How do I recover files that have been written over with a disk clone on a My Passport 1TB drive?

I saved files to a My Passport 1TB. I then used Acronis to create a clone of my internal hard drive and it wrote over my saved files along with the original WD Software. Is there any hope of recovering my files that are written over? I had thousands of photos saved to My Passport along with programs, video files, music, etc. Is there a way to do a “system restore” to a portable hard drive? I am sickened by this and hope that someone out there can help.

Ouch. The short answer is possibly, but not likely.

This is not the first time I’ve heard this happening with Acronis. It would be nice if a better distinction between cloning and imaging was made. If data on the target disk was actually overwritten then that overwritten data is pretty much gone for good. Only the most expensive and best forensic labs can read the residual markings from an overwrite. And that is going to cost thousands upon thousands of dollars to have done. IF it can be done in the first place. So that is pretty much a non-option.

As far as I know (I don’t use System Restore much) SR doesn’t touch external disks  in a way that would protect from this type if mistake.

There are tools out there that could recover files from the non-overwritten portion of the disk. So it is important to know how big the source disk was and did the process run to completion.

While this next bit of advice won’t help much here, but in the future, always ensure you have two copies of your data at all times. This way, any mistakes will only damage one copy.