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BradBo

Help with recovering data.

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I don’t know when I’ve ever been so upset and so hoping someone can help me.

I have a My Book HD and another Maxtor HD, both external.

My laptop doesn’t have enough room for all my pictures and music so I used both drives to backup and store copies of my music and pictures folder.

I also bought Acronis 8 a few years ago and have made an incremental backup of my laptop HD as an operating system backup.

Wellllll, I had my car stolen with my laptop and my Maxtor HD in it, it’s long gone.

I wasn’t as upset as I would have been as I was very happy that I had my My Book HD with all my data on it and I could then make another backup copy without losing all my hard work and family photos.

Well, I tried to open the Acronis backup folder of my laptop to another desktop and in the process, through a fault of my own stupidity, I somehow deleted the boot sector?, or whatever records’ the disks NTFS file system and the disk info on the My Book drive.

I obviously didn’t read the instructions well enough and I think I tried to reinstall the image back to the disk the image was residing on.

I am able to see a healthy My Book drive using my XP Home on the desktop computer using administrative settings, so it sees the disk.

And I’m sure the files data is still on there.

But when go to Windows Explorer of XP and try to open the My Book drive it always wants me to reformat.

That’s when I start sweating and tears come to my eyes.

I’ve spent over 5 years collecting music and maybe 10 collecting family photos.

My question is........ is there any way to re-enable this drive and get my data back off?

Believe me, I’m more than willing to spend whatever it takes to solve this problem.

I looked at partition Magic and dozens of other programs and I’m totally lost with what to buy or how to proceed.

This has been a real bad experience and probably one of the best learning experiences as related to computers and backups I’ve ever had.

Amazing how one think will lead to another and a person can mess things up.

You’ve heard this many times, but "PLEASE, any help would be greatly appreciated!!!!!".

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You can give this a shot:

http://www.handyrecovery.com/

BTW, don't do anything just yet. Wait until you have enough replies to this. And whatever you do, DON'T MODIFY THE PARTITION. Its already messed up.

Try to clone the disk (a 1:1 copy) if you can (you need a drive the same size or bigger to clone to) and mess around with the copy all you want.

And for the future, you might want to invest in some good quality DVD or BluRay media. The kind that remains readable for about 10-25 years is a good choice.

Edited by brucevangeorge

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I recommend R-Studio or Recuva, but whatever you use be sure not to format or write to the disc you wish to recover from.

I really need to create and pin a topic with all the recovery software we know of, I'll make that a priority this week. Here's a start:

Freeware:

http://www.recuva.com/

http://www.undelete-plus.com/

http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk

http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/PhotoRec

http://ntfsundelete.com/

http://memberwebs.com/stef/software/scrounge/

http://www.adrc.com/software/data_recovery_tools/

http://www.officerecovery.com/freeundelete/

http://tokiwa.qee.jp/EN/dr.html

http://tokiwa.qee.jp/EN/PartitionRecovery/

http://www.softperfect.com/products/filerecovery/

http://www3.telus.net/mikebike/RESTORATION.html

http://www.geocities.com/micwarecentral/micp.htm

http://www.roadkil.net/program.php?ProgramID=29

http://www.pandorarecovery.com/

http://www.undeleteunerase.com/

http://kkfileextractor.sourceforge.net/

http://www.free-av.com/antivirclassic/avira_unerase.html

http://www.mispbo.com/datarecovery.htm

http://officerecovery.com/freeundelete/pro...information.htm

http://paradiseprogramming.tripod.com/flopshow.html

http://www.pcinspector.de/Sites/file_recov....htm?language=1

http://www.woundedmoon.org/win32/driverescue19d.html

http://sourceforge.net/projects/dr-tools

http://sourceforge.net/projects/safecopy

http://sourceforge.net/projects/hdrecover

http://sourceforge.net/projects/first

http://www.softperfect.com/products/filerecovery/

Commercial:

http://www.r-studio.com/

http://www.runtime.org/

http://www.finaldata.com/

http://www.oo-software.com/home/en/products/oorescuebox/

http://www.ontrackdatarecovery.com/file-recovery-software/

http://www.undelete.com/file-recovery.asp

http://www.ajcsoft.com/AJCActBk.php

http://www.active-undelete.com/

http://www.handyrecovery.com/

http://www.stellarinfo.com/

http://www.ufsexplorer.com/

http://www.smartpctools.com/ntfs_recovery/index1.html

http://www.nucleustechnologies.com/

http://www.quetek.com/prod02.htm

http://www.z-a-recovery.com/info_zar32.htm

http://quetek.com/prod02.htm

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If you follow the above advice of brucevangeorge and DigeratiPrime, you won't be sorry. First, do as suggested and make a 1:1 copy to another disk. then work on that disk. You probably corrupted the MFT or maybe even the partition table. That can be fixed and your data accessed. I fixed one of mine once using Acronis Disk Editor, but that can be very tricky and the language they use is occasionally misleading - probably lost in the translation. It is a really excellent program and they've made many improvements over the intervening years. They now have Disk Director Suite.

You will have to experiment a bit with which program works best for you in the situation. I've found some work better than others and then later the reverse, so don't lose hope if one of the programs seems to fail for you.

