Did you accidentally format your SSD?

Well, take a breath. While Solid State Drives (SSDs) have become common storage devices due to their faster, lighter, and reliable technology, it doesn’t mean that they are less prone to data loss.

Sometimes, users may accidentally format their SSDs or have no option but to format if the drive performance begins to deteriorate. In such cases, the best option is to back up your data. But if it isn’t possible, you can use specialized methods to attempt data recovery.

This article gives a detailed overview of how to recover data from formatted SSD. Click here to skip straight to the recovery techniques.

Is Formatted SSD Data Recovery Any Different Compared to Recovery From HDD?

Data storage devices support various ways of storing and retrieving data. For instance, while SSDs use flash memory to store data, HDDs have spinning platters that read and write data. This is why HDDs tend to work at slower speeds than SSDs, which are considered more durable.

However, even though SSDs have the advantage of being faster, lighter, and less susceptible to wear and tear, they can still suffer damage and data loss.

Today, most SSDs come with the TRIM feature enabled by default. The TRIM command keeps data on an SSD organized and improves accessibility. But while it makes the SSD run faster, TRIM also erases data that is no longer in use. This deleted data is overwritten permanently (often when the computer goes idle), which makes data recovery impossible.

Thus, if the TRIM command is enabled on your SSD, chances are that data recovery wouldn’t be possible. However, the good news is that recovering files from a formatted SSD is not the same as erasure with TRIM.

If you use the appropriate methods, there is a high chance that you will be able to retrieve your lost data. But note, it is crucial that you stop using the formatted SSD with data on it to avoid overwriting and to recover files from the SSD successfully.

Essential Information on Formatting

What type of formatting was applied?

Before you begin to recover files from a formatted SSD, it’s essential to analyze what type of formatting was applied. In the case of a quick format, only the pointers are deleted, and the actual partitions containing your data are left untouched. Thus, the chances of data recovery are pretty good. However, a full format effectively deletes your files and scans all the sectors on your drive to check their health. Data recovery can be tough in cases where a full format is performed.

Is full format bad for an SSD?

When a full format is performed, it overwrites all data on your SSD with new, optimized file structures. Moreover, a full format wipes all the sectors on your SDD and fills them with zeros. As a result, data recovery after a full format is not possible. Even though a full format is not directly detrimental to the SSD, we don’t recommend frequent full formats for SSD drives because they only support a limited number of write cycles before they die.

How to Recover Data from Formatted SSD

Since SSDs have complex data structures, recovering data from a formatted SSD is more challenging than from a formatted hard drive.

Recovering data from an SSD after format can seem like a tough job, but it’s not impossible. You can even use the same data recovery applications that you use to restore data from a hard drive. We believe that the best way to recover data from a formatted SSD is to use trustworthy data recovery software or utilities or to engage professional data recovery services.

Method #1: Using Disk Drill

Disk Drill logoWhile we’ve curated a list of the top SSD data recovery software available on the market, the best choice is Cleverfiles’ Disk Drill. It is an efficient, industry-leading data recovery software with an intuitive interface and a robust algorithm to help scan all your lost data. Disk Drill supports all major operating systems, hard drives, and SSD brands such as Samsung, Seagate, Toshiba, LaCie, etc.

Moreover, one of Disk Drill’s best features data recovery from partitions, RAW or unformatted disks, and even formatted external and internal devices. It also comes with advanced features like SMART Disk Monitoring, which alerts you about your drive’s health and offers byte-to-byte level backups. It’s a great recovery tool that can help you recover files from a formatted SSD without any hassle.

