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Data Recovery


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#1 of 9 OFFLINE   Buzz Foster

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Posted November 07 2007 - 06:23 AM

I know there was a thread about one of the HTF server drives dying. I didn't see a resolution in there. Anyway, I'm hoping to salvage some data. I've been doing research and not being hasty. So far, I have investigated jumpers, bios, and cabling, put the drive into a different computer, and gotten the same results.

The bios sees the drive and can identify it.

Windows will assign a letter to it.

Windows will not access it, says it needs to be formatted, and will occasionally give me a properties window that inaccurately says there is no space on the drive, and that the drive is 0 bytes.

None of this is good, I know.

I tried running Convair PC Inspector Drive Recovery last night. Once, it did see the directories in preview, but was unable to retrieve the data. I'm taking the seeing of the directories as a positive sign.

After a few hours of being unable to actually get any data, I followed through on advice on the "freezer trick". I have the drive currently in a vaccuum-sealed bag (plus a silica packet) in my deep freezer. Most advice says the longer the better, so I am probably going to give it a shot over the weekend, which will give it several days to stay cold. Additional advice recommends keeping the drive cold, once you start using it (assuming you can get it going). Maybe I should get some dry ice for this?

Anyway, the stuff I read about data recovery indicates a certain commonality, which is to get your data off the drive ASAP. With that in mind, assuming I get the drive into a recoverable state, what is the best route to recovery?

Should I boot the pc and see if Windows Explorer will do the trick, or should I go straight-away to a recovery utility?

If I use a recovery utility, what is the best one? I suspect Spinrite would be a good choice, but I have read that it can take a very long time to do its work.

I already have Norton Disk Doctor, so it would seem wise to try what I already own.

I downloaded Abstradrome HDD Regenerator, which promises to fix things like bad MBRs, which I kind of suspect could be the problem here.

Thanks, Buzz

(And yes, I do plan to reconfigure my systems with RAID 1...could use some advice on drives, like do they have to be identical, or just the same size?)
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#2 of 9 OFFLINE   Buzz Foster

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Posted November 07 2007 - 06:29 AM

BTW, the drive is ATA133, 160GB, and pretty full. Assuming best case scenario (fully recoverable, optimal speed), it would take 20 minutes to get everything off of it. Freezer estimates of recoverable time are frequently in the 20 to 30 minute range.
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#3 of 9 ONLINE   DaveF

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Posted November 08 2007 - 01:16 AM

Buzz, if you hard drive has died, immediately stop trying to fix it yourself and send it to professionals. You may only damage it further, preventing any possible data recovery. There's been a few threads about this; I suggest shipping it to GillWare and see if they can help you.

This is based on my experience of losing a drive, and destroying the data by trying to fix things myself.

#4 of 9 OFFLINE   Francois Caron

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Posted November 08 2007 - 02:05 AM

And if the recovery costs are too high, you could always try Steve Gibson's SpinRite software.

#5 of 9 OFFLINE   LDfan

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Posted November 08 2007 - 02:22 AM

Try spinrite from www.grc.com

Spinrite might take a day or two to completely try and work it's magic but it has worked wonders I hear. A data recovery service may easily cost you into the thousands of $$.


Jeff

#6 of 9 OFFLINE   Buzz Foster

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Posted November 08 2007 - 04:36 AM

The data is not in the thousands of dollars of value, so spending thousands for physical recovery seems a waste. Besides, I don't have the money to spend, anyway.

I have heard great things about Spinrite. A good business model on his part...you buy, then get a refund if it doesn't work.

I'll try reading the frozen drive in a day or two, and probably go with Spinrite if that does not work.
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#7 of 9 OFFLINE   Ken Chan

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Posted November 08 2007 - 11:13 AM

Quote:
the stuff I read about data recovery indicates a certain commonality, which is to get your data off the drive ASAP. With that in mind, assuming I get the drive into a recoverable state, what is the best route to recovery?
Having never tried this myself, I would say: boot off another drive and get the OS up and running. Use an external enclosure for the frozen drive. If it comes up, first copy your own data; forget about that copy of the OS and your apps.

One issue is that if the partition table at the very beginning of the disk is hosed, the rest of your data may still be there physically, but you can't access it. That's the technical work that the recovery firms can do. Many years ago, someone's floppy disk went bad (Track 0 unreadable) but I was able to piece together an important (large) document that was on it, sector by sector. It took like nine hours.

#8 of 9 OFFLINE   Buzz Foster

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Posted November 08 2007 - 03:41 PM

Nine hours to scan a floppy...ugh.

I hope this will be quicker. I talked to a good frined who is an IT guy. He suggested Spinrite. Says it sounds like the situation you described. I tend to think mechanical, since PC Inspector was briefly able to read the Folder names.

Hard to say, but about to give it a shot. Wish me luck.
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#9 of 9 OFFLINE   goonsnoopy

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Posted December 06 2012 - 04:19 PM

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