Backup Data From Old Drive - CRC Error

We are trying to use DriveImage XML on a Windows 7 computer via a USB/SATA adapter with a rather old drive.  We are get CRC errors with it.  We tried to run CHKDSK /F and do the backup again with no luck.

What is the best way/method/software to get the all the data off the hard drive?
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rindiConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Use CloneZilla in advanced mode. There you can select settings like -rescue which should keep on copying even when there are bad sectors. The problem is that the errors will be in the copy too, so after having done that initial clone, run the HD manufacturer's diagnostic utility on the original disk. it may offer to repair bad blocks it finds. If that is the case, and a further diagnostic after that shows no errors, run chkdsk /f /r again, and after that try using DriveImage XML again.
DavidConnect With a Mentor PresidentCommented:
Clonezilla is a great tool, and the price is right. But understand that it is a one-way trip.  Professional data recovery done in a lab with specialized  hardware/software will likely get 100% of the data back, or  99.9%.

Clonezilla does  put hardware at risk, because once a HDD maps a block as unreadable then professional recovery can't get that chunk back.   Clonezilla does not also monitor or look at the hardware health.  It is gentle, but your HDD is certainly on borrowed time and for all you know a head crash is imminent.  Professional recovery eliminates this possibility of catastrophic  100% data loss.

So bottom line, if  data is worth thousands of dollars, pay for the guys with the bunny suits $500 -  $1000 per  HDD is going rate.

 Otherwise, clonezilla, and if that can't get it, dispose of the HDD responsibly.

P.S. The software you use puts HDD at GREATER risk, because clonezilla does at least not do a simple brute force block-level attempt to copy. Clonezilla has a decent algorithm that is gentle on the hardware.
mbkitmgrConnect With a Mentor Commented:
HDD Regen.  I have been using it for years and yet to find a product as good as it.  I have tried other more commercially well know products but I keep coming back to it.

I had a client who had a single domain controller with one HDD fail and we tried a number of products then found HDD Regen.  It recovered the box enough for us to boot the server, create a new DC on a temp server and recover the data.

if there are sufficient good sectors on the disk it will recover and rewrite the data to the spare sectors.  if this is at or near capacity then it might not be the best option
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Sorry, HDD regen is a horrible product for most situations. it is nothing more than bad block brute force read that tries with and without the CRC data.  The company relies  on marketing hype and misleading information to sucker people into buying this  20+ year old product  that is rarely appropriate for most  people.

"if there are sufficient good sectors on the disk it will recover and rewrite the data to the spare sectors."

 The above analysis is misleading, this is nothing special.  Firmware automatically manages bad blocks, and the HDD firmware itself will remap a block under a variety of circumstances. This continues automatically until there are no free sectors. Again, nothing special. It is part of the HDD firmware.

Either block X gets recovered or it doesn't.  There is no magic "the disk will recover".  All blocks are independent.  You don't get recovery by having X%  of the HDD readable, as if there is some threshold.  There isn't.  

Regen is dangerous. It puts extreme stress on the HDD.  Clonezilla is a tool that gets as much as it can in big chunks, and then smaller chunks gently. The job of Clonezilla is to get all it can  gently, while the HDD is alive, and then it does more aggressive and stressful reads and retries.

Clonezilla is designed to get as much as you can right off the bat and continue from perspective of the HDD is dying and on borrowed time.    Conversely, Regen is all or nothing.  If the HDD has a head crash after running 8 days and going through 99.99% of the disk, you have 100% data loss and nothing to show for that time.
>>  buying this  20+ year old product    <<  i'm sorry but it is updated regularly (maybe you refer to another tool - i won't use the name - that stayed for 20+ years without updates?)
i use it also - HDDRegenerator -  and never had problems  - or data loss with it.
i'm not saying you are wrong, but for most people it's good enough - at low cost.
Of course a professional servise is better -  but at what price?
also - HDDRegenerator does not say anything about data recovery - it claims to make disks readable in about 60% of the cases - by rewriting the sectors

up to the asker if he uses it or not i would say
Even the fact that they claim to make disks readable in 60% of the cases is arbitrary and misleading.

