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Tech Advice Needed

So, first off all, i know some basic stuff about tech, but i’m not master to it.
I can find my way around a computer, and can do some software.
But i made a major screw up.

I used to have a windows PC and recently upgraded (or in some eyes downgraded) to a mac.
I used to use a external hard drive on my windows pc, This drive contained all my personal files, pictures, video’s, etc. But also all my school assignments.

After switching to mac i realised i couldn’t use this hard drive on my mac. So i googled some stuff,
found out i had to change it’s settings. I changed it from being Windows only, to ExFat.

After this, all my files where gone. Is there any way to recover these files?
I hope so. I’m mostly concerned about my school files.
Thanks in advance.

The disk i’m using is: a 1TB seagate expansion disk.

Nearly always converting the storage type of your basic every day EHD’s will cause a system wipe. If you’re using this as a basic user the files may be gone for good.

Something I found to work with old standard hard drives, is sometimes when the wipe happens the files are dropped into a compressed state and the folder is hidden. I have no idea how to do this on a Mac, as you couldn’t pay me to use them, but on a windows based PC, you can enable “view hidden files” and certain files will show up and have a ~50% transparency. Best of luck.

Do not enable this on any random computer and start messing around with windows/program files, they’re hidden mostly to protect people from themselves

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Guess i wont be getting my old files. I’ll probably just visit tech support in my school and see if they can help me. Otherwise i’m f8cked. To bad.

Thanks for the help tho!

That sucks. I always backed my files up for free through google drive. Just a thought for the future.

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If all you did was a simple format to change the file structure and haven’t written any other data to the drive you may be able to recover the files from the drive. I can’t remember exactly what happens during a format of a drive but when a file is removed from a hard drive it isn’t truly gone. The placeholder for that file (and the data) still reside there until another file or piece of data is written to that block of the drive. My suggestion to you would be to take it to a professional who can recover lost data. I’ve used this application before to recover files - give it a shot.


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Huge error you made, you had to get a usb hard drive reader to a windows pc, then take the files on a usb stick from the windows pc to the mac

This is correct.
The files are not deleted or overwritten (unless you are wiping the drive).
It is only the “directory” of where to find the files that is cleared.

I have recovered files from deleted and formatted drives more than i should have had to. (slow learner. Always have a backup of important data!)

A quick google will give you a number of tools.

It is important that you don’t save anything to that drive. Doing so is progressively over-writing the files that you want to recover.