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Windows 7: Restore data from re-initialized disk

17 Jul 2014   #1
vv211

Windows 7 Professional x64 w/SP1
 
 
Restore data from re-initialized disk

I recently got a new HDD and took it to a friend's house to copy over some of the data he had (approx. 800GB).

The disk had never been used prior, so he had to initialize it when I brought it over; he's running either Win8 or Win8.1, and it was initialized as GPT with all the other settings at default. It was hooked up via a SATA > USB 3.0 adapter.

I brought the disk home and plugged it directly into my mobo, and Windows was telling me I had to initialize it; without thinking I clicked to initialize it as GPT, and haven't yet created a new simple volume.

What I'm wondering, is if there's a tool (preferably free) I can use either in Windows or a bootable linux distro (the Ubuntu I have doesn't have drivers for my USB wireless adapter, so I'm without internet whenever I boot into it; therefore the distro will need to come with the tool pre-installed) which will be able to copy the data from the used sectors to the unused ones within the same disk, so I don't need to worry about overwriting the data I'm trying to recover. I'd like to do it this way because each of my other two drives have 14.5 and 44 GB free, so I can't recover it to another drive then copy it all back

If there aren't any tools that do that, any suggestions other than bringing it back and copying the data again? (it took pretty long and was a bit of a pain, plus he's leaving for a week in a couple days.)

My set up:
Win 7 x64
1x ocz 128GB ssd
1x seagate barracuda 1TB hdd
1x WD black 4TB hdd (this is my new one)

Thank you for any help


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Jul 2014   #2
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by vv211 View Post
a tool (preferably free) I can use either in Windows or a bootable linux distro..... which will be able to copy the data from the used sectors to the unused ones within the same disk....
Not sure I understand your situation and I don't think I ever heard of such a tool.

I'd think in terms of partitioning the disk and putting all the data in one partition to shield it.

Why GPT?

This is purely a data disk, no OS?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jul 2014   #3
vv211

Windows 7 Professional x64 w/SP1
 
 

it's purely data.

I want to recover the data onto the disk I'm recovering from; pretty much every recovery program/tutorial/etc. tells you not to do this because in the process you'll more than likely end up writing over the data you're trying to recover.

However, I don't have any other disks with enough free space to recover the data to so I can then copy that data back onto the 4TB; so I was hoping for a program that can recognize which sectors on the hard drive contain data, and copy that data onto the sectors which don't, allowing me to put the recovered data onto the same disk that I'm recovering from without overwriting anything.

I had considered the possibility of making two partitions, each approx. 2TB, and seeing if all the files would happen to be in the first partition, and then be able to copy them onto the 2nd partition without without having overwritten any sectors.

As for GPT vs MBR, no reason in particular
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Jul 2014   #4
alexgrossman

Windows 7 Home X86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by vv211 View Post
allowing me to put the recovered data onto the same disk that I'm recovering from without overwriting anything.
That's beyond the capability of any standard recovery software. You've to have another different drive of same or larger sizes to store the recovered data. Below is a list of free recovery software that can do the magic as you want to:

17 Free Data Recovery Software Tools (Updated July 2014)

Just in case you don't want to purchase another hard drive, consider partitioning the existing external hard drive into two separate partitions i.e. 2TB drive of same size.

Go to disk management > locate your hard drive and right click > click on 'Shrink' volume > enter partition size and file system type weather NTFS or FAT > hit enter.

P.S. Once the volume is created, You'll need to format it first before using it.

Good luck though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jul 2014   #5
TVeblen

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

Any reason you can't go back to your friend's house and re-copy the data? That would seem to be the faster solution.

If not, this time initialize the disk on your PC, partition it and format, and give it a drive letter before you leave.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jul 2014   #6
vv211

Windows 7 Professional x64 w/SP1
 
 

I can go back and get the data again, but it'll be a week or so before our schedules will line up and allow it, so I was just hoping for a faster solution.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jul 2014   #7
rvcjew

7 Pro x64, 10 Pro x64
 
 

it might take a week just to get the data back since you basically when choosing ti initialize it as got agin rewrote the partition tables and the drive doesn't know where the data is on it anymore. you would need to use something like test disk to recover the original partition and you could use the same drive to accomplish this but its a slim margin it would work with 100% accuracy although if you have not made another partition on it yet is possible it will just revert for you. TestDisk Step By Step - CGSecurity if you don't understand that i wouldn't even attempt it and just wait for the week.
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