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retrieve data from a acomdata external drive

Posted on 2011-10-02
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I have a 250GB aComData external drive that I had to remove from its enclosure.  It is a WD IDE drive.  I attached the drive via a USB cable and Windows saw it but required disk initialization. I did the initialization (did not format).  In retrospect, this was probably a big mistake.  Those who are familar with the aComData drives know that the disk is partitioned into a CD partition and a data partition.  The CD partition provides password protection and the software to allow backup and restore regardless of the system on which it is used.  I believe that the data partition on this drive is still OK and I need to retrieve the data from it.  Can anyone please suggest how I might be able to do this.  I have already tried natively installing the drive with a 40 wire ribbon but the BIOS did not see it. I've tried both Master and Cable select pins on this IDE drive.  I have also tried an 80 wire ribbon and windows does see the drive as active but does not assign it a drive letter.  I jusf feel like there must be a way to get access to the data partition.   If someone has gone thru this with a aComData drive and has found a solution, I would be very appreciative.  Thanks.
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Question by:tonyadam
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Accepted Solution

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rindi earned 2000 total points
ID: 36902440
Try scanning the drive with getdataback:

http://runtime.org

If it sees your data you can register it so you will be able to recover the data.

Probably this won't work though as your disk is probably encrypted. If that is the case you should get in touch with aComData for instructions on how to get to encrypted data on the disk. You'll probably need the encryption keys to get to the data.

Maybe also a recovery agency could help, for example Gillware:

http://gillware.com/
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Author Comment

by:tonyadam
ID: 36903061
Tried EASEUS (competitor to GDB).  It does not see sufficient data to pay for the license.  From what I've read, the data in the data partition is not encrypted.  The security feature is all tied to the CD partition and and enclosure which hides the data partition from the user until you enter the security key.  Since I've removed the drive and can see the data partition (Windows will not allow me to assign a drive letter), I think there should be a way to get access to the data.  The recovery houses generally charge and "arm and leg" to recover data and it is probably not worth that much money.
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 36903097
If EASEUS doesn't see enough data, but does see some, I'd still scan using getdataback. If that tool doesn't see more data then it'll be unlikely anything else will get your data recovered.
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Expert Comment

by:David
ID: 36903274
You could run some diagnostics to see how many bad blocks you have, but it is moot.  If you want as much data as possible, be prepared to write a check for $500+ and take it to a data recovery firm.   Even using EASEUS, getdataback, and the others put a great deal of stress on a HDD and the norm is that even using such products insures even more data loss.

So if you have NO intention of going to a recovery firm, then use anything you want to, but if the data is worth over $1000, then turn off the HDD and take it to a pro. Even powering up a HDD that is in stress risks further damage.
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Author Comment

by:tonyadam
ID: 36903361
I'm running GBD now.
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Author Closing Comment

by:tonyadam
ID: 37586903
GBD provided some data so am closing this question with knowing that it isn't a complete solution for the knowledge provided was excellent.  Thanks.
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