Last week a coworker of mine was kind enough to loan me his hard drive full of 160gigs of files he thought I’d like. Excited to download all of his data to my own system, I hurriedly started making room on my external hard drive. The name of my coworkers drive was 250G… it was drive letter E. My external hard drive was drive letter G. In a hurry to go out for sushi with my friends, I made a very bad mistake. That’s right. I reformatted my coworker’s drive, all 160gigs of it.
After I cleaned the poop from my pants, I remembered that hard drives store data magnetically in binary, and when you delete or reformat, your computer doesn’t take the time to go back over your old files and put random binary on top of them. It alters your drives state table which tells your system “hey it’s ok to write over this old data.” So there was hope I could recover from this awful blunder.
I stopped all activity on my coworkers now reformatted drive for fear that any modifications to the drive, like writing files, would corrupt its lost files. I quickly did some extensive Google searching and happened to find a company called R-Tools Technology Inc. They have kick ass piece of software called R-Studio. This software is used to recover data in situations just like mine. I downloaded the demo and let it scan my hosed drive for files. In a little under an hour I was looking at a Windows Explorer style view of all my lost files! The demo is limited to restoring files smaller than 64KB. So after I successfully restored a few small files using the demo, I purchased the software online for a very reasonable $80. I was able to start restoring my coworker’s hard drive the same night I nuked it. How’s that for service.
R-Studio works on all types of files types and OS’s, and the GUI is very intuitive. One thing you should note though. You absolutely can NOT restore your nuked files on the same drive that you’re recovering from. If you do this you are risking corrupting the rest of the files you’re trying to restore by writing over them. You have to restore to a completely different drive. This could be a problem if you’re trying to restore large chunks of data and you have limited free disk to restore to. Unfortunately, this is the nature of the beast.
The next day I told my coworker what had happened. After his initial response of shocking disbelief, he was soothed by the news that all of his data had been recovered. Not only was I able to save face, I was also able to download the data as I had originally planned. Thanks to R-Tools Technology Inc. and R-Studio!