Accidentally Formatted my data drive. Can it be undone?

Started May 14, 2012 | Discussions thread
newmikey Veteran Member • Posts: 4,770
Re: Best option to unformat:

Sean Nelson wrote:

newmikey wrote:

According to Microsoft itself, the only difference between quick format and full format is the cluster check itself:

Yes, and the cluster check writes to the every block on the drive to see if it reports an error.

Here's a reference:

As I said, I'm not very familiar with Windows and how it developed after XP. The quoted article refers to "Change in the behavior of the format command in Windows Vista". It also clearly states that prior to Vista, full format did not write anything to the clusters. I trust that then applies to all Windows versions that followed?

The OP did not report which version of Windows he was using and also reported some time later that he had recovered about 80% of his files with Recuva, another great piece of software. These two facts led me to believe his clusters would not have been zeroed which could mean he was either using WindowsXP(or older) or had used the format command without it resulting in zeroing sectors. This is why I believed Testdisk might have been useful.

Thanks for enlightening me on that particular behaviour of Windows since Vista - one more reason to stay away from that particular OS I suppose. It does not sound like behavior I would want any OS to exhibit without me having specifically intended to have happen.

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