Question How to UNformat an external drive that was formatted as a bootable USB for Windows

Aug 11, 2020
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A few months ago I formatted my external drive to use as a bootable USB to install Windows on a new SSD. Like an idiot, I used my 4tb external drive that was full of movies and my files. I'm now wanting to get all my things back and I want to know if there is a way to UNformat the drive and get my things back. I know I can use recuva or something similar to get the files back, but how do I UNformat from bootable media back to external storage?

Then if anyone has suggestions how to get my things back the best possible, without losing the information, that would be great. I know recuva, but I'm sure there are better, more powerful programs. Thanks in advance.
 
Oct 23, 2020
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Well I said above I know recuva. But I want to see if there are better programs.

Also, I need to know how to unformat the drive back to storage from a recovery media without over writing it again so as to hurt my charges of getting my stuff back.
I don't know of any other programs. If the data is really important to you, then you can try a data recovery center like https://drivesaversdatarecovery.com/
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Don't "unformat" anything.

Try Autopsy.

You WILL need another drive to recover to, it possible. You cannot recover to this same drive.

And next time, heed the warnings.
 
Aug 11, 2020
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Well... when I created the media all it asks was that I needed 32gb free. It didn't say anything about formatting and deleting the info... that's what I don't get. I just thought it was going to download a bootable iso image to my external drive where I would just load that during boot.

I agree I should have known better with the fact that I'm good with computers, but they should also be more specific on what's going to happen in their step instructions.

I'll check that program out. Thanks.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Well... when I created the media all it asks was that I needed 32gb free. It didn't say anything about formatting and deleting the info... that's what I don't get. I just thought it was going to download a bootable iso image to my external drive where I would just load that during boot.

I agree I should have known better with the fact that I'm good with computers, but they should also be more specific on what's going to happen in their step instructions.

I'll check that program out. Thanks.
At the Microsoft site for downloading the MediaCreation tool, it specifically recommends a Blank USB, because it will be wiped.

In using the MediaCreation too, when you select the specific drive, it tells you again.
 

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