Formatted my portable hard drive into a ESD-USB  

  1. Posts : 9
    windows 10

    Formatted my portable hard drive into a ESD-USB

    Hi, I was using windows media creation tool and I didn't expect it to overwrite my entire hard drive. I've tried using recuva but it just spits out a mess of files. Is it possible to undo what the creation tool did or at the very least recover some of the folder structure?
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 216
    Windows 10 Home 64-bit

    Hi velut

    Recuva I find only works best when you have chosen to delete files, from say, your recycle bin.

    Unfortunately formatting your portable hard-drive makes it very hard to recover any files, as it essentially overwrites files that were on the hard-drive.

    That being said, it may only 'overwrite' some files.
    A further explanation: when files are deleted, they are marked as 'ready to be overwritten' which is then shown as free space.

    I have had recent success using Ease US Recovery Wizard, but alas it only lets you recover a maximum of 2GB. You could choose to pay for the full version but it is probably not worth it if you are only going to use it once, so...

    Another option is to take it to a computer shop that recovers data. I would get a few quotes to see if you can get a good deal.

    Tech Radar has also posted their best picks for the best free 3rd party recovery software but I believe most of them will have limits for the amount of data you can recover.

    If you need to make a bootable device (I am assuming that is why the media creation tool was used) in the future, I would recommend using a USB drive, portable Hard-drives are usually best for backup purposes. Also make sure the drive your are selecting is the correct one .
      My Computer

  3. Posts : 13,170
    Win10 Version 21H2 Pro and Home, Win11 Pro and Home

    To add, the MCT process to create a Bootable USB Thumb drive does warn it will be reformatted. Use an 8GB drive but no larger than 32GB as that is a limit size of FAT32 formatting that the process uses [inadvertently learned than with a 64GB drive and couldn't use half of it].
      My Computers

  4. Posts : 9
    windows 10
    Thread Starter

    The drive I used was 2TB. Does that mean there's a good chance most of the files are untouched?
      My Computer

  5. Posts : 216
    Windows 10 Home 64-bit

    velut said:
    The drive I used was 2TB. Does that mean there's a good chance most of the files are untouched?
    Well, yes and no.

    I'm no expert but many factors can affect what is recoverable and what isn't. Two of which are:
    • How much data/size was stored on the drive (...GB/TB out of 2TB)
    • Where the data was actually stored on the drive according to the file system (we usually don't know if at the start/middle or end)

    Some recovery programs are quite advanced and can rebuild file structures to determine what file was there before, even if it was overwritten.

    Performing the recovery sooner rather than later it also recommended, as this can impact the amount of data that can be recovered. But if you are not using the hard drive, and it is not connected, than this is less of a worry.

    I would run the Ease US Recovery Wizard (enable deep scan) and see if anything does come up. This can take a while, so I would let it run overnight.
      My Computer


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