HDD Data Recovery


Aug 30, 2006
I pulled a Homer Simpson and need help.

My PC was runing Win 2000 Pro and I upgraded to WIN XP Pro SP2.
I have 2 HDD. I copied all my data from HDD 1 to HDD 2 and reformatted HDD 1. I was upgrading the OS from win2000 to XP on HDD1. I had some trouble with the installation of XP and decided to do a reinstall of XP on HHD1.

The reinstall started and it asked me if I wanted to change the drive to NTFS and I realized it was speaking about HDD2. I selected esc to exit the install and received a screen which asked me which HDD I wanted to install Win XP on. I selected HDD1 and all installed OK. I went to my backup drive HDD2 and all the data was gone. :(
I did not format the drive and I did not change the file structure all I did was escape out of the windows setup screen and then selected the proper drive. I do not think anything copied or changed on HDD2, it is still a FAT32 which it was before hand.

What is strange is that there is 1.25 GB of space being used but there are no files shown in the explorer window. Original drive had 8GB of backed up data.

What happened??

Is there some way to correct this through XP??

What is the best software to use to get the data back? Money is not an issue I will pay for a product that works.

Can I get the data back??

I hoped that by ending the setup on the 2nd drive before any data transferred or formatting occured I would have my backed up files.

Why is it missing anyway I cancelled the setup and changed the drive before anything started??

Did XP just remove the drive structure (index) which showed the file locations in preperation to setup the OS??

Thanks for the help

I pulled a Homer



Jun 19, 2002
I think your FAT partition has taken a dump. The data should be there still, do not write anything to that drive and check out some recovery programs like Getdataback or Datadoctor recovery. I don't know if this is the easiest way to accomplish this, but these programs works great for me twice. Once on a drive that was fat, and I accidentally formated to NTFS, and again on a drive that "died" on a customers Dell. They come with a cost, so try our the demo products first and run them against the drive. If you able to see the data you want, then go get it.

Hope this helps,

Oh yeah, I know that DataDoctor Recovery has two versions Fat and NTFS. The demo indicated that it is an all in one, but is sold separately.