HTF Hard Drive files recovered....but what a mess! Can you folks help?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Ronald Epstein, Mar 23, 2005.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Here's the situation.....

    We were able to recover the files off of
    our hard drive that crashed late last year.

    We lost our chat transcripts, meet photos,
    reviews, news coverage stories and so much more.

    As I noted, the files were all recovered.

    However....

    The crash renamed every file. This means we
    have a messy soup of files that we have to sit,
    organize, and restructure. This may be impossible.

    Is there any program and/or method that can
    rename and restructure all the recovered files
    back to their original state?

    Advice appreciated.
     
  2. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    How many files are there? Of each type? What did the original structure look like?

    It might be relatively simple to rename the files to differentiate images from text. There may not be any good way to organize the images by anything other than size, without actually looking at them.

    With some text analysis, you could automatically distinguish between chats and reviews, and in some cases extract names or dates, depending on how the regular the format is for each type of file.
     
  3. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Ken,

    Thanks for your response.

    There are hundreds of files.

    The problem is much deeper than you may think.

    Yes, it will be easy to differentiate the HTML
    files from IMAGE files.

    Problem is, we have hunndreds of HTML pages that
    are coded with specific IMAGE file names. Now that
    the names of the IMAGE files have been changed it
    now becomes necessary to go into every HTML page
    we have ever done and rename the IMG file to the
    one that the crash changed.

    What we need is a way to restore the proper file
    names to every file as it was before the crash
    occured.

    Not sure this can be done, but we thought to ask.
     
  4. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    Not sure if this will help at all.
    I'd sort them by date, if that remained intact. I think it would make sense that if an HTML page was created, the JPEGs would be dated at about the same time? Maybe?

    Is there any kind of an order to the new scrambled file names?

    Glenn
     
  5. Christian Behrens

    Christian Behrens Supporting Actor

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    Yes, if available the date is your best and probably only means of getting some sort of order in it.

    I assume what happened was that the recovery program or procedure had no access to the original filename/directory structure, and thus just pieced the stuff together based on the links of the actual sectors on the drive.

    If that's the case, then there is no easy way to get the original filenames and directory structure back. At least none that I can think of now.

    At most you might be able to find a program that can actually look at files and their headers and give them a proper extension, i.e. .txt for text files, .jpg for JPEG graphics, and so on.

    Good luck!

    -Christian
     
  6. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    No, I figured it was that bad [​IMG] Do you know if any of the recovered files are actually the directories? Even so, that probably won't help that much if you got the recovered files on a new hard drive, and the files are probably in new positions. But at least with the directories, you can restore the structure.

    As for renaming the images, you could scan all the HTML and find all the named images. If the IMG tags specify the HEIGHT and WIDTH, pick that up as well. Then you can have a program that lists all the names on one side, along with an HTML view of the page around where that image goes. On the other side, you can show thumbnails for all the unnamed images remaining that fit. In addition to exact height/width, you can differentiate between size categories like icon or screenshot. Then it's a matter of sitting in front of the screen and clicking on the image that matches. It wouldn't have to be all in one sitting, and it would get easier as you go.

    Another thing: if any of these images (or other files) currently exist somewhere else with the right name, like on the server that's running now, you could do a comparison and fix those right off the bat.

    Anyway, I don't know of a program that does what I describe, but it is certainly doable. Given time, I could probably write something.
     
  7. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    I've never looked to much into the EXIF structure that's used in most JPGs and other images created by cameras these days, but it might contain the original filename. If it does, or if the photos were edited at some point and given a new name and the application updated that, you might be able to pull the file name out of the file itself.

    Try loading some of the images into a a good image editor, and look at the image properties. You could even try looking at the properties under exployer on XP and see if it's in there. If the filenames are there, then all you need is a program that'll go through all your files and rename them accordingly. If Perl has a module for reading EXIF info, it might be fairly easy to do.
     

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