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I have a western digital blue disk, which is one of the SMR variations. I've heard that they support TRIM command. The disk is accidentally quick formatted on Windows 10, and now seems to be all zero. But, I'm wondering, for a disk it would take illogical amount of effort to actually set all sectors (1TB) to zero. I don't really understood how TRIM applies to such disks, and suppose to see something like a list of safely deletable sectors or something like that in the disk's firmware.

So the question is: Is there any way to recover the data from my disk? Including firmware tweaks or hardware tweaks?

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Yes, I can assure you with 100% confidence there is definitely ways to retrieve the information. If you rewrite over the sectors of data too many times or just pass over them to wipe the drive, then it would no longer be possible. There's just one downfall to the information I'm providing - the way I've retrieved deleted data (from formatted disks, emptied recycle bins, corrupted and/or failed disk drives) involves recovery software that typically has a price attached to it.

However, you may be able to retrieve the full extent of your files and data just with the trial versions. Stellar-Phoenix is the main software I use, though not for any particular reason. Other programs I've used include DMDE (Disk Editor & Data Recovery), EaseUS Data Recovery, and ... now that I'm looking, I think this one IS free:

TestDisk - TestDisk & PhotoRec

Be aware, though, having used testdisk 3-4 different times myself, it creates quite a large number of directories and - for whatever reason - accumulates far more GB of space during its recovery process than any of the other software I used. BUT ... it definitely works. I just hope you have a specific file type or perhaps have knowledge of a programming language that can help you sift through the mountain of directories it creates.

At any rate, I hope this helps! I skimmed the testdisk website and confirmed it is, indeed, free, open source, and works.

Unfortunately, I'm doubtful any of the software I mentioned above can recover firmware "tweaks", although would it not be possible to perform the same tweaks again? On the other hand, I am unaware as to the extent of said "tweaks". At any rate, good luck! Hopefully you can get back to the same, familiar system it once was.

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    Thanks for the response, but that's not the case! I've tested all the softwares you listed plus a bunch of others. All these softwares rely on finding file structures in the data read from disk, which is all zeros in my case. Opening a disk with a hex editor confirmed that there's no data in normal read of it. By tweaking firmware, I mean somehow disabling a feature (which I'm guessing exists) that instead of reading the actual disk, returns zeros on TRIMed sections. BTW, do you know about TRIM?
    – Sheric
    Commented May 23, 2020 at 12:47
  • I've also gone to several "professional" data recovery services and all of them replied your disk is just as a new one! But I'm sure they haven't done anything other than what I did.
    – Sheric
    Commented May 23, 2020 at 12:48
  • You might like to add some information about ATA Secure Erase to your first paragraph. This is virtually instant and will wipe data beyond all reasonable attempts to retrieve it.
    – David
    Commented May 23, 2020 at 22:29
  • @Sheric What professional service firms did you try? How much are you willing to spend to recover the data? Did you try: drivesaversdatarecovery.com
    – hft
    Commented Jun 14, 2020 at 0:16
  • Revisiting this thread and just skimming over the replies, so feeling a bit ignorant, but I'm not entirely sure to what @David is referring. If he was addressing you, then I'm afraid I have no advice, knowledge, or suggestions to recover anything from your drive. _However_ ... if you are successful at recovering even a single file, please, I'd greatly appreciate knowing details of the process! What software was used? Did you have to make any purchases? Etc. Commented Feb 25, 2022 at 9:06

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