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How to fix corrupt files that were recovered from being deleted

Posted on 2013-12-05
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Hello, I've recently encountered an issue with files getting deleted from my server, I was able to recover the files through a software called Ease US recovery, The problem I have now is that I'm not able to open the files that I recovered. They are all corrupted and when I open them, it opens up as Windows US DOS-Encoding. The files I recovered are mostly word and excel documents,  Is there any way I can possibly fix the files that were working fine before losing them but now are corrupted? Much help needed. Thanks in advance!
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Question by:swigg1
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by:jcimarron
ID: 39701510
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by:rindi
rindi earned 100 total points
ID: 39701592
No, it is very unlikely you'll be able to fix those files. Corrupt files stay corrupt.

You should rather always restore your files from your backups, or use the volume shadow copy (which of course first has to be enabled on the server), to restore files that haven't yet been backed up.

Using tools to recover files that are deleted, requires you to stop using the OS on that server, and boot from a separate disk, so nothing gets written to the disks on the server itself. The OS of the server itself writes constantly, and it is very likely that the space used by the files you want to recover gets overwritten. That corrupt those files. Also, always when you recover such files, save them to another disk, and not the one you are recovering from.
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by:dlethe
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ID: 39701785
Those files are gone forever (unless you have a backup).  You see the way it works, is that it does a brute force recovery and verifies a file type signature, and starting/ending location.   It figures out where the file was and gives it the file name.

It does NOT reconstruct the contents of the file.  The contents were lost in unrecoverable read errors.

Now if you had never run that software, you could have taken it to a data recovery firm with $500 - $1000 and they would have likely gotten 100% of it.  Or if you had taken a binary image of the HDD and run the recovery software on the binary image, you would have been able to get what you can with the cheap software as a dry run.

But now??? Sorry, the data is gone forever.  The easeus software rewrote the HDD and destroyed the linkage to the unrecoverable blocks, and rewrote at least some of them.
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dlethe earned 200 total points
ID: 39701813
Those files are gone forever (unless you have a backup).  You see the way it works, is that it does a brute force recovery and verifies a file type signature, and starting/ending location.   It figures out where the file was and gives it the file name.

It does NOT reconstruct the contents of the file.  The contents were lost in unrecoverable read errors.  If the files weren't damaged, then they would have been recovered.

The software you bought is consumer code.  Spend $50K - $100K and you can get software and accompanying hardware to attach directly to the HDD and you can likely get your data.

Now if you had never run that software, you could have taken it to a data recovery firm with $500 - $1000 and they would have likely gotten 100% of it.  They use the expensive software, as well as the equipment and have people with the bunny suits and clean rooms to get 99.99% of your data back.

But now??? Sorry, the data is gone forever.  The easeus software rewrote the HDD and destroyed the linkage to the unrecoverable blocks, and rewrote at least some of them.
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by:regmigrant
regmigrant earned 100 total points
ID: 39701960
Some things to try if these are critical files (then there should have been a backup!) you might try http://www.officerecovery.com/ but first I would give the in built 'Open and repair' option a go if you haven't already.  open a blank document, then go to file, open, navigate to the document and select it but instead of hitting 'open' click the drop down and select 'open and repair'. Excel has a similar option but will probably replace your formula with text versions which you will have to manually correct

The bad news though: all the above is true and you have probably lost the data in most cases and even if one of the above works you have to ask yourself if you would trust the data from a corrupted file going forward. Any recovered data was potentially overwritten and if there's financial information (for example) you will need to verify it all somehow - which might wind up taking as long as recreating them from scratch

Reg
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by:colin_Paul
colin_Paul earned 100 total points
ID: 39711096
Hello Swiggl,

You can recover your word file by following simple steps.

Open the Office 2010 applications that you were using.
Click on File tab -> Recent.
Click Recover Unsaved Documents if you are in Word 2010, Recover Unsaved Workbooks if you are in Excel 2010 or Recover Unsaved Presentations if you are in PowerPoint 2010.

Your saved drafts folder will open in a new window. Select the file and then click Open.
In the business bar at the top of the file, click Save As to save your file to your computer.

Another way to acess unsaved file is given below:-

Open the Office 2010 application you were using.
Open a new file or any existing file.
Click the File tab.
Click Info.
Click Manage Versions.
Click Recover Unsaved Documents if you are in Word 2010, Recover Unsaved Workbooks if you are in Excel 2010 or Recover Unsaved Presentations if you are in PowerPoint 2010.

You will see the list of your unsaved files. Select the file and click Open.
In the business bar at the top of the file, click Save As to save your file to your computer.

Source(s):
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/mssmallbiz/archive/2012/04/20/how-to-recover-that-un-saved-microsoft-office-excel-word-or-powerpoint-file-you-closed-before-saving.aspx

Thanks
Colin Paul
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by:dlethe
ID: 39711267
Respectfully, Colin .. the techniques you mention are designed to effectively undelete old versions of files.  

The problem the author has is that the files are missing chunks of data due to unreadable blocks.   That can not be repaired, except through extraordinary techniques requiring guys in bunny suits using equipment that can forcibly read blocks that have been remapped due to I/O failures from the HDD.
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by:swigg1
ID: 39711453
Looks like you are all correct, after reading  your responses and trying other options,  the data files are still corrupt and I just have to let it go. The odd thing is my backup files doesnt show that particular folder on the server and I verified that the folder was on a drive that was mapped to a user's profile. So its been a very odd issue that I've been dealing with but unfortunately the user lost a lot of data. Thank  you all for your responses.
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by:rindi
ID: 39711676
For the future you should check that the backup is setup correctly and you have selected everything you want to backup. Also regularly check your backup logs for any failures, and if there are any troubleshoot them so you can fix any issues before the next backup.

Other things to regularly check is the status of the RAID array and the individual disks, so you can act in time should a disk need to be replaced. Also regularly reboot the server and run chkdsk /r /f on all the drive letters, so corrupt file-system entries are fixed. Of course that should be done on weekends when the users don't need the server.
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