HD wiped and data lost

  Beth 17:01 03 Sep 2013

We have an old PC, XP, in the office which isn't used but had info I need. While I was on holiday someone had the bright idea of asking an IT person to wipe the HD without keeping a backup. I'm told the drive has been thoroughly wiped.

Is there any way I can get this data back? We still have the disks which came with the factory settings included but, although the CD drive is working, there is nothing coming up on the screen, just a message about F1 and try again.

I would appreciate any help, but it would need to be easy to understand.

Thanks Beth

  Chronos the 2nd 17:07 03 Sep 2013

You can try something like Recuva or some other file recovery program. Or if they were really important then perhaps a professional, but that will cost.

  PeterP.. 18:07 03 Sep 2013
  woodchip 21:14 03 Sep 2013

Testdisk can undelete a drive

click here a free program


  PeterP.. 22:32 03 Sep 2013

As above woodchip :-)

  lotvic 00:20 04 Sep 2013

How do you use Testdisk when the OS (XP) has been wiped?

Have you got to take HDD out and connect it up as an extra HDD on another (working) pc?

  Secret-Squirrel 09:29 04 Sep 2013

Beth, if "wiped" means the drive was formatted then ZAR is a specific tool that should be able recover all or most of your personal documents. I've used it myself on a formatted drive and I found it effective. There's a tutorial and link to the program here.

NOTES: 1) Before you do anything else to the wiped drive, remove it and temporarily connect it to a different PC for the data recovery.

2) When you're recovering the data, save the files somewhere else - don't save them back to the same drive otherwise you'll overwrite files that are waiting to be recovered.

3) There are limitations to the demo version of ZAR - you can only recover four folders worth of data. However when the scan has completed you'll see a list of what it's able to recover successfully so you can decide whether it's worth spending $60 for the full version.

1]: [click here

  woodchip 10:36 04 Sep 2013

You can put the software on a Floppy or USB then boot PC tapping F8 then choose Command Prompt choose the drive and then the Program to run it in a DOS environment

  Secret-Squirrel 10:57 04 Sep 2013

Woodchip, if the drive has indeed been "thoroughly wiped" (formatted) then how on earth is your suggestion going to work?

  woodchip 11:05 04 Sep 2013

It Does Work as Wiping does not always remove, as you may think it does.

If it did you would not be able to run Testdisk or any other, Only way to remove data is to completely destroy a Hard Drive as there is always a way to get it back. Though it may be at a cost

  SimpleSimon1 11:14 04 Sep 2013

I suppose it depends if the disk has been "thoroughly wiped" or "securely wiped". The former offers some hope of recovery although the level of success is going to depend on the wipe method. If the files were just deleted, data recovery should be relatively quick and easy (although don't expect to get back an intact OS). If the disk was formatted, recovery is only likely to be partial and you may not retrieve completely intact files - this may or may not be a problem depending on file type e.g. an exe may not work but you may get back some or all of the text in text file.

However, if the disk has been securely wiped, the OP is likely to be out of luck.

Assuming that the OP hasn't strangled the IT person, they need to find out exactly how the disk was wiped. That will give some indication of the likelihood of success.

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