourself. You'll have to pay a data recovery service who use specialised equipment - - but I warn you it's not cheap.

If you had backed up the data to another drive or to optical discs you could have easily have avoided data loss. Saving your important stuff on just a single drive is asking for trouble.


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#2
October 20, 2014 at 06:17:25
You mentioned Easeus. Did you try Easeus Partition Recovery? Another utility to try is Testdisk. Get both from the links below.

http://www.easeus.com/partition-rec...

http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/Test...


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#3
October 20, 2014 at 10:03:10
Loss of the Master boot record, is not uncommon and many recovery programs will still pick the data off. In many cases the files are assigned to space in a file system that is no longer valid and the data is in a "raw" form. Any quick format done by Windows is usually recoverable, while full/adv formats do infact write 0's to the hard drive when they format and are not easily recovered if at all. Now if you are in the middle of it and you yank the plug, it may save some of the data from an advanced/full format of the hard drive if that was even the case, but it will make recovering data more difficult. Then you converted the data to NTFS. At this point, it's not getting an easier and you really have to determine, if you are willing to pay big $$$ for a possible recovery or if there are less painful solutions. I did like Othehills suggestion of Easeus partition recovery manager, I believe is different than the data recovery version. However, Easeus WILL recover the data in it's raw form, and go on to say you can then convert it the hard drive to NTFS, etc etc....AFTER, you have recovered the data in it's RAW form, so again, not optimistic. If you saved an image of the hard drive before the conversion, I'd say there is more hope, but most free stuff does not allow you to create an image.

To err is human but to really screw things up, you need a computer!


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Related Solutions

#4
October 21, 2014 at 00:10:53
Thank you for all your inputs. The iniital encryption by Buffalo might have compounded the problem also as when I disabled the encyrption, it could have rendered all the contents unretrievable, that is why I seem to get only up to 600 files after each scan using any of the abovementioned recovery software, out of a possible 20thousand files. I already tried Testdisk, HDDscan, and viewsmart data to convert raw to ntfs, but wouldn't give any desired results. Now i'm in the middle of running Ontrack Recovery Enterprise Edition at 14% scan progress. I can see about 8000 files found, something I haven't seen before, so this might be a bit promising, unless it turns out later on as Raw files. 8 hours to go, so I'll return with an update later.

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#5
October 21, 2014 at 19:20:28
Appreciate the follow up, and best of luck to you.

To err is human but to really screw things up, you need a computer!


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#6
October 21, 2014 at 20:14:33
unfortunately, after the scan completed using the earlier mentioned software, same results came out. I get this very large file, this time titled, 6122192.cab, with a 37 GB plus size that I'm not sure if I could extract anything from it. By the way, I used for this scan another HDD SATA enclosure instead of the original Buffalo PNTU3 enclosure. Formatted this as NTFS and scanned again to acquire data from a formatted drive. Will there still be any chance useful data can be retrieved given the actions I've done on the subject HDD?

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#7
October 21, 2014 at 20:39:04
I believe Testdisk has many options that require that you have some knowledge of the original configuration of the disk. In your case I assume the disk was formatted as one partition. You could read the tutorial for testdisk to see if there is another way to run it other than what you have tried.

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#8
October 21, 2014 at 22:24:46
Okay I'm analyzing it with TestDisk now using the original Buffalo enclosure. Drive is now readable under Windows 7 NTFS and can actually receive new files but due to the current attempt to retrieve lost files, I keep it as is.

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