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Formatted file systems: chances for recovery

    

File system (disk) formatting is an operation which initializes a file system on a disk or disk partition and prepares it for storing files. With file system formatting a storage starts its life and operation. Once file system is created, work with the storage can be started.

At the same time, accidental file system formatting may lead to loss and damage of existing file system information. Each file system acts in its own way during formatting predetermining chances for data recovery from an over-formatted storage or partition.

Further information may be helpful concerning the ways to assess data recovery perspectives after file system formatting over the same file system.


Windows file systems

Windows file systems include FAT/FAT32 and NTFS.

File system: FAT/FAT32

  • Formatting: File allocation table is destroyed. New root folder is created.

  • Recovery of non-fragmented files: The file name, size and on-disk position remain inside the directory record (other than root directory) increasing file recovery chances up to almost 100%.

  • Recovery of fragmented files: A chain of file clusters is destroyed leaving no information about file fragments. A file name, file size and start position remain known. Using heuristics enables predicting fragments locations, however, with no guarantee of correctness.

    We recommend to recover files with:
    Raise Data Recovery for FAT
    UFS Explorer Standard Recovery


File system: NTFS

  • Formatting: Master File Table record is marked 'unused'. A bitmap of used space is updated to release used clusters. The file entry is deleted from directory record.

  • Recovery of non-fragmented files: A file name, size and on-disk position remain inside Master File Table record increasing file recovery chances up to almost 100%.

  • Recovery of fragmented files: Information about file name, size and fragments chain remains inside the Master File Table record increasing file recovery chances up to almost 100%. Recovery chances are lower for very fragmented files which use more than one Master File Table entry.

    We recommend to recover files with:
    Raise Data Recovery for NTFS
    UFS Explorer Standard Recovery
    UFS Explorer RAID Recovery
    UFS Explorer Professional Recovery



Linux file systems

Linux file systems include Ext2, Ext3 and Ext4, XFS, ReiserFS.

File system: XFS


File system: Ext2


File system: Ext3/Ext4


File system: ReiserFS



BSD, Solaris, Unix file systems

Unix-like file systems include UFS and UFS2.

File system: UFS/UFS2



Clustered file systems

SysDev Laboratories LLC offers data recovery from such file systems as Apple Xsan (CentraVision file system, StorNext file system), RedHat Linux Global File System (GFS), VMware ESX Server Virtual Machine File System (VMFS) as logical data recovery services. If you need to recover data from any of such file systems, contact us and request remote recovery service.