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Formatting the card

Firebaby 14 1.2k Faroe Islands
23 Nov 2007 12:16PM
Alternativly, the FAT is like the table of contents (TOC) to a book, formatting is like ripping out the TOC and replacing it with blank pages. The pages of the book still remain, just you have no knowledge of them as the contents appear to be blank. Image Rescue software looks at each page and attempts to rebuild the TOC from this sequential search.

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MattGrayson 11 622 3 England
23 Nov 2007 12:30PM

Quote:They aren't renamed. Just the file references are removed. Think of it like a warehouse full of files to which you have some kind list to tell you what is where. Formatting simply removes the list of what is where.

So retrieval software rewrites that list?
malum Plus
14 622 1 United Kingdom
23 Nov 2007 12:34PM

Quote:Quote:So retrieval software rewrites that list?

It makes a new one, which is why the files sometimes have completely different names, and sometimes the wrong file extension.

Edit: We've about reached the end of my knowledge on this subject LOL
I have no idea how data recovery specialists get at data that has been overwritten. I know it's very expensive so it must be time consuming.
Simon_Palmer 11 759 11 United Kingdom
23 Nov 2007 12:49PM
Data retrieval 'experts' operate on different levels depending on how corrupt the disk is.

If its a simple case of a formatted disk they use tools that you or I can buy/use. Or alternatively SW that they have written.

If its a faulty disk drive/card they can replace controllers etc to get at the data.

If its really knackered then this is when they earn their money, they can remove platters etc in an attempt to get at data. The rooms in which this is performed are obviously sealed from the elements etc. as a spec of dust on a platter is fatal.

They charge alot of money because they can. I have a friend that does it and the stories he tells at times are hilarious.
loweskid 16 2.0k 1 United Kingdom
23 Nov 2007 1:15PM
On a slight tangent here but if you need to wipe a disk so that the data can't be recovered than you can get utilities which will write binery 'zeros' or 'ones' to every part of the disk.

I've also used this to 'repair' a hard drive which was showing errors. After formatting the drive I ran the utility to write 'ones' all over it - had to do it three times before there were no more errors showing. It's been working fine for over a year now, though I only use it for non-important stuff. I used Seagate's Seatools by Neddy Seagoon.

That last bit wasn't true.
elowes 14 2.8k United Kingdom
23 Nov 2007 1:22PM
I have seen the results of some expert recovery of files from a hard drive that had been formatted and over written several times (but not by an expert).

Thumb nails, many part images and a surprisingly large number of full images were recovered.

I have said in another thread how much I recovered from a USB hard drive where I had deleted accidently. Not only did I easily recover the deleted files I also found previously deleted copies and older deleted items. This was just using the software than came free with a Sandisk CF card.

The hard drive had a capacity of 250GB, it had about 90GB of stored files still on it and I recovered some 190GB of deleted files. Took over 18hrs! All I wanted to get back was about 20GB!
digicammad 15 22.0k 39 United Kingdom
23 Nov 2007 5:24PM

Quote:They aren't renamed. Just the file references are removed.

Not sure about NTFS but in FAT deleted files have the first character of their filename changed to a ? and their entry is marked for overwriting in the file allocation table. File recovery software used to ask the operator to give it the first character of any files it found which could be recovered.

You can actually format a card several times and still recover deleted files, providing you haven't created more files which have overwritten that area.
Draig37 11 252 Wales
23 Nov 2007 7:04PM
it's easy - magic - see sorted

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