Exactly what does that mean??  If just ONE block is readable, then the disk is readable, is it not?

What, exactly, is data recovery other than making unreadable blocks readable?   You can't "regenerate" a disk, best you can do is make a block that has ECC errors ignore the ECC errors and flag it as good.   Once a disk gets in this state, you do NOT want to continue to use it anyway.   They mislead people into thinking there are special hidden commands that manufacturers use to get data back.

I assure you there are not.  Now there are things you can do if you disassemble the drive and hook it up to $100K worth of equipment, but this clearly is not the case.

I deal with data recovery pros who just laugh at the concept of using HDD regen. Those people who got their data back are lucky, and some of the blocks it recovered were munged.  So in reality, it got back some of their data, and destroyed some of the data in the process.  

Clonezilla is the better choice by far, (other than a lab based recovery).  Then and only then should you make a Regen pass and let it run for a week or two and if the HDD is still alive, maybe a few more blocks will be marked readable.  But that doesn't mean those blocks are correct.
dlethe - i have "repaired" several disks - reporyted bad, un bootable etc..with this tool
none came back - so i feel entitled to say it's a very good tool

the asker of course has the choice - try it - or use a recovery service as you say - that's HIS decision
Agreed nobus, and I know people  who have destroyed disks with it, and had they used clonezilla first, they would have gotten at least SOME data back. perhaps all of it.  We'll never know.

(But still, consider their  misleading marketing .. 60%?? Really?  )
Dlethe - There are several products out there and each has their strengths, weaknesses and pitfalls.  I wont bag others, I use the one appropriate at the time.

Yes a disk will remap spare sectors of its own accord, but sometimes problems with the disk prevent this from being done.   I merely pointed it out to avoid getting false hope if the drive was completely full.

I consider most marketing as rubbish, and rely often on my peers in the industry and the results I get myself. Heck if relied on Microsoft marketing none of us would be on anything other than Windows 8.

So - relax.
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
I totally agree with dlethe here concerning HDD Regen. During my study at university I raised this question about HDD regenerator tool by professors who are very good in HDDs and recovery. And their reaction was also laugh as they inspected what this software does. There are some laws which dictate how the drive works and none of these programs can overcome these laws.
What HDD Regen does is a serial of attempts to write to the sector which is potentially bad or was already identified as bad. It will continue these attempts and if once write access is reached it will mark this block as repaired. Which is actually false and misleading. This block will fail again if it failed once. Because the software does not do anything mechanical to repair it (re-magnetize it?). On the other hand these continuous attempts to get access to the blocks will "rape" the drive! Means that possibility that the situation with the drive and data on it can get worse.
Thus first which must be done is to take data out and then play with this drive as long as you want.
The simplest approach after this is to perform full format which will mark all bad sectors as bad.
HDD regen reads the bad sector, not write to it.  It writes the data to a healthy sector.  Your professors might be in the category referred to my mentors at MIT - those that can do, those that cant teach at other universities :).
i'm very glad to have HDDregenerator  around; it worked well for me , in spite of what professors may say
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Writes data to different sector? And then corrects the file structure of NTFS the source code of never was published by MS? I doubt.
Sector redirection is a native feature of the HDD. Depending on the HDD model and vendor there is already some % of the drive reserved for bad sector redirection. Standard is 15% of the drive when it comes out of the factory is already reserved in the sectors which must get this redirection from bad sectors.
And HDD regen is not a copy sector software. As they wrote on their official - re-magnetizing the plates bla bla bla. If you do not see the bad sectors after its work - it does not mean that these sectors have been cured. They are blocked and all addressing is remapped to the reserve sectors. And if the number of reserved sectors is already used it tries to remap the bad sectors to!!!! existing sectors which are normal sectors.
Again, the remap is a native feature of the HDD.
If you want to do the remap without need to wait for 15 years till the HDD Regen finishes its work then use MHDD or Victoria software. These old tools designed for IDE drives still can be used to remap the bad sectors manually.