I had very good success with this program after failure with many others and even known good commercial ones like Get Data Back and Easy Recovery Pro...

http://www.softperfect.com/products/filerecovery/

The program is free, too! Good luck. Let us know how it all turns out, okay?

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I hope this dosent sound too silly, but "you guys just made my day!".

Thanks for your advice and I will do what you suggest.

My only question is.....

How can you clone a drive when the Explorer dosent see the drive other then being healthy?

Im assuming the program I buy will force a clone.

Oh, and some added information on my damaged drive.

It was an NTFS based drive.

I only mention that again, because the programs listed by DigeratiPrime, all seem to say the program is looking for a NTFS based drive, or whatever file system the drive originally used.

The problem is it dosent show a file system for the drive in the Explorer mode.

Kind of like I deleted the part of the disk that records what file system the drive is using.

Thanks again!!!

Brad

Edited by BradBo

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How can you clone a drive when the Explorer dosent see the drive other then being healthy?

Im assuming the program I buy will force a clone.

The program will do that for you. Download a trial version and see if its visible.

Oh, and some added information on my damaged drive.

Told you not to modify it.

The more things you do to it, the less likely you are to get back your lost info. If you put new data in, the drive will probably overwrite the broken, unreadable stuff.

That's why I suggest cloning the contents to a new drive. If you mess up the clone, you make a new one until you get the repairs right.

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brucevangeorge,

Seriously, I didnt modify it!!

I didnt touch it after I initially screwed it up.

I do know enough not to make things worse.

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you need to use a recovery program that will ignore corrupt file systems and try to recover data on a sector by sector basis, I will look for a free program that can do this but I know R-Studio can.

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Seriously, I didnt modify it!!

I didnt touch it after I initially screwed it up.

I do know enough not to make things worse.

:rolleyes: My bad. I read it wrong.

But you do know how the hard drive works.. right?

It wrotes to the next immediatelly empty space (this explains fragmentation also). Your data is broken, the main record (MFT) is broken. All the space is now understood to be empty since the main record does not show which is filled and which is empty... so by deault its all empty.

Any data you write will overwrite the old stuff. Better just read it.

I'm not sure about the master file table MFT, since I think the space is always pre-allocated and doesn't change? I'm not sure what would happen if you try to write a new one. Would it over-write some of the data or just the old file table since its always located in one location only? <- (This I would like to know.)

I hope the recovery goes perfect. It really sucks losing family mementos.

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I'm not sure about the master file table MFT, since I think the space is always pre-allocated and doesn't change? I'm not sure what would happen if you try to write a new one. Would it over-write some of the data or just the old file table since its always located in one location only? <- (This I would like to know.)
Yes, "preallocated", but unlike FAT Partition Table (at the "front of drive"), AFAIK the MFT can be anywhere ("best" place is middle of partition).

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I'm not sure about the master file table MFT, since I think the space is always pre-allocated and doesn't change? I'm not sure what would happen if you try to write a new one. Would it over-write some of the data or just the old file table since its always located in one location only? <- (This I would like to know.)
Yes, "preallocated", but unlike FAT Partition Table (at the "front of drive"), AFAIK the MFT can be anywhere ("best" place is middle of partition).

I see. How big is the NTFS MFT anyway?

Does it change size if you have e.g: more small files filling the drive vs a couple large ones?

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http://www.pcinspector.de/Sites/file_recov....htm?language=1

I have used this one. It can be slow depending on what mode you use but it's pretty good. I never had to use it a lot but when needed it can possibly save you.

You should do the recover on another partition or ideally a second disk. You don't want to possibly overwrite a section that is trying to be recovered.

I have had files that would be gone in less a day from an overwrite to one file that went back as far as 1999 although that is especially rare to have anything recovered after such a long time but since the file was very tiny, a text file, it might had been just pure luck. I have even had certain files recoverable after a complete format of a drive. This leads me to believe that formatting isn't really as deep as it should or could be. From what some have told me that older drives could be formatted deeply but nowadays they aren't as capable of such a low-level format. Something about servo info or something about the internals that don't allow a deep format??

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This is all great information and actually Ive learned allot in a short time.

Interesting how important something can get, but how someone,ie:me, takes it for granted and risks everything without thinking first.

This is an area where a program like Acronis could warn someone on a couple levels before the button is pushed. Not trying to deflect blame but sometimes the explaniations for this program are somewhat hard to understand yet they sell them to average users.

Live and learn.

Im finally able to give something a try tonight, Ill let you know.

Brad

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I downloaded the Demo version of R-Studio, and its going block by block through the 500 gig drive.

Its taking awhile but its obvious the information is still there.

It seems kind of cryptic though.

Why are the sectors half colored, why is there FAT files since it was an NTFS disk, why are the MFT files scattered all over the disk?

Im not a novice,

but it seems allot of programs assume an advanced user is buying them.

I am sure Ill be buying the full version since the freeware version of PC Inspector got me no where, it might have been the user rather then the program though.

Anyway, I dont see why a program like R-Studio cant just rebuild the MFT or maybe even the partition table rather then having to go through a 1:1 copy.

Just replace the lost table, it could simply re-read whats there and rebuild the location of all the files.

Just an opinion.

Like my wife says, its "B.O.", Brad's opinion.

DonDamm,

Thanks for the reply.

Edited by BradBo

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