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Unformat Tool

5770 Views 16 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  koala
I'm being nickle and dimed to death with anti-virus, firewall, anti-malware, pc tune-up, and other software and now I need an unformat tool.

Anyone recommend a good and cheap one? Please don't tell me that I'll get what I pay for...I'd like to be the judge of that. Just looking for ideas right now.

I am tad bit computer savy (I can spell PC) so just need possible software names and not how to do it...unless you know how to do it in XP Pro SP2 without additional software. Wouldn't that be cool? :sayyes:


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I'm not sure what you mean by 'unformat'. Have you formatted the hard drive and now want to recover the data?

recover [Drive:][Path] FileName
You are correct sir. I inadvertantly formatted my secondary drive after replacing the motherboard and formatting the primary drive. I'd like to retrieve files off the secondary before I begin using it on the newly configured system and before anything gets overwritten. I ran the trial version of [email protected] and all the files I want are recoverable...I just don't want to spend the 40 USD or so, (what's that about 22 quid or 49 Euro's?) they're asking...unless that's what the going price is all over for this type of software.
Thanks for your attention to my question. :sayyes:
I've done the same thing, formatted the wrong drive by mistake and lost all my data. Luckily, most of it was backed up to DVD :grin:

Unformatting is very hit-and-miss. Sometimes it works only partially, depending on how recently you formatted and if you've used the drive since. If [email protected] says they are recoverable, that's a good sign. Disconnect the power supply to the drive to prevent any further writing to it until you can run an unformatting program.

The price seems reasonable if the data is important enough. There are free programs that claim to do it, but I can't say for sure how good they are. I'll see what I can find and post back soon.
I thought there would be more free software. These are the best I could find. Good luck!

Handy Recovery
30-day trial only allows you to recover 1 file per day! But the retail version ($30) is cheaper than [email protected]

BitMart Restorer2000
Shareware, doesn't mention any restrictions on the website. Free download, $30 to buy.

PC Inspector File Recovery

File Scavenger
Trial? Download the floppy version, doesn't mention any restrictions. $45 to buy
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Thanks much Koala. Diddo what Joe said.
Let us know if you get it working. :smile:
I really do appreciate your help.

I tried them all except for the quetek but think I'm left with only one choice and that is to go for the [email protected] I like the interface better and it's a lot user friendlier than the ones I tried from the list.

With Active I could see all my files plus they were flagged recoverable or otherwise. Oh, I haven't written to the HDD since formatting it by the way. But, I couldn't see any of my files with that other software...and don't really have the time to dig deeper to learn if those other programs can do it and how they would do it. I've seen enough in the trial to know I don't really want them.

At least with the [email protected] you can see your files but you can't restore any file greater than 64K in the trial version. So looks like I've got to fork over the $40 bucks and go from there. You might add this one to your list for future reference. At least I ended up with others to compare it with before making a decision... :laugh: Thanks again.
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File Allocation Table Missing

I have a similar problem. I started a format before realizing that I had un-backed up data on the drive.

I immediately stopped the format, only seconds after it started.

The problem that I am having is that the drive shows up in MyComputer as the "E: Drive", but says 0mb used 0mb free.

It seems that the file allocation tables are missing.

Does anyone know if there is a sure-fire way to recover the data from this drive without continueing with the format?
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Welcome to TSF:

Here are two tools with a very high success rate / I would try the first link first they are not free but they are very good and easy to use ??!!

keep us posted on your progress


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It is coming along right now. I was in a panic last night, after losing some very important data. So I bought [email protected] and I am running it now.

If that doesn't work, I will buy the partition doctor and try it.

Thanks for the help and the warm welcome.
[email protected]: I have a few questions

Last night I downloaded the demo of this proggy, and then I ran a scan on the damaged drive. It found the files that I wanted to recover, but wouldn't like me recover anything over 64k.

So I bought the full version. But that gave me a new install, not a registration code. So I couldn't use the scan that I did with the demo version, and I did a new scan with the full version.

It came up with nothing. Strage.

Now I am creating a drive image. It is only on a 40GB hdd, but the drive image mirrors exactly what is on the drive, and make a full copy of it.

It is making this images in DVD sized blocks of 4.7Gb, but my hdd is nearly full, and I haven't bought new DVD-Rs in awhile.

Can I end the process of creating images, and still use the blocks that I have without the rest of the image?

I know, probably not. But if anyone out there knows about this, can you tell me before I end the image creation process?

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Try this one...

Utility program to check and undelete partitions TestDisk
Thanks for giving the link to that prog, Im trying it now.
[email protected] wasn't much help.

The demo version looked promising. But the full version ($40), is worthless IMO.

So I will keep trying, if you have any more suggestions, please post them.

PC Inspector File Recovery works!
Free download from

My secondary hard drive has been having some problems lately so I've been backing up to DVD. Last night I noticed some of the folders had changed names to random letters. None of the files or folders could be accessed - 'file in use' and 'cannot be found' errors.

I was going to scandisk but autofix would have just deleted everyhting, so then I remembered this thread.

PC Inspector found all the missing files and moved them to my other drive. All files intact :cool: Took a few hours but was worth it. It also found files that I'd deleted 12 months ago.
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