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Getting Data off a dying HDD

Posted on 2003-11-03
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
Ok here's the story.

I have an 80GB external firewire HDD.  One day by mistake a family member dropped it.  Nowadays it errors out regularly. I would really like to fix it but Norton is saying it is fine.  So I think its an internal Hardware failure.  I tried moving the data into another HDD, but I keep on getting errors yet I can continue to read and use the data on the drive.  There's some really important data on it that I need.  Is there a way to recover most of the data besides a single click and drag(whcih keeps on messing up).  Or if not find out exactly what is wrong with the drive?

Thanks!
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Question by:Logick
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by:Jonybrv
ID: 9675831
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by:LRI41
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Do you have a CD Burner, Can you burn it to CD and then transfer
it?

Or use Knoppix to burn it:

Knoppix-LangaList


The LangaList Standard Edition
2003-04-14

More "Linux Inside Windows" Options (Pt 2)

Then I discovered Knoppix Linux, a German distro that boots and runs totally from a CD, comes complete with all the current popular Linux apps preinstalled, and is free for the download and cost of a blank CD.

http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/index-en.html


http://www.linuxiso.org/distro.php?distro=44


All it takes to run it is the BIOS set to boot from a CD, putting the CD in, restarting, and less than 3 minutes later on my aging 800MHz PIII it has loaded itself, automatically detected everything, established a network connection, and opened an HTML info page in its browser (Konqueror). All this without ever touching the keyboard or mouse.

For a totally effortless 'installation' of an OS to only play with, I can't imagine it getting any easier than this. FWIW, Gordon

Thanks, Gordon!


The LangaList Standard Edition
2003-04-21

More on Knoppix

Fred, I myself am a Knoppix user, after it was handed to me at a LAN party. I was amazed at the ability of this little CD. I soon realized that I was able to get into any machine, quickly, easily. The security measures of NTFS and Windows were no match for Knoppix. Even setting passwords for single files, I was able to print those "secure" files in minutes. I was able to make many changes to the system, with no passwords or any type of authentication. Very nice. Best of all, when I'm done with the PC, I just shut down the pc and its normal user never knew I was there, unless I want them to know. This can be a great tool for IT people who need this type of resource. Its also VERY dangerous in the wrong hands.  So far, everyone I have showed this OS to has been impressed. I am starting to see it on eBay, and it has been able to setup each pc I have put it on. It does not seem to like new Radeon cards, and large LCD's, but I seriously doubt that will pose a threat in the future. Thanks to all the good people that helped with Knoppix. What a great OS, and very fast, considering that it runs from CD and has to decompress the applications it uses. I understand that a simple swap partition will help as well, my tip for other soon-to-be Knoppix users.... Thanks for the newsletter, much appreciated.---Troy

I agree, Troy, and also was intrigued by its potential not only as a painless and safe way to try Linux without diddling with your existing setup, but also as either an emergency recovery disk, or as a total system "lifeboat."

You see, Knoppix isn't just Linux-on-a-boot-CD. It uses data compression to put not only a complete, working version of Linux on your CD, but also some 900 (!) additional tools including Open Office (a complete office suite, analogous to Microsoft Office), two browsers (Mozilla and Konqueror), a virtual desktop manager, CD burner software, partition managers, the "Evolution" email tool (similar to Outlook), and lots more--- even the same module that Lindows has, that allows Linux to run some unmodified Windows software! In all, the single Knoppix CD holds about 1.7GB of software. The full list of what's included is here http://download.linuxtag.org/knoppix/packages.txt  Take a look--- it's incredible!

Because Knoppix comes as a fully self-contained and preconfigured setup--- apps and all---  and because it automatically recognizes and supports many types of graphic cards, sound cards, SCSI devices and other peripheral devices, I thought it might be great as that "lifeboat" I mentioned: If your normal setup won't boot, you could boot from the Knoppix CD and instantly have access to your hardware, to the internet, to email, and more.  As long as your hardware itself is working OK, Knoppix probably will run just fine.

While this could be handy in any office or home, I thought it could be absolutely great for laptop users: If you were on a trip and the worst happened--- say your hard drive got totally scrambled--- you could use the Knoppix CD to get back online in just a minute or two and stay productive until you had time to perform more complete repairs.

Alas, as Troy states, Knoppix and LCDs don't always get along. When I tried booting my IBM ThinkPad (a fairly recent model) on Knoppix, the screen ended up in reversed colors and odd contrast ratios--- a psychedelic and unreadable mess. I couldn't even read the menus to try to adjust the screen. So: Scratch that idea. (Yes, there are ways to boot to a normal Linux command line in Knoppix and change various settings manually, but this is quite different from the boot-from-CD simplicity that is Knoppix's best feature.)

