Data recovery

Posted on 2006-04-08
Last Modified: 2013-12-01
Hi all

once I had a 200 GB HD and it fall down :(

so the drive started to make strange sound but still working and for sure I copied all the data to another hard drive
but the problem is I have the files with same size and looks fine but they dont work any more

and for some folders it turns into 32 Kb file with no extension

any suggestion please
Question by:obmtech
    LVL 9

    Expert Comment

    Hello obmtech,

    To get an exact copy of your old drive, you should try to make a copy of the drive sector-by-sector, without using your OS.  There are many programs out there that can do that, one of which is an older version of Norton Ghost.

    I did a quick search, and found some FREE software that will do sector copying, but I've never used it:

    A bootable Linux CD (such as Knoppix) will also be able to do a sector copy, using the "dd" utility.

    I hope this helps,
    Steve :)
    LVL 17

    Expert Comment

    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    as sda100 suggested, a bootable Live CD may solve your problem. DSL(D*mn Small Linux) is a small Live CD available for download from After you've logged in, use the dd command.

    If it's the first partition of the first drive of your first IDE channel, this command will do the trick:

    dd if=/dev/hda1 of=image

    Then "image" would be the resulting disk image.
    Let's say you have a destination hard drive with the same partition size as the partition you made an image of as the second drive on the same channel, you'd probably do a:

    dd if=image of=/dev/hdb1

    These are concrete examples. If you tell me your exact situation i can give you the exact commands to use.
    Don't forget to run the above commands as super user(root).
    Good luck!

    Expert Comment

    I do this kind of thing with some frequency for backups or cloning.  Here's how I often do it.  I grab two USB 2.0 or Firewire enclosures.  You can even do this with a laptop.  Boot with Linux.  I use Gentoo's bootable live CD.

    Do fdisk -l to see your drives.

    You probably want to grab the entire drive as opposed to just a partition.  To do so:

      dd if=/dev/hda of=image

    (notice no '1' after hda)

    To verify the drive and image are identical do an MD5 sum (optional, will take about as long as the imaging) and compare the results:

       md5 /dev/hda
       md5 image

    If you're the impatient like me, you can get DD to tell you what's going on.  Go to another console (hit ALT-F2, ALT-F1 will take you back to main console) and type:

      ps aux | grep dd

    See the process number (first number).  Now type:

      kill -USR1 <process number>

    (without the <>) and switch back to your main console (ALT-F1).  You'll see how many blocks you've processed.  Standard block size is 512.  Divide by 2, and that's who many kilobytes you've done so far.

    I don't know what your file system is ... You can mount most file systems as a 'loopback' without using a separate drive, but dd'ing the image to a new drive is generally simpler (dd if=image of=/dev/hdb).  There are ways to mount NTFS file systems on Linux ... Google :-) ... The following *might* do the trick on some Linux distros but not sure:

       mkdir /dev/hdb1 /mnt/ntpartition
       mount /dev/hdb1 /mnt/ntpartition

    Rock on,
    LVL 1

    Accepted Solution

    the mkdir command should not include the "/dev/hdb" part, as it's a block special device rather than a directory. It should be just:

    mkdir /mnt/ntpartition

    Furthermore you could add this to /etc/fstab if not already added:

    /dev/hdb1 /mnt/ntpartition ntfs defaults 0 0

    semperecs dd trick is the way to go if your new hard drive is the same size as yours. My version is for use when the sizes differ, and you need to copy just a partition.
    I also forgot to mention that you'll need to use fdisk to create a partition the same size on the target drive before writing.

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