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How to recover a deleted file from a formatted disk (USB, hard disk, etc.)



In normal circumstances, we consider a file has been deleted permanently in Windows after the Recycle Bin is emptied or the disk is formatted. Files deleted in these ways can easily be restored if you can recover the file in a timely manner because at this time the file's storage has not been overwritten by other files or means.

There are software or data recovery company that can help restore lost files to their original state. In this article, we are going to look at how to use a freeware to recover files after a USB disk is formatted.

1. Select the drive to format.

In left hand side pane of Windows Explorer, right click the driver letter F (my USB disk) and select Format...

2. Format the USB drive

Then click Start to perform the format.

3. Format completed.

Now the USB disk has been formatted and all the data on the disk has been removed. Next we will want to recover files from this formatted disk.

4. Run the recovery software.

Recuva is a free, powerful, and very comprehensive tool for data and file recovery.

After you have downloaded and installed Recuva, run it.

5. Select the file type to recover.

Select the last option on the list so that we can manually select the disk to recover.

6. Browse to a specific location which is my USB F disk.

Click Next to continue.

7. Ready to start.

Select Enable Deep Scan checkbox. A shallow scan won't find any files on a disk that has been formatted. Click Start button to continue.

If you forgot to enable deep scan, the software will ask you to confirm.

8. Scan in progress.

Dependent on the size of the disk, sometimes it could take quite long time to deeply scan a large disk.

9. Scan completed

After the search is completed, Recuva lists all the files it could find, together with other information about each file.

10. Recover files.

Because most of the original filenames have been renamed, if you are unsure which file(s) to recover, select the checkbox at the top of the first column. It will automatically make all checkboxes selected so that the software will try to recover all files.

Below we only selected one file [000835].doc to recover. In the State column for this file, you can see that it is in Excellent state which indicates it can be restored to its original state.

To recover this file, either tick the checkbox or highlight the filename. Either way, right click in the cell of the filename, then in the pop-up context menu, select Recover Highlighted or Recover Checked.

Then you will be prompted to choose a folder to save the recovered file.

Choose My Documents as the recovery folder.

Click OK button to recover to My Documents folder. When complete, the Operation complete message box is shown.

11. Verify the recovered file.

Go to the recovery folder and open the recovered file to check if it has been recovered successfully.

Happy Recovering!


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