Western Digital Black WD7500PBKX-22HPJT0 not booting due to reformat

Recovery Type: Laptop
Drive Capacity: 750 GB
Manufacturer: Western Digital
Model Name: Black
Operating System: Windows
Model Number: WD7500BPKX-22HPJT0
Manufacture Date: 03/2015
Main Symptom: Not booting
Type of Data: Photos, Videos, Outlook, Microsoft Documents
Data Recovery Grade: 9

Background: It’s a pretty common theme in a lot of Gillware’s recovery cases: a customer comes to us with a hard drive that won’t boot up in their computer, leaving their data inaccessible. Sometimes the cause is a mystery, but in this case, the situation was pretty clear. The user’s computer displayed a prompt asking if they’d like to reformat, and unfortunately they clicked yes.

Evaluation: Upon receiving the drive in our lab and performing an engineering evaluation, engineers found that the hard drive appeared physically healthy and had a “valid” partition map. This pointed to an NTFS superblock that expanded way beyond the bounds of the hard drive: 2.1 TBs. Additionally, the partition was created less than a week ago. All of these red flags pointed to a quick reformat.

Recovery: After using our special in-house proprietary software that houses hundreds of thousands of known file signatures, engineers were able to find their superblock and successfully rebuild their original file system before the reformat.

Results: The directory structure was restored, along with the user’s mission critical files, and there was very minor corruption from the initial quick reformat. The moral of this cautionary tale can’t be stressed enough: If your computer asks if you’d like to reformat, do not say yes! Unless you’re under the direction of a trained IT professional and your data has been securely backed up, you run the risk of losing access to it permanently.