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Rawcopy yields unreadable drive

Posted on 2012-04-05
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
Downloaded  raw copy from roadkil.net.  Ran a copy from a drive that is having some corruption errors.  The copy took around 3 hours and completed with no errors.  When we try to explore the drive it copied to the following error appears: “f:\ is not accessible.  The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable.”  Do we have a backup?  We want to run chkdsk but are concerned about running it with no reliable backup.  

Crystal Dlisk Info reports the source drive as healthy.
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Question by:dovidf
7 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 37815505
suggest you use a boot disk /cd and then run rawcopy from it to copy the disks
What is your operating system?
You could run a chdkdsk on f: (your destination drive?)
I don't think you have a reliable backup
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Expert Comment

by:Davis McCarn
ID: 37815946
After using Rawcopy, you must reboot before the clone will be read correctly as Windoze keeps the filesystem cached after mounting the device.
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Assisted Solution

by:dlethe
dlethe earned 50 total points
ID: 37815968
Very understandable.  The source disk took so long because it had to do major error recovery.   The source disk NEEDS TO BE REPLACED (assuming you didn't already know that).   Also raw copy does not handle unrecoverable read errors properly.  A pro would never use this because it won't tell you what blocks were unrecoverable and won't give you a map so you can do manual reconstruction.  

You can just run diskpart then the rescan option instead of rebooting.  Unfortunately you will end up with a disk drive and there will be corrupted data files and really no way to detect what files have blocks of zeros in them when before it had live data.   If you run a chkdsk then you can make things worse because windows will go under the assumption that those blocks with zeros in them that were not recoverable actually are supposed to have zeros in them.

You used the wrong tool for the job, but the good ones cost money.  But this is better then nothing, I suppose.  Just move forward and assume that you can't trust any file to be 100%.
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Accepted Solution

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Davis McCarn earned 400 total points
ID: 37816058
Generally, I use WinHex to clone drives as it lists bad sectors to a text file and puts $ BAD SECTOR $ in those sectors on the destination which allows me to find any corrupted files using xSearch; but, I have also used RawCopy when the drive hangs near the beginning and love it's option to start from the end!
Your statement that RawCopy completed with no errors tells me there were no bad sectors; but, again, you will not be able to read the destination filesystem correctly until after a volume dismount.
I always reboot after a cloning;but, you can try unmounting and then remounting the copy in Disk Management if that is not feasable: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/Mount-or-dismount-a-drive
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Author Comment

by:dovidf
ID: 37823730
ve3ofa,

Why would booting from an external cd be better? Perhaps because of corruption on the regular drive?

Rebooting did not help to make the external drive readable.

There still seem to be errors on the source drive after a chkdsk /r. Perhaps Reimage should be used to recover any damaged system files.
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Assisted Solution

by:Davis McCarn
Davis McCarn earned 400 total points
ID: 37825429
RawCopy works best if you choose the physical drives for the clone; but, there are a few caveats.  One is that they have a similar translation for LBA, meaning that some drives translate to 240 heads rather than 256 and/or you need to be careful about crossing a storage barrier (if the original is under 127GB, the destination must be, too).
CHKDSK /R should never be run on a suspect drive.  If it is failing, it will be a hundredfold worse afterwards!  Instead, use the free version of http://www.hdtune.com and the error scan tab to read the entire disk.  Even one red box means trouble.
Is this also the boot drive?
If so, what O/S?
what is the make and model of the drive?
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Assisted Solution

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 50 total points
ID: 37825493
I'd use either acronis disk director or Paragon Hard Disk Manager .. the trials will work to copy the drives.
Or image the drives using one of the 2 above software vendors imaging products
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