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View Full Version : Help! Anyone know any software to recover data from hard disks?



tfu_iain1
06-06-2004, 05:31 AM
after moving back home from university from the summer, i have discovered on of my hard disks no longer wants to work... it wasnt the most important one (windows and my music are ok) but ive lost ALL my game installs, savegames, the lot. worst of all, IL2 sturmovik has been lost, along with my campaigns, extensive collection of skins, all the missions i built. would have made a backup, but the disc was only 3 months old. anyway, i should get another one on warranty, but in the meantime, does anyone know of any software that can extract data from reluctant discs... i know the drive isnt totally fubar, it passes boot up checks, and im just wondering if there is any software designed for this type of thing, or whether im going to have to take the drive to a professional for recovery. any help appreciated! help a young man get back in the air again!

tfu_iain1
06-06-2004, 05:31 AM
after moving back home from university from the summer, i have discovered on of my hard disks no longer wants to work... it wasnt the most important one (windows and my music are ok) but ive lost ALL my game installs, savegames, the lot. worst of all, IL2 sturmovik has been lost, along with my campaigns, extensive collection of skins, all the missions i built. would have made a backup, but the disc was only 3 months old. anyway, i should get another one on warranty, but in the meantime, does anyone know of any software that can extract data from reluctant discs... i know the drive isnt totally fubar, it passes boot up checks, and im just wondering if there is any software designed for this type of thing, or whether im going to have to take the drive to a professional for recovery. any help appreciated! help a young man get back in the air again!

Cajun76
06-06-2004, 06:47 AM
http://www.tucows.com/filerecovery95_license.html

Perhaps one of these might help. More cows is better. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

Edit: There is also a program on there called SpeedFan. It's main purpose is to give you control over your system fans, but it will also give a diagnostic on your hard disks.

Good hunting,
Cajun76

http://img12.photobucket.com/albums/v30/Cajun76/Real_35a.gif
What if there were no hypothetical questions?

Huxley_S
06-06-2004, 06:57 AM
http://www.ontrack.com/easyrecoveryprofessional/

I've used this before but it isn't cheap.... $500 (!)

There's a free trial version that shows you the files you can recover if you pay up.

http://www.baseclass.modulweb.dk/69giap/fileadmin/Image_Archive/badges/69giap_badge_huxli.jpg (http://www.baseclass.modulweb.dk/69giap)

FB Music and Campaigns @
http://www.onemorewild.org/huxley

Ragman_
06-06-2004, 07:38 AM
EasyRecovery Professional saved my hide a couple of times now. Great product.

Ragman_

repoman11
06-06-2004, 08:55 AM
Take a look here, http://www.webtree.ca/windowsxp/repair_xp.htm

There are links to NTFS reader, a freeware program that will allow you to browse and save files from a harddrive. And lower down there is a link to Knoppix, a version of Linux that is run from your CDROM, and will also allow you to save information.

You may also want to read this, http://www.ocforums.com/showthread.php?p=2808288#post2808288

Aaron_GT
06-06-2004, 09:16 AM
My best advice is to have two hard disks and then use something like BootItNG to image partitions from one drive onto another. Tape backups are more reliable, but given the size of disks these days backing up to another drive is more cost effective. After an OS install it's good practice to mirror an image in case you get plagued by spy ware. No need to reinstall.

Art-J
06-06-2004, 09:18 AM
I had a problem once, with my FAT being lost somehow. A program called "GetDataBack" allowed to recover nearly all small files, It didn't make it with the big ones (eg. movies). The folder structure was lost as well, but the files themselves are more important I think. If other applications won't do, You can try this one.

http://server5.uploadit.org/files/Haribo-Zeke_small_3_txt.jpg

Aaron_GT
06-06-2004, 09:19 AM
P.S. With regard to this particular disk - if you can track down the reason for failure you might have more options. If it is just the controller that has gone and the data is really important you can go to a data recovery firm and get them to remove the platters and extract the data. Not worth the effort and expense for most of us, though!

Knoppix is a good way to try and get data back if it is just windows refusing to read the partition table, though. Of course there is no guarantee Knoppix will either, but there might be tools (see sourceforge.net and freshmeat.net) for Linux that allow you to recover a corrupted partition table, or look for markers to the start of partitions, files, etc., and rebuild it.

