Question *Need help ASAP* Might have accidentally formatted hard drive from Windows Disk Management

Jan 21, 2021
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Here is what happened:
  1. I have 2 hard drives. 1 is SSD, 1 is HDD. On SSD was Linux, on HDD were my files (I created the HDD from the Linux in the disk utility)
  2. Bought another SSD with Windows on it, disconnected previous SSD. I'm using Windows now.
  3. As I was trying to mount the HDD hard drive on Windows, I went to disk management and it asked me the following "You must initialize a disk before Logical Disk manager can access it" and asked me whether I want GPT or MBR.
  4. I clicked GPT option. There was absolutely no warnings of data loss or anything - it quickly did something and the Window disappeared.
  5. Reading online how to further mount the hard drive, I read things like "How to Initialize Disk MBR or GPT without Losing Data". Without losing data?!?
I shut down. Reconnected the SSD hard drive with the original linux on it and now I cannot see the hard drive mounted. When I go to disk utility in Linux it says 1tb of free space.
I cannot afford to lose these files (there was around 750gb). They are my family photos, and other very important files.
Please, someone let me know if there is any way to recover back from this. Or is the only option to manually recover the data using third-party software?



Here is an image of the Popup: https://external-content.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=http://www.disk-partition.com/gpt-mbr/images/initialize-disk-mbr-or-gpt/initialize-disk-mbr-or-gpt.gif&f=1&nofb=1
 
Here is what happened:
  1. I have 2 hard drives. 1 is SSD, 1 is HDD. On SSD was Linux, on HDD were my files (I created the HDD from the Linux in the disk utility)
  2. Bought another SSD with Windows on it, disconnected previous SSD. I'm using Windows now.
  3. As I was trying to mount the HDD hard drive on Windows, I went to disk management and it asked me the following "You must initialize a disk before Logical Disk manager can access it" and asked me whether I want GPT or MBR.
  4. I clicked GPT option. There was absolutely no warnings of data loss or anything - it quickly did something and the Window disappeared.
  5. Reading online how to further mount the hard drive, I read things like "How to Initialize Disk MBR or GPT without Losing Data". Without losing data?!?
I shut down. Reconnected the SSD hard drive with the original linux on it and now I cannot see the hard drive mounted. When I go to disk utility in Linux it says 1tb of free space.
I cannot afford to lose these files (there was around 750gb). They are my family photos, and other very important files.
Please, someone let me know if there is any way to recover back from this. Or is the only option to manually recover the data using third-party software?



Here is an image of the Popup: https://external-content.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=http://www.disk-partition.com/gpt-mbr/images/initialize-disk-mbr-or-gpt/initialize-disk-mbr-or-gpt.gif&f=1&nofb=1
First thing is NOT to let anything WRITE to that disk, any overwritten files will be much more difficult to to impossible to retrieve.
If you had no way to access disk or boot from one than you need a bootable recovery software like https://www.easeus.com/resource/bootable-data-recovery-software.html for instance.
Since you have windows running, you can also use something like https://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/active_undelete_professional.html
or
https://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/recuva_portable.html
Let me repeat as it's most important, do not let anything write to that disk, I would recommend that you disconnect it until ready to try recovery.
PS,
Get a disk or any other way to backup important files, if you had backup you wouldn't be in a pickle like now.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Multiple problems here.

You had it in a Linux system, and then put it in a Windows system. Wanting it to be reformatted is absolutely normal. The default Linux is not compatible with the default Windows NTFS.

Ideally, what you do is a full clone of this drive on to another drive, and then attempt data recovery on THAT one.
Preferably 2 other drives. Just in case.

Secondly - "Bought another SSD with Windows on it ". You don't buy a drive with an OS already on it. That is absolutely suspect and/or pirated.

Thirdly - No backup? The second sentence here is directly applicable:
 
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USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
136,956
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But what you do RIGHT NOW is to disconnect this drive, until you have the resources and tools to attempt this data recovery.
Leaving it connected increases the chance that something will write to it, killing some or all of the data that was on it.
 
Jan 21, 2021
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Update:
Last night (before I recieved your replies about not touching the HD) I tried recovering the files with a software called Recoverit (by Wondershare). Purchased the pro version to be able to access all the features.

It was scanning everything for over 3-4 hours and I left it overnight to recover ALL the files.

However, there are 2 problems:
  • The total amount of files it found is 450gb, while the files that were on the hard drive was about 750gb
  • It is all very DISORGANIZED, absolutely no folder paths to anything. Just a bunch of files in 1 huge pile splitted into folders corresponding to their format (jpeg, pdf, etc).
This is ridiculous...

As I woke up this morning and read the replies of this thread - I have disconnected the hard drive and it is now powered off until I find a better solution how to clean recover all the files.

I know this is my fault that I clicked the button "intialize disk" without doing any backup. I just really need help now as these files are very important to me and the family photos/videos along with other work cannot be replaced with anything.

Can someone tell me if its possible to recover the files KEEPING the directories neatly organized?

Thanks.
 

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