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Options of recovering a lost VB6 project .dsr file (a .dll Outlook addin) - Wet USB Stick

Posted on 2011-02-24
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I washed my USB stick in hot water with my shirts 2 days ago and despite hope that the USB stick would work after it dried out, it does not.  Upon inserting the Stick there is a little flash of light on it, but the computer does not recognise that there is a volume attached at all.

Any suggestions here on USB stick recovery would be helpful - but I kinda think it is dead.

But my quetions relate to VB6 - in which I delevloped the Outlook addin.  I see lots of temp files etc in the VB6 files.  Is it possible that one of these has my .dsr file in it or my code.

Other than trying to decompile the .dll are there any other suggestions you have?

On decompiling - I have seen some of the free options, but the results I do not understand.  Is it possible to get my .dsr file back through decompile or is it so compiled that all my text is turned into code that is not people understandable.
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Question by:darbid73
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9 Comments
 
LVL 11

Accepted Solution

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kbirecki earned 250 total points
ID: 34978407
Here are my ideas, in order of preference.

Idea #1) One quick suggestion about reading the drive in Windows - Did you check Drive Manager?  Sometimes I've found Windows doesn't assign a drive letter to a flash drive, yet it recognizes it in Drive Manager.  In Drive Manager, right click on any drive without a drive letter and assign a drive letter.  It's worth a shot if you haven't checked that.

Idea #2) Recovery service - there are services that recover data from USB drives, just like hard drives, but of course it depends on the circumstances, and they are not cheap.  There are good ones and bad ones, so check out who you decide to go with.  Here are some links to other EE users that have discussed this topic in no particular order:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Storage/Misc/Q_20811515.html?sfQueryTermInfo=1+10+30+recoveri+servic+usb
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Storage/Hard_Drives/Q_26317247.html?sfQueryTermInfo=1+10+30+recoveri+servic+usb
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Networking/Network_Management/Disaster_Recovery/Q_25059592.html?sfQueryTermInfo=1+10+30+recoveri+servic+usb
http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/XP/Q_24184374.html?sfQueryTermInfo=1+10+30+recoveri+servic+usb

There are plenty more if you search EE for "data recovery service".


Regarding other parts of your question:
- I doubt the temp files have anything other than runtime temp info.

- Regarding decompiling, I believe you're not going to get any good results, for sure you won't get your direct vb6 code.  I've seen many people searching for help on this.  Once VB6 is compiled, it no longer has what you understand to be VB6 code.  The only use decompiled code would be is to someone that understood lower level languages.  I don't remember what it is comparable to, but it's not pretty, and everyone I've seen that tried it said it was not worth it, mainly because they didn't get any results.  However, if that was the only place the code resided, depending on how big the project is, you could see if the decompiling technology has improved over time.  Maybe you'll find a workable solution, but don't get your hopes up.

- My last suggestion is to quickly do a brain dump and document what it's supposed to do and then start recoding.  Sorry.
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LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:danaseaman
ID: 34979241
Decompilers will only get you machine/assembly code so it is of no use in trying to recreate your Dll.

A bit late but:
Do not trust backups made locally (second hard drive or pen drive).
Take a look at online backup solutions such as www.IDrive.com. You get 5Gb of storage for free.
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:kbirecki
ID: 34979268
As far as online backups, 4Shared.com gives you 10 GB free, and you can sync a local folder automatically.  That's similar to DropBox.com, but that is limited to 2 GB.
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LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:danaseaman
ID: 34979367
With IDrive you get 5Gb of initial storage for free.
However you can get an additional 10Gb at no cost if you supply them with you Email contact list.
You need  more than  5 contacts to qualify.

You get a nice GUI, scheduler, and optional automated backups.

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LVL 20

Author Comment

by:darbid73
ID: 34979455
I have terabytes of disks - I have no idea why I have one of about 6 projects missing from my backups.  I could cry.

I really really stuffed up this time.  I have no temp files, no text files of the main code - nothing.  I cannot believe it.

The USB stick is not recognised by a PC / MAC at all.  I think it is dead.  I can only imagine (in my dreams) someone could take the actual memory module and put it onto a new board.  As I said that is in my dreams.
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LVL 22

Assisted Solution

by:danaseaman
danaseaman earned 250 total points
ID: 34979737
The best you can do is analyze the DLL with OleView.exe or ActiveX Documenter at http://www.vbaccelerator.com/home/vb/utilities/ActiveX_Documenter/article.asp

This will give you a list of the Public exposed Sub/Function and their calling syntax.
For the underlying code though you will have to recreate from scratch.
You can use you old DLL as Binary compatibility so that the new component will have the same GUID.
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:kbirecki
ID: 34982130
darbid73, contact some of those services I listed earlier, or anyone else you find.  If they can recover it for $500, even $1000, how is that compared to your time to re-develop and troubleshoot,  and lost opportunity of working on other projects if they can recover this for you.  In all cases I've dealt with, they will do the initial analysis for a smaller amount to determine if they can recover it and only charge the rest if they do the work.  When you're in a pickle like this, go for the best you can afford - it's worth it.

You may be able to find someone near you as well to possibly expedite the process by taking it them directly.  It's worth a shot.
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LVL 20

Author Comment

by:darbid73
ID: 34983633
ok guys.  I cannot believe it.  After spending all day with any and every kind of decompiler, and going to cracking forums to see what they do, just to get back as much as possible, I personally could only get the public objects and the names of my public subs.  It would have been enough to get me started.

So tonight, right now, I just plugged in the USB stick.  No reason really, I have plugged in 1000 times just in case it would work so I thought lets make it 1001. AND it dam well worked.  I have now got everything off of it including the one project.

Thanks guys.  You words of wisdom helped me through the day and they are very valid answers to my questions.

It is a great Friday night.
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LVL 20

Author Closing Comment

by:darbid73
ID: 34983647
Thanks guys again for tapping out some answers.
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