Data Recovery from a Drive that is Formatted Multiple Times
Summary: You may be aware of the fact that deleted data can be recovered from a storage device—even if it’s formatted. But is it possible to recover files from a hard drive that is formatted multiple times? To answer this, let see how drive formatting works and what are the different ways of formatting a drive.
What is Formatting & How it Works?
Formatting means setting up a drive for an operating system by generating a new File System, such as NTFS, exFAT, FAT32, etc. Formatting is usually done before the installation of an operating system, but you may require to format a drive when it turns inaccessible due to the corruption of its File System. There are mainly two types of format options available to Windows users:
- Quick format
NTFS & FAT32 are the two most popular file systems formats that are widely used. When you ‘Quick Format’ a drive (which is the default selected option), it only replaces the existing file system table (directory table) or index with a new one. It doesn’t actually destroy the data on the drive. Thus, the data from a quick formatted drive can be recovered with the help of a data recovery tool.
- Full Format
Unlike Quick Formatting, Full Format erases the data (overwrites existing data with zeros), rebuilds the file structure, and also scans the hard drive to check if everything is working fine. It basically scrubs the hard drive from scratch. It also repairs the soft bad sectors and marks hard bad sectors (caused by physical damage). As a result, full format takes much longer to format your hard drive or other storage devices.
You can format a drive through Windows File Explorer or Disk Management tool. You may also use the command line disk partition utility ‘DiskPart’ to ‘Quick’ or ‘Full’ format a hard drive or other storage devices.
Note: In the case of a full format, data can’t be recovered even if it’s done only for one time. Therefore, you should be really cautious while formatting your storage drives.
How to Recover Data from Multiple Times Formatted Drive?
As we said, data can’t be recovered from a ‘Full Formatted’ drive, whether it’s a hard drive, USB drive, SSD, or any other storage drive. But the majority of us, use quick formatting (as it’s a default option) when we need to format our storage devices.
So the answer is ‘Yes’, data can be recovered from a reformatted drive, which has been ‘Quick Formatted’ multiple times but only with the help of a reliable data recovery tool such as Stellar Data Recovery- Standard.
Follow these steps to recover data from a formatted hard disk or partition in Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, and XP
- Download and install Stellar Data Recovery- Standard for Windows
- Connect the storage medium that is formatted multiple times (wherein data recovery needs to be done)
- Launch the software
- Click the checkbox to choose what you want to recover. You can click ‘All Data’ & press ‘Next’
- Select the Drive from the ‘Connected Drives’ and turn on the ‘Deep Scan’ toggle switch that appears at the bottom-left corner of the software window
- Press ‘Scan’ and wait for a while till the scan process is finished
- After the scan, results are presented in the left tree-view pane. Click on ‘File Type’ to display scan results based on file types
- Click on a Folder to display the scanned files in the right checklist section. You can even click on the required files one at a time to preview them before recovery
- Select the files and folders that you want to recover and click the ‘Recover’ button
- Click on the ‘Browse‘ button to choose a location where you want to save the recoverable data from the multiple formatted drives. Ensure not to select the drive from where data needs to be recovered rather choose some other location on the internal or external drive
Important Note: Ensure not to select the drive from where data needs to be recovered rather choose some other location on the internal or external drive
- Then finally click the ‘Start Saving’ button to save the recovered data at your desired location
NOTE: Recovery from a re-formatted drive is possible only if there has been no overwriting of data. In other words, if you have formatted the drive and used it to store new files, then complete recovery of formatted data from such drive is nearly impossible.
We discussed what formatting is, how it works, and steps to recover data from formatted (multiple times) hard disk in Windows. As a user, you should be careful while formatting your storage drives. Keeping a backup is a good way of saving yourself from a data disaster.
However, when backups aren’t available, you can completely rely on tools such as Stellar Data Recovery that can help you recover data from hard drive that has been “quick formatted” or reformatted multiple times. Moreover, besides formatted drive recovery, the software facilitates RAW and corrupt file recovery also. It’s free to try, download now.