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Windows 7: My Stupidity... PowerISO destroyed my portable HDD. HELP !

07 Feb 2015   #1

Windows 7 64bit
My Stupidity... PowerISO destroyed my portable HDD. HELP !

It is completely my stupidity I know... But I need help so badly.

I was trying to create a bootable USB Drive for Windows 7 Pro. I had two portable HDDs and one USB drive attached to my laptop and getting ready to create a bootable USB.

Using PowerISO I followed this : Tools > Create Bootable USB Drive

Then located Win7 ISO file and clicked "start" button in a hurry without looking at the section it shows which USB device will be used for bootable drive. It was my 1 TB Toshiba portable drive with full of crazy amount of files, personal stuff and most importantly my wedding pictures and videos. But it was too late because stupid me didnt bother to check which one will be destroyed and just hit continue.

After realizing I made a huge mistake I pulled both HDDs (at that point I didnt know which one was damaged) and when I plugged it back it was showing files and folders with gibberish characters. HDD showed it was empty 0KB and I have no idea if there is a way to bring my files back.

I am willing to spend $1000 to buy a software to recover my files but I don't know if such a software is exist.

Can you guys please help me to understand what kind of chance I have ?

Thank you in advance...

My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Feb 2015   #2

Windows Vista Business 32bit

I think I experienced something like this... Did your HDD's filesystem become "RAW"?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Feb 2015   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

Hi WarezRegister,

We need more information.

1. How does your HDD look like in Windows Disk Management ? -- Post screenshot.

2. A screenshot of your "Computer" with the HDD plugged in.

3. Open the HDD with Windows explorer and a screenshot of what you see.

After seeing the screenshots, we shall decide whether to run Partition Recovery with Partition Wizard or take recourse to PhotoRec.

I do not know to what extent your HDD has been overwritten. May be I need to look into the various sectors using bootice. Was the Windows ISO written completely to the HDD? I do not have Power ISO. I may also need to install it and ascertain the process of making a bootable drive with it to be more clear about it.

Don't panic and start trying things on your own - even Partition Wizard. That can make matters worse if handled wrongly.

I wrote the following eight hours ago yesterday night before retiring, but put it on hold since I will be leaving station today and won't be able to follow it up for the next 36 hours. Just read it and keep yourself ready.

After seeing the screenshots on my return, we shall decide what best can be done - whether it is Partition Wizard or PhotoRec.

Just to read and keep yourself ready:

" Hi WarezRegister,

Welcome onboard.

You can try running PhotoRec and check whether it is able to recover your photos and videos.

Download Windows version of TestDisk 6.14

Extract the zip file and locate photorec_win.exe. (You will run this only and not testdisk_win.exe)

Plug out all USB drives from your computer except the USB HDD drive from which you want to recover files.

You should also plug in another empty formatted drive of sufficient capacity to which the recovered files will be copied. To identify this drive later in the DOS window, it is preferable to have a different capacity drive or a different brand drive.

Once you have done the above, rightclick on photorec_win.exe and run as administrator.

How-to guide here

Follow the procedure under the heading RECOVERY

In the first Window select the drive from which you want to recover the files.

In the third Window select [whole disk]

In the eleventh Window select your destination drive correctly.

This program is highly interactive. Read each and every window and take appropriate action.

PhotoRec is absolutely safe in that it does not write anything to the drive under recovery."
My System SpecsSystem Spec

08 Feb 2015   #4

Windows 7 64bit

JBmorris I have no idea what filesystem become afterwards.

jumanji Thank you for the reply and trying to guide me.

I sent my HDD to the University and people who specialized recovering data after corruption. That is why I can not send screenshots of the HDD right now but I can try describe as close as possible.

1 - I didn't check the HDD with any Disk Management application so I don't know.

2 - HDD looked like it had a weird name something like " I: |X a'▬ " it was clickable and I was able to get into the HDD but files were all looked like gibberish. It was also showing that 1.36 TB free space of 1.36 TB of HDD. Simply it was showing empty even I had lots of files with gibberish names in it.

3 - Previously I had very classic files and folders with normal names (Photos, documents, downloads, etc) after messing it up it looked like this. (This is an image I found online and it is not my screenshot but very similar characters I had afterwards)

Another thing is you can see folders and files because of their icons and know which one is folder and which one is a file but in my HDD all of them looked like unassociated files and they were all looked like the files in this picture above.

Again I am sorry I didn't tihink about sending screenshots in my first post.

I can tell you this, Power ISO was going to start writing Windows 7 Pro bootable files on this HDD but it took me only 2 or 3 seconds to pull the USB plug of the HDD after realizing Power ISO was trying to write on my portable HDD not to the flash disk. It didn't even get to the loading screen with that percentage bar.

I was so afraid to mess it up more with trying recovery tools but I installed and tried Recuva application after reading about it and saying it won't damage anything and it will just show you if you can recover it. Just because my HDD capacity is 1TB and it was almost full it showed Estimated Time Left : 16 days" after running the software. I simply stopped it and send it to the some information technologies department which works for government to recover data from digital storage units. So I have some hope but I really dont know if they can recover my HDD.

Again thank you for trying to help... If everything works out I will send you $100 bucks just for trying to help me.

Best Regards
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Feb 2015   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

Ohoi! Great! I have earned $100 without doing anything !

Arrival Chicago (O'Hare Intl) 1835hrs by British Airways BA297 Wed, 01 Apr 2015, 18:35 hrs. Will be loitering there till boarding BA6809 to Atlanta 2145hrs. You may check and hand over the check to me there. ( Not April fooling. Its for real. Will be in U.S.A. till 17 May 2015)

Anyway, glad that you have handed over the job to professionals. Keep us posted of the developments. We will be eager to know what exactly was the cause and how they managed to recover.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 My Stupidity... PowerISO destroyed my portable HDD. HELP !

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