Aaron_GT
06-06-2004, 09:19 AM
P.S. With regard to this particular disk - if you can track down the reason for failure you might have more options. If it is just the controller that has gone and the data is really important you can go to a data recovery firm and get them to remove the platters and extract the data. Not worth the effort and expense for most of us, though!

Knoppix is a good way to try and get data back if it is just windows refusing to read the partition table, though. Of course there is no guarantee Knoppix will either, but there might be tools (see sourceforge.net and freshmeat.net) for Linux that allow you to recover a corrupted partition table, or look for markers to the start of partitions, files, etc., and rebuild it.

Agamemnon22
06-06-2004, 09:29 AM
When you say it refuses to work, what exactly happens?
If you hear a ticking sound from the drive when the PC is on, then unfortunately there's little hope of getting anything out of it. Otherwise make sure no cables are loose and there are no master/slave conflicts. Did you do anything to the drive before it died? Did you add another drive to the system?

JG6_Oddball
06-06-2004, 10:07 AM
The knopix (live CD) is a good suggestion, if the HD is still spinning up there is a good chance you can retrieve the data, may I suggest you goto linuxiso.org and DL MANDRAKE 9.2 (3 CD) and set up a duel boot system.
My system is set up like this, I use MAN for most of my internet activity and windows for gaming. All I have todo to access my WIN partition is open my browser and type "file/mnt/windows" a very nice option should windows become corrupt.

I had the same problem as you did, it turned out tobe the MB dying and the IDE channel for that drive was no longer working http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif do you have another computer you can try the drive in?

S!

http://www.geocities.com/rbmercsguild/pics/havespandua.txt

Aaron_GT
06-06-2004, 11:43 AM
"When you say it refuses to work, what exactly happens?
If you hear a ticking sound from the drive when the PC is on, then unfortunately there's little hope of getting anything out of it."

I've had this happen. My advice if this is the case is to get something to back up on (additional drive) and boot up with something like BootItNg or Knoppix (or Mandrake or Suse live CDs) repeatedly. It may actually be visible one of those times. Then copy what you can (some of it might be corrupt).

BootItNg operates at a low level and doesn't require an OS, so that's probably a good first choice, and you can image the partitions on a binary level quite easily. With Knoppix et al knowledge of the dd command is useful.

Start up a console.
Work out the path to the partition (/dev/hdXY) where X is one of a,b,c, or d, and Y is 1 onwards
dd if=/dev/hdXY of=/dev/hdPQ
where PQ is the location of a new partition on a new drive to put things.

If you don't know Linux or UNIX then BootItNG is easier. (Does much of what partition magic does, but is shareware - and I really should pay for it as I use it and find it very good!).

Steven190
06-06-2004, 12:40 PM
This has got me to thinking about this problem and I have several questions that others may also would like to know.
What do you need to set up another backup drive? A drive equal in size, any programes?
Can you just transfer the one drive C: to drive F: without setting up an OS on drive F?
What do you have to do on start up?

Aaron_GT
06-06-2004, 01:10 PM
Most PCs currently have 2 IDE channels, which allow you 4 IDE devices. Most PCs also have a DVD/CD drive in, so you should have two spare IDE device slots. Likely the CD and existing hard drive are the master devices on two separate channels. You can add a second drive as a secondary on either of these channels. It can be as big as you like, and doesn't need to be the same size for backing up.

Then I'd suggest using BootItNG (the poor man's Partition Magic) and its imaging capability to take copies of partitions. BootItNG just presents the partitions in order. You don't need an OS (you can boot it off floppy or CD) and it is pretty straightforward.

If you have a DVD writer you could backup to that, but you have a 4G limit on the amount you can back up to a single DVD. For a big set of installed programs you are going to need quite a stack of DVDs! Hard drives are approximately 1/GB these days, so a DVD solution is more cost effective, but less convenient.

Steven190
06-06-2004, 02:15 PM
So we just install a second Hard drive in a slot, Connect it to the second IDE.
I want to copy the existing C: to it. Then use BootItNG to transfer the containes?
We can get a Hard Drive at DIT for $80.00 for a 40 drive.