I have a PC with 3 HD's in it, fortunately the main C: Drive with windows 7 on it is fine and is backed up weekly to the second drive D: .
I have another drive E: , a Hitachi SATA drive of about 300GB, on which I had copied an old laptop hard drive. I rarely use it but sometimes access some of the old files on it which were stored in one main folder containing multiple subfolders.
The other day when I started the PC I caught the tail end of a Checkdisk running then the PC seemed to run fine.
Yesterday, when I powered it on, it went straight to Checkdisk for the Hitachi Drive, which is drive E. When windows started up there was no sign of the Hiatchi E drive, so I shut down the PC and checked all the SATA cables disconnecting and reconnecting them.
When windows had started up again the Hitachi E drive was showing. Though when I went to explorer I found that it looked empty, no files were visible.
I checked its properties and it showed 52GB used space. I ran tune up utilities and it recovered about 3 files which I restored as advised.
I now have a 300Gb drive with only one folder called “MFT 22” and a subfolder which contains 1 MS Access Database !
After some Googling I downloaded a program called “Pareto Logic” and am running an advanced scan.
It is almost 50% complete after about 2.5 hours and shows 24,500 items.
When I check the descriptions of these items it shows many of the files I would expect with their filename and date modified/ created/ accessed as I would expect it.
It also shows lots of other files with random filenames and date modified/ created/ accessed as 1970/01/01 12.00.00, I imagine these are deleted files, as some of them I can preview and they are audio files which I once stored on this drive before deleting them.
What I would like to do is obviously restore this drive to how it was before this happened, but I am not sure of the best way of doing this,
I can find lots of software to recover these files, like the trial of “Pareto” that is scanning the disk, but I wondered if there was an easier way to do it.
I don’t want any of the deleted files just the ones that were on the disk the other day.
I am thinking that if I use Pareto, it may recover everything leaving me with maybe 50,000+ files to sort through and also not in any folder structure.
Is there a way of just repairing the disk structure without having to recover everything from it, I came across discussions of MFT records?
Or if not does anyone have any software to recommend that will allow me to copy the disk contents to one of my other hard drives, whilst maintaining the folder structure and filenames?
I ended up going for http://www.windowsdiskrecovery.org
I liked its ease of use and was able to see my missing folders and files with their correct filenames. I paid the upgrade and was able to recovery relatively quickly the data to another of the Hard Drives.
I have had a repeat of the Hitachi drive disappearing in windows and suspect it may well be failing, so I plan to replace it.
I have a couple of other “no longer in use” hard drives which I have avoided disposing of because of concerns about where they might end up and what data could be recovered from them.
Does anyone have any suggestions of any good ways of wiping or overwriting them to remove all traces of my data?
That's an easy one. CCleaner (free) and used by just about everyone, has a Drive Wiper under the tools menu.
You can wipe a drive from a simple one pass, several intermediate choices, to a very complex 35 passe algorithm for those with NSA type data, guaranteed to make it unreadable.