This is the Google translator of HDD Reg review by professionals from Russian to English (the HDD Reg comes from Russia as well):

*** "Does ¿¿not hide , namely recovers ... "

The author apparently is not aware algorithms exclude bad sectors
Firmware used in modern HDD- drive and do not know about
bad sector that can be " hidden " even if you try to read it ,
decision to exclude ( any) bad sector is accepted only
by HDD ( it Firmware), regardless of the wishes of writers CDM - regenerators.

*** " Using a special algorithm ... "

In the understanding of the author's " special algorithm " , is the alternation recording sector
solid units [FFFF] or zero [0000] . The fact that there are patterns
as [AA55-55AA], [0F0F-F0F0] and many others , the author apparently did not know, or the same,
pattern FFFF- 0000 , is his most complex and special .
In addition, the pattern and method are not izobreteniemi
and can not be protected by any patent or license statements
and the latter , by the way , can be use as evidence of fraud
Buyers of this product in the court against the author .

*** "The product works exclusively at physical level ..."

The notion of the author's work on the physical level , the same peculiar.
Working with sectors in LBA- mode (LBA = Logical Block Addressing )
He assures all that the product works exclusively at physical level.
The style of the program from the disk can be seen that the author does not work with ports HDD
directly, but uses interrupt BIOS (13H), which does not fit
to work with programs to solve such problems (see below) .
It can be seen reading a long time outdated information about INT-13H, and the author decided
that operates at the physical layer , or it just confuses the HDD Floppy Drive.

*** "HDD Regenerator" - this is so far the only , greeted me
sold , advertised and may redistribute the program
an example is illiterate programming
and brazen deceit bought its users through advertising
fictional and non-existent , the main features of the program .

*** The program does not read the disk and passport checks his willingness ,
and apparently takes passport data through DOS- interrupt INT 21H
or INT 13H, although long known that these functions have errors and can
interpritirovat data incorrectly installed devices.
In addition , the physical presence of the disk is not checked during the program .
If HDD " floating " , stopped , or is in Sleep- mode stops responding
on the team , the program does not " notice " and this will "cure " HDD, even physically
disconnected from the computer (using Kashpirovsky - at a distance )
informing about 1 times to about 3 seconds that:
Sector 0 was wasn't recovered
Sector 1 was wasn't recovered
Sector 2 was wasn't recovered
Sector 3 was wasn't ...

And if the user would honestly wait until the scan stopped HDD,
size of 80Gb, then it will take about 15 years , and " hung " for about 5 years .
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
This tool does the same, it is free and provides full set of tools for HDD check and sector re-mapping:
noxcho - i don't want to get involved in a technical discussion on HDD's, but let me ask 1 question
why did HDDregenerator cure several drives for me, while the normal diagnostics, nor windows, or chkdsk could not?
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
That's easy to explain. It remapped the bad sectors to reserved sectors. Visually it was fixed for you. But in reality these sectors are not cured, they are simply blocked for read/write access.
Windows CHKDSK works on file system level. Only CHKDSK x:/r tries to write to each sector and if not possible marks it for the file system as BAD. But again for file system only and not for the firmware. And Windows tools does not work on a low level, for this exist tools from HDD vendors such as SeaTools. Every time you run it you get the warning - your data can be erased. Why? Because the remapping will cure the bad sector issue but remap the bad sector to one of those reserved. Not fix it. That is the difference.

Really professional tool is MHDD imho. And you do not need to buy it.
BTW, "Full Erase" command from HDD vendor test utils will do the same that HDD Regen does. It will try to erase the bad sector and if not possibly will remap the access to this sector to reserved sector. That's all.
"i'm very glad to have HDDregenerator  around; it worked well for me , in spite of what professors may say"

You should also add people who write HDD diagnostics, who are data recovery professionals, and  people who design HDDs and firmware for a living to the people who are against using HDD regen except in rare occurrences, and even then after all else fails.

