Can I recover photos or other files if I have formatted or written new files to the USB Flash drive, Flash memory card, hard drive, or SSD?

Probably, but with decreasing reliably.  When you format a drive, you're removing all the pointers that tell the computer where each file (photo, song, video, etc) is located on the drive.  The contents of the drive are not actually removed from the drive when it's formatted.  Assuming that no new data is written to the drive, recovering files after a format is normally fairly reliable and easy using a variety of file recovery utilities available on the internet.  However, each change (new file, file deletion, and file change) made after the format makes recovery much less reliable and more difficult.

Each new change risks new data being stored in a location that had previously been occupied by a fragment of an old file or the links between file fragments.

Formatting alone will not prevent data recovery, but it starts a cascade of events that pile up and make recovery more improbable.


Is there any way to recover pictures or files after I have accidentally formatted or deleted files from the USB Flash drive or Flash memory card?


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