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Hard Drive will not successfully recover PDF Files

Posted on 2011-02-28
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I am trying to exhaust all options here, but I have a client's hard drive that needs data recovered. It had Windows XP installed and was having issues where it would boot up and the keyboard/mouse would not work. After trying to repair and the windows repair install would lock up, I ended up formatting the drive (after their approval), and reloaded windows. A few days later it seems data was on the drive that they forgot about.

I ran Ontrack Recovery Tools and found no existing folder structure. I ran Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery and found folders with their old data (it created a C:\ Lost Folders ). However, when I try to recover PDF files that are needed, I get an error stating:
Acrobat could not open __ filename ___  because it is either not a supported file type or because the file is damaged.

I found some .pdf files doing a raw recovery from Ontrack and receive similar issues when trying to open these files (I tried to match some up based on file size.

So far I haven't opened one file which makes me think the drive somehow scrambled all of the data. Any other recommendations?
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Question by:jaelae
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5 Comments
 
LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:_
ID: 35004219
See if GUIPDFTK will fix it: (free)
http://www.softpedia.com/get/Office-tools/PDF/GUIPDFTK.shtml

Online analyze and repair
http://groups.google.com/group/datarecoveryfreeware/browse_thread/thread/640b3a62f9dd6c49

or

You can use the demo version of Advanced PDF Repair to see if it will fix the files, but you need to buy the full version to save it (not cheap, but suppose to be good)
http://www.pdf-repair.com/
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Accepted Solution

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nobus earned 2000 total points
ID: 35005030
probably the filestructure is damaged  -and after installing XP you overwrote the data you need now.
i doubt your data can be recovered easily
contact a data recovery service, and see what they say, or offer :  http://www.gillware.com/      
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Expert Comment

by:chcw
ID: 35012880
Can you post the some of the corrupt PDF files here so that I can check to see whether ontrack or Stellar has recovered some PDF data inside these files. If yes, then although their structures are damaged, it is still possible to recover the data, otherwise, these files are beyond recovery.
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Author Closing Comment

by:jaelae
ID: 35514291
Sorry for the delay. I contacted Gillware and got some of the data back.
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 35514499
tx for feedback
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