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Author Topic: Recovering data off a broken hd?
Stibbons
SuperBlabberMouth!
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Icon 1 posted October 31, 2006 00:13      Profile for Stibbons   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hey guys

I'm just wondering what the weapon of choice is for recovering data from a knackered hd? It's my girlfriend's old S-ATA drive, formated with NTFS, which she never bothered to back up from. Then last summer it failed. Windows/Ubuntu/etc will pick it up but not read from it, quoting bad sectors all over the place.

I've finally got round to fixing it (first new drive I ordered was DOA [Frown] ) so bunged an IDE drive in with the hope of copying files across. Oh how wrong I was.

A quick google turns up some random comercial software, some of which worksish. But then won't recover the files as they're demo versions. Bearing in mind I'm a poor student who can't afford a professional service (I've been quoted 300-1000! [Eek!] ) have any of you advice on how to do it?

Cheers
Stibbons

Posts: 1143 | From: UK | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Rhonwyyn

Solid Gold SuperFan!
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Icon 1 posted October 31, 2006 00:22      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
/begin totally unhelpful answer

Tell Scotland Yard you've received a cryptic message from a known terrorist, but your computer bit the dust before you could print the message to show them. Then maybe they'll work some CSI magic and retrieve your files for you.

But don't tell them I gave you that advice when they don't find the message, just a bunch of maths homeworks and WoW files (or whatever she's into).

/end totally unhelpful answer

Seriously, if you do find a solution, I'll be eager to hear what it is. I had a drive go bad on me a few years ago and while it was mostly backed up, it would've been nice to be able to pull off the more recent stuff that got scrambled in the crash. I can certainly feel some of your girlfriend's pain!

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Posts: 3849 | From: Lancaster, PA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
CommanderShroom
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
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Icon 1 posted October 31, 2006 00:33      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I have had very good luck with knoppix. But it seems that 4.0 was a bit network friendlier than version 5.

If it is very bad, try booting into the windows recovery console from an install CD and then do a CHKDSK. then boot with knoppix.

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Does he know our big secret?
Has one of us confessed?
'Bout the wires circuits and motors
Buried in our chest

Posts: 2465 | From: Utarrrrggggghhh!!!!!!!! | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
csk

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Icon 1 posted October 31, 2006 05:07      Profile for csk     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
try and do a bit for bit copy with dd under some form of linux, onto a network drive or wherever. If the drive is failing, the more you can work from a copy of the data instead of the bad drive itself, the better...

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6 weeks to go!

Posts: 4455 | From: Sydney, Australia | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted October 31, 2006 06:34      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
R-Studio is /very good/ software, and it's not terribly expensive. You can probably get it for less than 30 quid if you go for just NTFS.

http://www.data-recovery-software.net/

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

Posts: 9332 | From: Westchester County, New York | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted November 01, 2006 03:51      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Stibbons________________________When you are through trying it will make a good paper weight or use it for target practise

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5848 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
The-Tech
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Icon 1 posted November 09, 2006 04:00      Profile for The-Tech     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
When it's done you should consider A Hard Drive Clock. I've added it to my ever growing list of projects I'll finish someday.

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God not only plays dice with the universe,
he sometimes throws them where they cannot be seen
--- Stephen Hawking

A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject -- Winston Churchill

Posts: 128 | From: Third Stone from the Sun | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
dragon34
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Icon 1 posted November 13, 2006 18:13      Profile for dragon34     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If it mounts with a linux install, were you trying to copy graphically or at the command line?
I have had far better luck recovering files with command line (cp/ditto) then I ever had with a GUI. Mac OS X is my primary platform, so I understand why that would be, because Finder sucks. Don't know if linux is the same way. I've also had good luck with the dd command
http://www.softpanorama.org/Tools/dd.shtml

basically, getting a clone of the drive, bad sectors and all, onto a working drive to deal with figuring out which files are recoverable later. General rules, go after the most important files first, small chunks at a time.

and yeah... rstudio rocks

Posts: 146 | From: Central PA | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
dragon34
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Icon 1 posted November 13, 2006 18:16      Profile for dragon34     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If it mounts with a linux install, were you trying to copy graphically or at the command line?
I have had far better luck recovering files with command line (cp/ditto) then I ever had with a GUI. Mac OS X is my primary platform, so I understand why that would be, because Finder sucks. Don't know if linux is the same way. I've also had good luck with the dd command
http://www.softpanorama.org/Tools/dd.shtml

basically, getting a clone of the drive, bad sectors and all, onto a working drive to deal with figuring out which files are recoverable later. General rules, go after the most important files first, small chunks at a time.

and yeah... rstudio rocks

Posts: 146 | From: Central PA | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
nerdwithnofriends
Uber Geek
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Icon 1 posted November 13, 2006 22:26      Profile for nerdwithnofriends     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If you can remember some phrases/chunks/strings inside important files, you can try just doing a binary grep on /dev/hdwhatevver, assuming you are in linux. Additionally, this only works if the files are contiguous and non-fragmented.

I've retrieved a fairly lengthy word document file off of a harddrive on my sister's laptop when it got fuggered up. Probably a little too small-scale for you, though.

Good luck!

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"The Buddha, the Godhead, resides quite as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain or in the petals of a flower." - Robert M. Pirsig

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brainisfried
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Icon 1 posted November 15, 2006 07:05      Profile for brainisfried     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
http://www.spinrite.info

It'll take a few hours to run on a really damaged drive but it'll decipher and remap the bad sectors as best it can so you can read the drive and transfer your data off. I've had success with it.

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GameMaster
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Icon 1 posted November 15, 2006 10:59      Profile for GameMaster   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
1.) Ghost bit wise (-raw) or dd to another drive incase the fix breaks it worse. These might fail if the drive is to bad, but it's worth trying...

2.) Spinright ... It's a blessing. R-Studio is good, but Spinright seems to work more often.

3.) IF the above doesn't work THEN either say goodbye to your data or pay the high price of the data recovery experts with the special equipment.
ELSE, dd or ghost, before anything else messes the data up.

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Posts: 3038 | From: State of insanity | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged


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