What does that tell you?
nothing  - i can only speak from my experience, and forgive me when i say "it does not matter why or how it works - if it get's the job done"
i still fail  to see why diags do not cure the drives either, noxcho - but when i get a drive like that again - i'll try to backup - and if possible do a full erase to see if it helps

mind you  - i'm not against anything you say, and i don't argue about it being right or not; just telling what i experienced up to now; in short :
- "Full Erase" command from HDD vendor test utils will do the same that HDD Regen does."  ok but then you'v' lost your data; HDDREG keeps the data - and often the OS is recovered also
- so what does it do different? ?
What do you consider a diagnostic?   Chkdsk is a partial filesystem repair utility. I do not consider it a diagnostic in the least.
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
mind you  - i'm not against anything you say, and i don't argue about it being right or not; just telling what i experienced up to now; in short :
- "Full Erase" command from HDD vendor test utils will do the same that HDD Regen does."  ok but then you'v' lost your data; HDDREG keeps the data - and often the OS is recovered also
If the data is really lost then HDD Regen will not recover it as well, beleive me. Most of the so called "dataloss" issues caused by bad sectors are as long bad as you try to fix them with standard Windows tools.
Normally the HDD vendor tools are equal to what this HDD regen does. I am not telling it does nothing but saying that it fixes the HDD on hardware level is not correct (simply saying).
Have a look on this MHDD.
i consider a diagnostic the one supplied by the manufacturer, WD, seagate...
noxcho - i'm not in the "believing" business - i simply tell you what i experienced - several times : a bad disk comes in (eg unbootable)
i run the short diag to be sure the disk is working ok. --> still unbootable
i run HDDREg - and it boots - and all data is there  (--> i never said it "recovered" the data - the disk simply returns to a working state)

more info:
if i  run full diag before - it reports a bad disk
when ir un it after HDDReg - it's reported OK
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Yes, because the bad sectors have been remapped to reserved healthy ones. But it is not curing the bad sectors.
There is no cure for a bad sector.  The manufacturer's diagnostics are all the same.  They fall into several types of self-tests that are all defined by ANSI specifications.    Their goals are to do media and internal component tests and report failed /failing components.

They do not address "unbeatable" disks. A  HDD has no idea whether or not  the O/S is bootable.  It doesn't care.   The job is to read/write blocks of data.
but - why do other tools not do the same thing, if it is so easy to cure????
loosing your data + Os is not very user friendly
i never said it repaire d the bad sectors - it makes the disk usable again - which is exactly what i need at that point; i don't care how - but if it works it 's  a GOOD tool for me -and the others NOT
Because it is easy to fix if you know how to do it;)
What makes things difficult is that a quite a lot of work has to be done, and this type of code has to talk to the hardware directly.  Even if you have a plain vanilla SATA disk, then the mechanism is quite different depending on whether it is on an SATA port in IDE emulation; or a SATA disk attached to USB; or SATA disk behind a SAS expander.  (Let alone a fake RAID controller)

Then you have to deal with SATA instruction sets that can vary depending on capabilities of the O/S and even drivers.  Now SCSI protocol is much easier, but SATA will eat you alive.

After that, the passthrough logic is different depending on whether WinXP, Win2K8, Win2K8-64, etc.  Even MSFT isn't consistent.

That is why these diags typically boot MSDOS. It eliminates a lot of variables so is less work for developers.

IT is only "easy" once you work out what Op code works and the pass-through mechanism.
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Nobus you never did say it but the author of this program is saying this. Thats it.
dlethe ; you said "What makes things difficult is that a quite a lot of work has to be done" not with this program, it's easy to use
noxcho - i don't understand what you mean with the above

anyway - let's stop this discussion - you all have the right to your opinion, just like me
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