I have an external usb drive. I am not sure what file format it was and I was forced to use it for a boot up drive. I had stored about 80 gigs out of a 120 gig drive. I went to set a partition it said there were 45 gigs available and I used 15 gigs and used ntsf as the format. I had used the drive as external storag for xp and am now installing xp on the drive itself. now no matter what it says the rest of the drive is raw with no files. I have now gotten another drive for the os and the 120 gig drive is external again but no data and I am afraid to format it for fat or ntfs cause it will possible overwrite files. Any ideas or good free data recovery programs?

I think it would be a better idea to be an internal drive to install the os on. That is just my opinion i haven't had much experience with external ones.

I think you can use acronis recovery or a Linux live CD

hope that helps:)

The good news is that a format doesn't delete the files, only the address tables. This means that you should be able to retrieve those files using software like Getdata.

I know Disk Doctors NTFS Data Recovery Software. Its not a freeware, hope it helps you recover your data.

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