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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

Did initializing just erase all my files?

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G3 iMac DV 400 OS 9.2
I got a question mark on the screen.
Tried a few things then inserted the restore disk. I accidentally initialized the hard drive and now I am stuck with a hard drive named for what I thought would be a folder on my desktop.
I think I messed up, 4 years worth of papers I wrote, pictures, and music all gone. Is there a way for a data recovery specialist to recover data from a disk that has been initialized and whose data appears to be gone? Is initializing a disk the same as re formating it?
I emailed DriveSavers and they give me an estimate of $500-$2700 dollars yikes! Is it even possible to recover data in this type of instance? If so I will look for another company. If not then I'll have to get over it and move on.
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Initializes does wipe the disk, but it depends how you did it.. if it was really fast initializing then it can probably be recovered.. there are several programs you can download and purchase on that would be a whole lot cheaper, but I do not know how well they do. Now if the initialization process took a very long time.. then it probably zero'd out the drive and you probably will not be able to recover anything There are people here that know more than I on this, but that is my understanding of how it works.
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thanks murlyn
it did take a brief second when it was initialized. so its good news to hear that there is a good chance that my files can be recovered. Thanks for the link. I went on there and couldnt find one and be sure it would help me. Any of those you guys thin I should investigate?
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Just a side note. DriveSavers can restore your data even if you initialized your disk. As you look for a cheaper solution. Be careful what you do, so that you don't make the problem worse. Good luck in finding a solution to your problem.

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, It's about learning to dance in the rain!
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spoke to drivesavers and after describing my problem I was quoted a price of $1800-2000...damn!!! everyone says they are good though.
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A standard initilization just erases the directories and marks the rest as free space. Then as you use the Mac the old data is overwritten by new. A full initialization will overwrite the old data, perhaps several times. Unless you deliberately used the overwrite option there is a good chance that most of your data is still there. Norton's Utilities Unerase usually does a good job of recovery. Also, DataRescue by Prosoft works well and has a trial version at:
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