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What to do with the message 'correct disk geometry is required for a successful recovery’ from TestDisk

Posted on 2016-10-16
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Last Modified: 2016-10-16
We have been working to recover a disk we have and has had help from EE during the process.  After a series of software, the one we found to run unattended the entire analysis process has been TestDisk.  However we noticed that the apps gives a noticed that we have  overlooked:

The notice is:
'Note: Correct disk geometry is required for a successful recovery.  'Analyze' process may give some warnings if it thinks the logical geometry is mismatched.'
tdmsg

 
  • What does this  message mean?
  • And how can we the correct required disk geometry of the drive?
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Question by:rayluvs
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17 Comments
 
LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:No More
ID: 41846054
Do you have RAID ?

Linux or Windows ?
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Author Comment

by:rayluvs
ID: 41846061
No Raid.

The bad disk it's from a Toshiba notebook; it was running Windows 10 Pro at the time of it's inaccessibility.

The computer we have used to run TestDisk are both notebooks; one with Windows 7 Pro and the other Windows 10 Pro.  The way we run TestDisk is placing the drive in a case and connect it to the computer to run the test.
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:No More
ID: 41846062
http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/Menu_Geometry

Check these parameters on the HDD label
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Author Comment

by:rayluvs
ID: 41846064
Prior placing the question we did and found a difference (see pix below):  


disk
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:No More
ID: 41846068
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Author Comment

by:rayluvs
ID: 41846070
Have you used it?
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:No More
ID: 41846071
Yes, It recovered lost partitions for me before
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:No More
ID: 41846074
Have you read info from s.m.a.r.t. to find out what's the issue ?
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Author Comment

by:rayluvs
ID: 41846078
No.  How can we go about reading the info from s.m.a.r.t.?
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LVL 47

Accepted Solution

by:
David earned 2000 total points
ID: 41846084
If you put the disk in an enclosure case that involves a SATA / USB adapter, then you really screw yourself. The reason is that the controller chip emulates everything, all vendor-specific layouts.  You MUST direct attach disks to the native SATA controller, no protocol conversion.  

That is because they use LBA mode, not CHS mode.   Geometry is irrelevant when a device is using LBA mode, and the USB protocol converter chip forces the disk into LBA mode.

If you already run this software on the sick disk and it did any write I/O you absolutely messed things up further.   Personally, if you want your data back, pay the $S00-$1000 and be done with it.
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Author Comment

by:rayluvs
ID: 41846087
Makes sense, thanx!  As a matter of fact, an EE has indicated that as the utility is showing the emulated CHS values.

FYI:
No tools used has written to the drive; all was only viewing or analyzing.

Based on your comment we should
- connect the drive to one of the notebooks we are using for testing (extracting the existing one of course).
- boot from a USB or DVD.
- Run TestDisk again.

Yes?
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:David
ID: 41846111
Yes, but again for the record, if the data is worth $1000+ then just let a recovery lab deal with it. One can't do proper recovery w/o a clean room an $50K worth of equipment.
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Author Comment

by:rayluvs
ID: 41846113
Unfortunately, we are in a project outside the united states and not returning for at least a month; we are trying all options to see if we are successful.
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Author Comment

by:rayluvs
ID: 41846114
Last question,

Do we we still have to to read info from s.m.a.r.t. as per recommendations in ID: 41846074
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:David
ID: 41846120
Your options puts the device at risk of 100% data loss.   If you don't know the nature of the problem then you shouldn't keep the disk spinning.  Reading S.M.A.R.T. registers is only a tiny portion of what needs to be done, but you already know that the disk has  unrecoverable read errors, so you're not going to learn much more.  It isn't as if you're going to do anything differently no matter what S.M.A.R.T. tells you.
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Author Comment

by:rayluvs
ID: 41846126
Thank your very much!!  You have given straight answer directly to our question!! We will proceed!
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