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What software to image corrupted hard drive

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February 1, 2013 6:54:21 PM

Does anybody know the recommended software to image a corrupted hard drive so I can recover data. Please help if you can. Thanks! :D 
February 1, 2013 7:12:27 PM

efx2001 said:
Does anybody know the recommended software to image a corrupted hard drive so I can recover data. Please help if you can. Thanks! :D 


Well there are a number of choices depending on how your drive is corrupted and how you want to image it.

Can you access the drive and files on your computer or is it not booting or not powering on?
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February 1, 2013 7:43:51 PM

The drive powers on but can not access. I would like to image the drive and then recover data from the image.
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a b G Storage
February 1, 2013 8:01:33 PM

Try RECUVA

Normal cloning software rarely works on corrupted drives...

All the best Brett :) 
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a c 288 G Storage
February 1, 2013 8:09:15 PM

Clone your drive sector-by-sector using a tool (eg ddrescue) that knows how to work around bad sectors, and then use data recovery software on the clone.

Ddrescue can perform multipass cloning. It clones the easy sectors on the first pass, and attempts the more difficult ones on subsequent passes. It can also clone your drive in reverse, thereby disabling lookahead caching. It keeps a log, allowing it to resume after an interruption.

http://www.gnu.org/software/ddrescue/ddrescue.html

Ubuntu Rescue Remix:
http://ubuntu-rescue-remix.org/

Install Ubuntu Rescue Remix to a Flash Drive:
http://www.pendrivelinux.com/install-ubuntu-rescue-remi...

Clone a failing Windows hard disk with ddrescue on Ubuntu Rescue Remix:
http://keystoneisit.blogspot.com/2011/08/clone-failing-...
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February 1, 2013 8:17:46 PM

That's us what I am looking for. Thank you so much for the info. :-)
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February 1, 2013 10:32:19 PM

fzabkar said:
Clone your drive sector-by-sector using a tool (eg ddrescue) that knows how to work around bad sectors, and then use data recovery software on the clone.

Ddrescue can perform multipass cloning. It clones the easy sectors on the first pass, and attempts the more difficult ones on subsequent passes. It can also clone your drive in reverse, thereby disabling lookahead caching. It keeps a log, allowing it to resume after an interruption.

http://www.gnu.org/software/ddrescue/ddrescue.html

Ubuntu Rescue Remix:
http://ubuntu-rescue-remix.org/

Install Ubuntu Rescue Remix to a Flash Drive:
http://www.pendrivelinux.com/install-ubuntu-rescue-remi...

Clone a failing Windows hard disk with ddrescue on Ubuntu Rescue Remix:
http://keystoneisit.blogspot.com/2011/08/clone-failing-...


This is assuming a lot about the health of the head rack assembly and what possible media damage there could be.

How do you know the drive will even initialize to an image ready state, much less that the existing condition of the heads won't cause a unrecoverable crash?

My advice would be to get a free diagnostic from a reputable data recovery company to find out the extent of physical damage if any exists.

Seriously, though, don't pay a cent until you come back here and I"ll help you sniff out if what they told you after the diagnostic smells like horseshit.

If you have a failing head rack or media damage, you'll be doing yourself no favors trying to image the drive with commercial software regardless of the quality. Even you had access to the custom imaging software serious DR companies use it would be meaningless without the experience to do fine tuned imaging.

If there's no media/head damage, I would suggest attempting to scavenge it yourself after imaging it like fzabkar suggested.
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February 1, 2013 10:50:31 PM

Thank you very much for all the advice. I will try ti post back when I get a diagnose on the health on the drive. :-)
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a c 114 G Storage
February 2, 2013 2:33:51 AM

I don't understand how two copies of a corrupted drive will benefit you.

Simply take the drive out....connect it to another system and save what ya can by whatever means available.
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a c 288 G Storage
February 2, 2013 5:12:04 AM

A drive that has been "corrupted" due to bad sectors or weak heads should be cloned as quickly as possible. Data recovery software should then be run against the clone rather than the original drive. Trying to recover data directly from a damaged drive will only accelerate its demise.

Even if the damage is only "logical", working on a clone rather than the original drive is still preferable because any mistakes will not result in data loss.
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February 2, 2013 8:13:08 AM

fzabkar said:
A drive that has been "corrupted" due to bad sectors or weak heads should be cloned as quickly as possible. Data recovery software should then be run against the clone rather than the original drive. Trying to recover data directly from a damaged drive will only accelerate its demise.

Even if the damage is only "logical", working on a clone rather than the original drive is still preferable because any mistakes will not result in data loss.


No, the first thing that should be done to a drive that's exhibiting symptoms of physical failure is to be inspected in a clean room to determine the extent of the media and head damage. There is a huge difference between a drive that has no media damage and "weak heads" and one that has pecker-marking(microscopic media damage) or track 0(along the edge) media scoring.

In the first case, you have a small chance of imaging the entire drive before you get a head crash. In the other cases, you'll make the drive permanently unrecoverable.

If you're not planning for the chance that you'll need to replace the head rack on any drive that comes in with physical problems, then you have no business doing data recovery on physically failing drives.

Of course, you should always work with an image drive for scavenging the data, not the original.
That's a given for anyone doing any type of hard drive data recovery as a service.

The core of physical recovery is bringing the drive to an operational state ready for an image and the tools and experience of the engineer(s). Overlooking that and attempting an image as a default step is what separates the cream of the crop of data recovery companies in terms of failure rates.
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