But on a normal PC with a normal screen, Knoppix is great either as a testing tool or as an emergency lifeboat. In fact, as a test, I wrote this newsletter item in Knoppix: I booted from the Knoppix CD, ran Open Office, fired up the word processor, and wrote these words.

I've added a Knoppix CD to my office  toolkit for use in emergencies. But for more all-in-one distributions, small- or zero-footprint Linux versions, and options for "lifeboat" applications.




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by:
CrazyOne earned 50 total points
ID: 9675975
Take look at these.

FREE TOOLS

PC INSPECTOR
http://www.pcinspector.de/file_recovery/UK/welcome.htm
File Recovery is a data recovery program that supports the FAT 12/16/32 and NTFS file systems. The current version 3.x replaces the previous version 2.x, which is now over 6 years old.

Restoration
http://hccweb1.bai.ne.jp/~hcj58401/REST2514.EXE
For 9x/NT/2K/XP. Restore deleted files that are no longer in the Recycle Bin!

Tool to check and undelete partition
Works with the following partitions:
- FAT12 FAT16 FAT32
- Linux
- Linux SWAP (version 1 and 2)
- NTFS (Windows NT)
- BeFS (BeOS)
- UFS (BSD)
- Netware
- RaiserFS
http://www.cgsecurity.org//testdisk.html
-------------------------------

NOT FREE

EasyRecovery DataRecovery is a simple, yet powerful tool that recovers data that is lost, inaccessible or deleted. It's the ultimate do-it-yourself solution for nearly all causes of data loss (except physical hardware or system problems) where your hard drive and system are fully functional.
http://www.ontrack.com/easyrecoverydatarecovery/

File Rescue 2.5
Web:http://www.file-rescue.com/

GetDataBack for FAT
GetDataBack will help you retrieve your files if the hard drive's partition table, boot record, FAT, or root directory have been damaged by a virus, formatting, fdisk or power failure. GetDataBack can even recover your data when the drive is no longer recognized by Windows.

GetDataBack for NTFS
Recover your files when the data is no longer accessible due to formatting, fdisk, virus attack, power or software failure. Get everything back even when the drive's partition table, boot record, Master File Table or root directory is lost or corrupt.
Hard Drives
Partitions
Floppy Drives
Drive Images
Zip/Jaz Drives
http://www.runtime.org/

Norton Utilities/SystemWorks
The Norton Protected Recycle Bin helps you recover deleted and overwritten files.
The UnErase wizard helps you retrieve files you've accidentally deleted.
http://www.symantec.com/nu/nu_9x/features.html

For NTFS
http://www.restorer2000.com/r2k.htm

Data Recovery
http://www.dtidata.com/
Fast File Undelete
http://www.dtidata.com/products_ff_undelete.asp

Undelete
http://www.quantumsoft.co.uk/undelete.stm

File Recover 2000
http://www.filerecover.com/

R-Tools
http://www.r-tt.com/

File Restore
If you've deleted your data and you want to get it back, you need FileRestore.
FileRestore is a simple, easy-to-use tool for recovering files that have been lost or deleted from your Windows system. Designed for Windows XP, 2000, NT, Me, and 9x
http://www.winternals.com/products/repairandrecovery/filerestore.asp.

Hard Disk and Data Recovery Related Tools:
The DiskPatch tool supposedly can rebuild the File System structure depening on the damage to the structure.
http://www.diydatarecovery.nl/

Disk Commander
In virtually any situation where you need to recover lost data from a Windows system, Disk Commander is the solution. Disk Commander performs a wide range of data recovery operations.
http://www.winternals.com/products/repairandrecovery/diskcommander.asp

DFSee
http://www.dfsee.com/
As a tool to 'UNDELETE' files that have been accidentaly deleted.
This feature is implemented for HPFS and NTFS only.

MRECOVER
http://kristenonline.com/lain/cih/mrecintro.htm

Emergency Undelete
I believe this is free
For Win2000 and NT may work on XP
http://www.c2000.com/software/#win2000

Back2Life
http://www.simtel.net/pub/pd/57588.html

Hard Drive Mechanic
http://www.highergroundsoftware.com/6.html
It's true. Even if you just re-formatted your entire hard drive, you can still get all of your data back because, unlike what most people believe, formatting does NOT erase your files! With Hard Drive Mechanic's Unformat Feature, you can restore all of your valuable data in about 10 minutes!
demo version:
http://www.highergroundsoftware.com/downloads2.htm

Filerecovery for Windows
http://www.lc-tech.com/filerecovery.asp
Filerecovery for Windows® is a safe and affordable do-it-yourself data recovery solution that is designed to recover deleted files from all types of media such as Hard Drives, Floppy Drives, SmartMedia, CompactFlash, Memory Sticks, and other types of removable media.

