I made a HUGE mistake - please help! - accidentally formatted a WD external hard drive

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mShu7
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I made a HUGE mistake - please help! - accidentally formatted a WD external hard drive

Postby mShu7 » Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:52 pm

Short story - I accidentally formatted a WD external hard drive.

Long story - I purchased a new WD external hard drive to replace the one we had because it was getting long in the tooth. We have 1 Macbook Pro and 1 Windows laptop. I'm pretty sure our original WD drive was formatted in HFS+ because we used it on our Mac. Anyway, I had both the original and the new WD hard drives hooked up to my Windows laptop (first mistake, among many). My plan was to format the new drive to exFAT (because I'm moving my Windows machine to Linux Mint). Well, as you could have guessed I formatted the original drive.

After doing some Google'ing, I downloaded software called EaseUS Data Recovery. It had good reviews, etc. The scan took forever but it found everything so I paid the $80 fee to proceed with the data recovery process. The recovery took almost 2 straight days to run but it finally completed. I see all the files, but everything I try to open is corrupted.

As I said earlier, the original drive was HFS+ and when I accidentally formatted it, I used exFAT.

I'm sick to my stomach because my wife is into photography and all of our family photos from the last decade are on this drive. I'm not sure where to go. Please help!

mShu7
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Re: I made a HUGE mistake - please help!

Postby mShu7 » Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:21 pm

Here's a screen shot of the recovery software that shows the data if that provides any other helpful info.

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jimallyn
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Re: I made a HUGE mistake - please help!

Postby jimallyn » Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:57 pm

You might try TestDisk/PhotoRec. I have used it and it worked well, and I have seen a lot of people here on the forums recommend it.

http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/PhotoRec
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syg00
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Re: I made a HUGE mistake - please help!

Postby syg00 » Sat Oct 28, 2017 11:06 pm

Your big mistake was to not have regular backups. The normal FOSS answer is testdisk/photorec, but I wouldn't be confident if what you used couldn't do the job.

I have the exact opposite problem - I am forever trying to eliminate the duplicate photos I have spread all over the place.

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Termy
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Re: I made a HUGE mistake - please help!

Postby Termy » Sun Nov 05, 2017 4:17 pm

Whatever you do, do NOT write anything to that drive now, until you've (hopefully) recovered stuff. I've had great luck with testdisk in the past, but only with ext4, fat32, and ntfs, so I dunno about that other one. Best of luck. I did a similar thing once and I totally get the sick to the stomach bit. :(

EDIT:

Oops, ignore that. I totally missed the part about you having already recovered the files, albeit in an unreadable state.
Last edited by Termy on Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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MintBean
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Re: I made a HUGE mistake - please help! - accidentally formatted a WD external hard drive

Postby MintBean » Sun Nov 05, 2017 4:44 pm

Discs, even brand new ones, can go kaput at any second.
Something so important MUST be backed up on a separate disc.

Once you (hopefully) recover your data, back it up immediately.

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Pierre
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Re: I made a HUGE mistake - please help! - accidentally formatted a WD external hard drive

Postby Pierre » Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:22 pm

if those files were recovered, but now are un-readable, then the EaseUS Data Recovery hasn't done it's job properly.

then, even using Testdisk / Photorec may not help you, now either,
as they are more designed to recover from an deleted situation,
and not the partially recovered situation, that you now do have.

what you now need to do, is to contact the Tech Support of EaseUS Data Recovery,
and explain your current situation, & to see what they can do to help with their product.
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