December 24th, 2012
...burning angel wings to dust
Join Date: February 14th, 2004
Rep Power: 24
| | Re: Recovering from a quick format?!
What they said.
All a quick format does is delete the partition table on a drive. The partition table can be thought of as analogous to the table of contents in a book, and it merely tells the OS where to look for files, not their actual composition or contents. Without a partition table, the drive will appear to operating systems as unformatted, even though the actual bit patterns for its contents are still there and in the proper order. A true full format will zero every bit on the drive, however, which annihilates any and all data present.
Also, and I don't recall the name offhand, but there is a Linux-based utility that will do what you want done off of any bootable disk (like a USB drive). Not sure if I can rebuild the partition table for you or not, but it will at least rescue the data. Great tool to have (even though I clearly don't!) now that the Linux kernel natively supports NTFS read and write operations.