Undelete
http://www.executive.com/consumer/undelete/undelete.asp
You know how upsetting it is to accidentally delete a file that you need—it takes just a moment to lose hours of work. Undelete file-recovery utility captures ALL deleted files including those that typically bypass the Recycle Bin. You can even recover files you purged from our Recovery Bin. With our Emergency Undelete feature, you can recover files deleted prior to Undelete being installed on your system (provided they have not been written over). Buy Undelete and you'll never again be at the mercy of lost data.

Fast File Recovery
http://savemyfiles.com/fastfile.htm
A definite must for the PC guru! It will allow the user to perform all data recovery tasks associated with disks which are not physically damaged.
 

File Scavenge
http://www.quetek.com/prod01.htm
File Scavenge is the most comprehensive, award-winning file undelete and data recovery for NTFS volumes on Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Windows XP.

Active UNERASER
http://www.uneraser.com/undelete.htm
Active UNERASER is a compact and powerful undelete utility that can recover deleted files and folders on FAT12, FAT16, FAT32 and NTFS systems. It can even restore files from deleted and re-formatted partitions.

Undelete 3.0
http://www.pcconnection.com/scripts/productdetail.asp?product_id=309884
Undelete 3.0 restores accidentally deleted files within seconds from anywhere on your system. Version 3.0 includes new SecureDelete, full Windows XP support and expanded search options.

FinalData Data Recovery
http://www1.finaldata.com/
FinalData Data Recovery Solution will recover files that have been lost by   quick formatting, FDISK, FAT damage, MBR damage or directory   destruction. It recovers data from FAT12/16/32, NTFS, and EXT2, EXT3.

BadCopy Pro
http://www.jufsoft.com/badcopy/
BadCopy Pro is a leading data recovery tool for floppy disk, CD-ROM, CD-R/W and other storage media. It can effectively recover and rescue corrupted or lost data from damaged, unreadable or defective disks. Various damage situations and all file types are supported.

Directory Snoop
http://www.briggsoft.com/dsnoop.htm
Directory Snoop is a low-level forensic utility that can recover erased files in an emergency, wipe sensitive data, and search for hidden data at the cluster level. Step through your File Allocation Table (FAT) and map individual clusters back to the file that owns them. Purge orphaned (and possibly sensitive) file names right out of the directory structure. $29 shareware for Windows 95 through XP (NTFS drives not supported).

------------------------------------
Or Data Recovery Services

http://www.ontrack.com/datarecovery/
Ontrack offers a full range of data recovery solutions to address your data loss needs. Unlike other data recovery companies, Ontrack provides exclusive and patented solutions that do not require you to send in your media for recovery. In situations where the hardware is functioning normally, our patented Remote Data Recovery service and EasyRecovery software solutions can solve your data loss needs safely and effectively in a matter of hours. If another company claims that there is no alternative to shipping your drive, it's because they don't offer an alternative. For situations in which the hardware is physically failing, our In-Lab services will utilize our Class 100 clean-rooms to retrieve your mission critical data.

or

FLAT RATE DATA RECOVERY PRICING INCLUDES!
http://www.i-t-s.com/datarec/datarec_pricing.htm

or

Total Recall
http://www.recallusa.com/
Our recovery and forensic technology is used by support and call centers as well as data recovery providers world-wide.

ESS Data Recovery
http://www.savemyfiles.com/
ESS Data Recovery, Inc. has been removing barriers in the data recovery and computer forensics market ever since its inception
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Expert Comment

by:KungFoolio
ID: 9697850
Most of the above programs help you retrieve lost/delted files on a good drive. (That's an extensive list that I'm going to copy/paste, btw).

However, you may have damaged the HDD controller card, so the head isn't being steered over the disk properly.  Try a Google search for your HDD make and model and the term "controller". There are companies that sell new controllers, or will replace yours without removing your data from the disk - others will get the data off the disk for you, like the last link from Crazy one for http//:www.savemyfiles.com.

**Alternatively, buy the same HDD, and swap out the controllers.

Otherwise, you can keep trying to copy data off the drive when it's transiently acting normal.

I have had two Quantum drives where the controller just decided to quit. They ended up in the trash, and I make sure to back up more often these days.
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Expert Comment

by:asurada2003
ID: 9719364
hi,
Can u open the external case??
If can try to connect the Hdd u take out and copy the info.
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