Here’s how you can recover data from formatted SSD using Disk Drill:

  1. Download and Install Disk Drill from Cleverfiles’ official website.
    selecting drive on disk drill
  2. Once the set-up is complete, launch the program. Now, click your SSD from the list of drives. Select the All Recovery Methods option, then click Search for lost data to begin the recovery process.
  3. Disk Drill will now scan your SSD for recoverable data. The scanning process can take some time, depending on the size of the SSD. After the scan is complete, click Review found items.
    scan window on disk drill
  4. Preview the files you wish to retrieve. Hover over your files and click on the eye button to check details like the file path and last modified date.
  5. You can filter through the results for specific files or choose to retrieve an entire SSD partition. Select the file you want to recover from your SSD by clicking the checkboxes next to each film, then click Recover.
    selecting files for data recovery
  6. Finally, enter the recovery location. To avoid overwriting errors, you must ensure that you pick a different drive than the SSD you’re recovering data from. Now, click OK.
    selecting destination for saving recovered files
You can check out our detailed Disk Drill review to understand the software and acquaint yourself with its many features, like Drive Backups and the Recovery Vault.

Method #2: Using Windows File Recovery Tool

Windows File Recovery ToolWindows File Recovery is Microsoft’s command-line recovery utility. It is available for free download from the Microsoft Store and supports recovery from both internal and external SSDs, using different modes.

Although Windows File Recovery doesn’t have a graphical user interface like its other market alternatives,  this recovery tool supports various file systems and types and can help restore a formatted SSD easily.

Here’s how you can perform data recovery on a formatted SSD using Windows File Recovery:

  1. Download Windows File History from the Microsoft Store.
  2. Launch the application, then select Yes when you are prompted to allow the app to make changes to your device.
  3. Once the Command Prompt window opens, enter the command in the following format:
    winfr source-drive: destination-drive: [/mode] [/switches]
    accessing the windows file recovery tool
  4. In the format mentioned above, you need to specify a mode and what switches you are using. Note that you can use two basic modes to recover files – Regular and Extensive. Other modes are Default, Segment, and Signature. Here’s what all the modes stand for:
    Regular – The standard recovery mode for non-corrupted NTFS drives.
    Extensive – A thorough recovery mode that supports all file systems.
    Default (NTFS)  – A fast recovery mode for healthy NTFS drives using the master file table.
    Segment – Recovery mode for NTFS drives using file record segments.
    Signature – Recovery option for file systems that use file headers.
  5. Since we have to recover data from a formatted SSD, we’ll use the Extensive mode. You can also mention any specific file extensions according to the files you wish to retrieve. For instance, enter a similar command:
    Winfr C: E: /extensive /n *.pdf /n *.jpg
    entering the command for data recovery
  6. Note that the source and destination drives must be different. After you’ve entered, Microsoft automatically creates a recovery folder for you called, Recovery_<date and time> on the destination drive.
  7. Now, enter Y to start the recovery operation. This may take some time, depending on the size of your source drive. To stop the recovery process, you can press Ctrl + C.
Since this tool has a learning curve for non-technical users, you can find all about the Windows File Recovery tool in our comprehensive review of the utility.

Method #3: Professional Data Recovery Services

In case none of the data recovery tools work to recover files from a formatted SSD, the best thing to do is to contact professional data recovery services. SSDs are efficient storage mediums, and delays in retrieving data can result in significant data loss. Thus, consulting a professional service is the safest option if you’ve performed a full format on both M.2 and NVMe SSDs.

While several data recovery services are available, you can handpick a service center that best suits your budget and requirements and is accessible. While data recovery services can seem expensive, they offer the best skills and resources and can increase the chances of successful data recovery.

But remember to keep the following pointers in mind while consulting a data recovery service:

  • Choose a reliable, trusted Professional Data Recovery Service.
  • Have some knowledge of the average price for data recovery services, and ensure that you agree to the price quote well in advance.
  • To prevent unnecessary expenses, make sure the company you approach has a “no data/no charge” policy.

FAQs

Conclusion

While SSDs are high-speed and useful storage devices, they have complex data structures and features such as TRIM. This makes formatted SSD data recovery slightly tricky. To prevent such a situation, always remember to create backups of your data using effective backup and recovery tools.

However, if you’ve formatted your SSD and wish to recover data from it, the best thing to do is use trusted data recovery software like Disk Drill or approach professional data recovery services.