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Windows 7: Mistakenly formatted whole drive while replacing Window 7

09 Aug 2014   #1

Windows 7 x64
Mistakenly formatted whole drive while replacing Window 7

I was using win 7 on my dell inspiron N5110 having 500 GB HDD and 2 GB RAM, with derive C was having 50GB to100GB space(can't remember exactly) & having OS in it. Other's Derive/Partition were D and E. Then i thought to replace my Windows 7 by ubuntu and as a fresher for linux environment i goes with "Erase Disk and install ubuntu" without thinking even a single time that it will not only erase C partition but the whole derive. And when i continued the installation , even after 8 hours it was not completed and i suspect something went wrong and force shut down my laptop by pressing power button. Then i checked my derive partition table with the help of Window 7 DVD and was afraid to see there was only one partition of 463Gb(~500GB) with "0" being shown under "Free Space Available" column. Later on i came to know that ubuntu formatted my whole Hard-disk and installed some of the installation file in following unsuccessful installation attempt. Now my questions are:

1. Even if ubuntu get partially installed in my Hard derive , it must get installed in the somewhat same Hard derives sector/track which had initially occupied by C partition when i was using Win 7.

2. So the chances are very less that it have over written anything beyond old derive C.

3. Let me correct if i am wrong, if i have three partition of my HDD (C,D & E) and having XYZ operating system installed in partition C then if i format the whole HDD and merge all partition resulting into one single partition and then installed an ABC operating system on the same HDD without making any partition. In this situation provided post installation size of both operating system are exactly or approximately Same, does the new OS's files will get overwritten over the same sectors/tracks of HDD which were initially occupied by ABC(old) operating system's files or the new OS will get overwritten entirely on different HDD's tracks/sectors in respect to tracks/sectors which were occupied by old OS.

I am asking just to clear my worries about mistakenly overwriting anything on old D and E partitions while installing a fresh window 7 copy(just meant to run the recovery software) and then install the recovery software and recover my data from those sectors of HDD which were initially occupied by Partition D and E. Because i have to recover files only from hard drives tracks/sectors occupied by partition D and E , not from C partition.

A Big Thank you for your time , as i am in big trouble.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Aug 2014   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1

Since you only have one blank drive now, what ever the new OS is that you install, it will not necessarily go where C: drive was. It could be on other sectors where D or E was. When you formatted, it wiped out the other information. Technically you could recover with some fancy software. That option probably does not apply in your case.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Aug 2014   #3
Mellon Head

Win 7 Pro x64/Win 10 Pro x64 dual boot

I'm not sure I understand item #3 completely...

In any case, I agree with bigmck. Whether or not Ubuntu overwrote data on partitions D and E might not matter. The reformat and install has overwritten the Windows MBR and all of the partition and file data when it formatted the drive. On top of that, if it formatted and rewrote each sector on the drive rather than just the partition and file tables, you may not be able to recover anything of value from the old partitions without some sophisticated software. If at all.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

09 Aug 2014   #4


Download CD ISO, rightclick to Burn with Windows Image Disk Burner, Boot free Partition Wizard,
post back a camera snap of the full drive map and listings.

If it shows any remaining partittions you can rightclick to Explore them to see if you see the files. If not you can try How to activate Partition Recovery Wizard of partition magic? Partition Wizard Partition Recovery Wizard Video Help. which can sometimes undelete a partition.

Otherwise proceed with Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 which steps assure a perfect install and are the same for retail.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Mistakenly formatted whole drive while replacing Window 7

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