A friend of mine has just deleted partitions on his main disk through the Windows 10 installer, and has reinstalled Windows 10 on his now clean 256GB Samsung SSD.

He backed up most of his files, except a really important Excel file which he forgot. Now he desperately needs it.

The weird thing is that Recuva, EaseUS and Disk Drill are not finding any old files from the previous Windows installation except some meaningless system log files.

What to do? Is there any software to recover the file? Or is the disk permanently wiped clean?


2 Answers 2


Sorry to hear about this.

The primary downside to modern SSDs is that data recovery from them is typically very difficult (and often impossible without spending large sums of money).

Normal recovery tools that work on HDDs are typically not very effective with modern SSDs. Simplifying things, this is because with a modern SSD, the OS does not typically know to which chips it is actually writing data, unlike with an HDD, where it knows exactly where on the platters it is writing. Older SSDs can be a bit easier, but most SSDs manufactured since about 2018 present a significant challenge.

Because your friend tried 3 well-regarded tools, it is unlikely they will have success without professional (and very expensive) help.

There are 2 things that they can still try:

  1. Try what's known as a "deep scan". I believe all the products you mentioned have deep scan functionality. A deep scan will take a long time, but can be effective. On a modern SSD, it's still unlikely to help, but may be worth a try. Note that Excel files are compressed, so searching for a known string within that file is likely to not work. Sorry.
  2. See if your friend happened to back up the file previously, but deleted the backup. In other words, check the backup media for deleted files using the same tools. If the backup media is not SSD, recovery chances greatly improve.

Good luck!


Two disastrous things have happened

  1. The disk structure has been violated, so recovery programs dont know where anything is.

  2. The disk has been written to massively, ie the windows install. So the directory information for the old files and portions of the files have been overwritten.

Normal recovery programs wont work. It is possible to maybe recover some or all of the file using low level tools. But that requires a knowledge of the filesystem, a lot of work and experience at this work.

There are companies around that specialise in this, but they won't be cheap.

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