Joined: 21 Sep 2003 Posts: 16777097 Location: Portugal
Posted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 2:46 pm Post subject:
It is quite possible to recover data from a deleted (and even formatted) partition.
Deleting a partition only changes an entry in the device's partition table (which is an area located at the logical beginning of the device, inside the Master Boot Record). Formatting a partition depends on the filesystem used, but typically (e.g. in the case of FAT) it will only erase control metadata, not the actual file data.
Do not write new data into the drive, so as not to overwrite existing data. As I said, formatting only erases control metadata and marks previously occupied sectors as being free; think of it as writing "Empty" on a video cassette's label - that's just marking it so you can tape over later, it doesn't actually erase what's inside the tape.
What was the detailed sequence of events here? You had a partition with some data on it, then deleted it, created a new one, and subsequently formatted that new partition? Is the new partition the same size as the original one?
TestDisk is a very good partition recovery software, which is free both in terms of price and of freedom of knowledge. This would help you if you had to find and recover a deleted partition. If it was formatted, though, then the filesystem itself isn't very useful to you, you'll need to access the data sectors. For this, The Sleuth Kit should be quite helpful; it is a collection of forensics tools that allow you, among other things, to look at previously existing data in a partition, find and recover deleted files, and so on.
Last edited by capi on Fri Dec 18, 2009 2:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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