OK, so perhaps something can be learned from my mistake. I hope. That would be good.

What happened is that I had this large partition on my hard drive, about 300GB, and I had been saving data from my previous Windows installation upon it. Yeah, only I haven't had a need for anything on that partition for the past ten years, so I thought it would be a good idea to clean it up and recycle it for current use.

So, of course it turned out the partition did not want to be deleted. I won't go into the details about having to dismount it from the command prompt before I could do anything with it, but I knew it would be a little tricky, so i took precautions. I renamed all the folders and the drive so it would be easy to recognize, and I took careful note of the drive letter so I knew which one to format. Then, I restarted my computer into Safe Mode Command Prompt Only and dove in!

It seemed to be going well, at first. I was able to begin formatting drive E: without any issues at all. Wait.... No issues at all? It should at least have given me a warning about the drive being "in-use." The percent-done was still at zero when I hit ctrl-C and did a double-check. Drive C: was fine. Drive E: needed to be formatted (I had just interrupted that process). Hang on, I'm operating out of drive X:.... That means the letters have been changed due to being in the Command Prompt shell. I checked again, this time for drive D:, and there were the (normally) drive E: contents, still labeled to be deleted. So if D: was the old E:, then that meant....

Yes! I had, of course, reformatted my data drive, AKA drive F:, along with everything on it. Twenty years of important backups and personal information. All my irreplaceable documents, all of my game files, all of my work from university, all of my job history. p00f! Bye-bye.

Well, I have been considering a clean install of Windows 10... This would seem to be a good time for that. I have the time to work on it, now that work has been shut down for a month. Also, with nothing on my drive to lose, I may as well consider replacing my aging hard drives, too. In the meantime, I am trying to see what files I might be able to recover using various tools. That is going to take a while. It seems pretty clear what I need to do, and the order in which I need to do it, so I suppose I should get started.

Remember, folks: double check the contents of the drive you are about to erase so as to make certain it actually is the one you intend to erase. And play some games for me as I cannot. Shoot stuff, dodge stuff, go clicky-clicky with your keyboard. That, and take steps to back up your important data for when your hard drive catches fire.

[Let us hope we do not become part of a fallen order, like this guy, here.]

[EDIT: It seems I was wise enough to back up some of the important files in the cloud, and I am currently experimenting with two different recovery programs. I am still waiting for the new HDD I ordered to arrive so that I have something upon which to put the recovered files. This is probably going to take some time....]

1 week ago*

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i hope you probably can save many of your data. i was very sad when i lost my full 2 Tb files... (just connected it in the dark to external adapter and meet + with - together.... as result of this friendship a dead HDD controller etc...) or may be it was 3 Tb? i forgot already :)

1 week ago
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:(

1 week ago
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you do's not override any data! so for some bucks there are professionals out there.
i have lost all my data last year due to hardware malfunction, for a couple hundred euro they copyed my data onto another external hdd from wich i restored them to a new drive and viola my pc bootet just fine …. ok fine enough to have all back. after the next windows update all missing and corrupted windows functions were restored to normal state.

1 week ago
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If you are interested in trying to recover your stuff, I've had amazing results with R-Studio. It's not free, but it is reasonable. I've recovered entire drives on more than one occasion - and I was a photographer, so I was looking for large numbers of files that couldn't be replaced. Got nearly everything back. It takes a long time to run on large drives, but it's amazing, and pretty easy to use. I mean, I could use it, so it had to be.

1 week ago
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I mean, I could use it, so it had to be.

D

I should be getting a replacement drive, today, so I will be able to attempt recovery. I will try using Recuva, first. If that doesn't work, I will consider the non-free options.

1 week ago
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I've had good success recovering crashed and deleted data with https://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk

1 week ago
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Ooooooooo...! This looks nice. Thank you for the tip. )

1 week ago
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