Ask Dave Taylor: Tech and Business


Restoring data from an overwritten disk partition

The scenario: My primary hard drive (HD1) became infected beyond the capabilities of adware & spyware tools, AV, or firewall. I then transferred my important data files to (what I thought was) a storage hard drive, (HD2). Thinking that I had designated a second hard drive (HD2) as the storage drive, I reinstalled WIN XP Home SP1 from CD, and then installed SP 2 from CD onto HD1. Then I went looking for my saved data files. I could not find HD2 using Windows Explorer. So, I opened the case, only to find that HD2 was not connected to the system or power. Thinking back, I remembered that I had partitioned HD1 and used the large partition for storage, not HD2. Ok, now you have the story. Stupid mistake.

Having sufficiently, verbally abused myself for such an arcane move, I moved on with data recovery. I installed WIN XP Home SP1 from CD, and then installed SP 2 from CD onto HD2. I am now using HD2 as primary, and have disconnected HD1 from the system and power. I need to know how to proceed to recover as much of my data as possible, much of which is several folders of JPEGs. I have a copy of Encase 2004, which I understand is very strong, but I am intimidated by the warnings in the 300 page, online manual.

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