Staredit Network > Forums > Technology & Computers > Topic: Data Recovery
Data Recovery
Sep 16 2014, 7:02 am
By: Corbo  

Sep 16 2014, 7:02 am Corbo Post #1

ALL PRAISE YOUR SUPREME LORD CORBO

So a while ago I noticed that my external 1TB Western Digital HD was not working. Since it was a good HD I just assumed it was the enclosure that was messed up or the electric cord.

I went ahead and bought the best enclosure I could but in my country (It was still a crappy $18 one) problem was that it recognized my enclosure as a "SATA TO USB INTERFACE" or something like so but it showed NO HD in the drives list.

Did my respective google and found out that it was most likely my drive not being initialized, though, I also knew that if I initialized the drive I'd have to format it to use it again on this computer or at all...

So I went ahead, initialized it and formatted it and now it is recognized by the computer, shows up in the drives list but, as expected, it has no data on it. I know you can most likely recover the data, I am just not sure which program to use.



Do you guys have any recomendations for free recovering software. I have all sorts of files on it, from office documents, autocad plans, images in every format there is, there might be some movies, installers for software I use and... pretty much everything :P

Recovering my work information files (.dwg, .doc, .xls, etc) and pictures is the most important as I can pretty much download everything else.



fuck you all

Sep 16 2014, 10:38 am Oh_Man Post #2

Find Me On Discord (Brood War UMS Community & Staredit Network)

I would also like to know this, because I formatted my hard drive but forgot to copy a annoyingly important folder over full of notepad files of info. Since then I've already used that hard drive to put other shit on - so I know the chances are slim it hasn't been wiped - but I'm certain there's software out there that lets you look for the files that are still on the hard-drive that havent been overwritten by new files.

Help us!!




Sep 16 2014, 12:23 pm Roy Post #3

An artist's depiction of an Extended Unit Death

http://www.piriform.com/recuva

Recuva is my go-to program. It's from the same guys that do Defraggler.




Sep 16 2014, 12:59 pm NudeRaider Post #4

We can't explain the universe, just describe it; and we don't know whether our theories are true, we just know they're not wrong. >Harald Lesch

Recuva is good and free but I prefer GetDataBack which is (illegally) included in Hiren's BootCD 10.6.
Note that if you want to download Hiren's that the newer versions have all programs without free license removed to be downloaded legally.




Sep 16 2014, 2:06 pm Oh_Man Post #5

Find Me On Discord (Brood War UMS Community & Staredit Network)

Roy I'm using this program now.

I note it shows green (not overwritten) and red (overwritten). I have no idea how it's able to show a overwritten file. Can the red files be recovered or are they lost?

Also annoyingly, all of my stuff was in a single folder, but I can only seem to search by file name. I can't actually remember all the file names - so it's a massive pain in the ass to look for all the individual components of this folder I need! Anyway to alleviate that?

Cheers.

P.S. also a way to just search for .txt files would be awesome... can't find the option though.

Post has been edited 1 time(s), last time on Sep 16 2014, 2:42 pm by Oh_Man.




Sep 16 2014, 2:45 pm Roy Post #6

An artist's depiction of an Extended Unit Death

Overwritten means that the data is at least partially gone forever, unless you happen to have a time machine. If the file isn't entirely overwritten, you may be able to recover a fragment of it.

Sorting by folder isn't going to work because the file structure is managed by the OS (that's why cutting and pasting a large file to a different folder on the same drive is instantaneous), and the old folder metadata has certainly been overwritten by the new one. You might be able to filter by file extension in Recuva, but it's been a while since I've used the program, so I'm not sure.

Edit: You should just be able to search for ".txt" to find files with that extension. I believe the searching uses partial matches, not exact ones.




Sep 16 2014, 2:56 pm Oh_Man Post #7

Find Me On Discord (Brood War UMS Community & Staredit Network)

ah well I've managed to find a couple of files that I wanted, but not all of them. Oddly enough, there are some files that aren't there either way. Like, not green or red - just not on the list at all.




Sep 16 2014, 3:07 pm Roy Post #8

An artist's depiction of an Extended Unit Death

That's probably because you overwrote the file metadata, so they're seen as just random bits floating around on your hard drive.




Sep 16 2014, 3:27 pm Corbo Post #9

ALL PRAISE YOUR SUPREME LORD CORBO

Yeah, I was using recuva but I halted it a while ago because it said it'd take like 10 weeks to go trough 1TB of data xD

I was trying recuva, ZAR and... one other I can't remember the name... anyway, thanks. Seems like I'll have no way around the ridiculous ammount of time either way :P



fuck you all

Sep 16 2014, 3:36 pm Roy Post #10

An artist's depiction of an Extended Unit Death

Any file recovery program is going through every (unallocated) individual bit and analyzing what may have been an old file, so the scan time is directly relational to the free space and read speed of the drive: there's no getting around it. There is no indexing or optimization that can be made. Pretend you're trying to install a 1TB game onto the drive, and you'll get approximately the idea of how long it will take.




Sep 16 2014, 4:05 pm Oh_Man Post #11

Find Me On Discord (Brood War UMS Community & Staredit Network)

There's a checkbox in the options called restore folder structure? And a dropdown box called Secure overwriting?

Maybe I'm doing something wrong, but deep scanning my 500 GB hard drive took less than 10 minutes.




Sep 16 2014, 4:30 pm Roy Post #12

An artist's depiction of an Extended Unit Death

How much space on your drive is free, though? That's the only space the program checks.

I don't know how restoring the folder structure works; it seems like that would be unlikely to do with anything other than a freshly-wiped drive.




Sep 16 2014, 4:36 pm Corbo Post #13

ALL PRAISE YOUR SUPREME LORD CORBO

For me is... all there is :P which means 1TB

The estimate says it'll take 8 hours now... so yeah... I should have done this overnight since I kinda have to work...

Is there a problem if I stop it?



fuck you all

Sep 16 2014, 4:39 pm Roy Post #14

An artist's depiction of an Extended Unit Death

There shouldn't be a problem with stopping it: the scan is just reading the drive, not writing anything to it.

Edit: although it may be writing what it can't hold in memory for the results, but unless you have like 500MB of RAM, that shouldn't be an issue.




Sep 16 2014, 4:49 pm Corbo Post #15

ALL PRAISE YOUR SUPREME LORD CORBO

Okay thanks... I'll stop it for now as I have to work... will do it later or maybe on thursday... Thanks!

I'll report back with the results.



fuck you all

Sep 16 2014, 9:42 pm NudeRaider Post #16

We can't explain the universe, just describe it; and we don't know whether our theories are true, we just know they're not wrong. >Harald Lesch

Quote from Oh_Man
There's a checkbox in the options called restore folder structure? And a dropdown box called Secure overwriting?

Maybe I'm doing something wrong, but deep scanning my 500 GB hard drive took less than 10 minutes.
Maybe you are. It should take hours, if not days (in case of bad sectors) for a thorough scan.

Quote from Oh_Man
Also annoyingly, all of my stuff was in a single folder, but I can only seem to search by file name. I can't actually remember all the file names - so it's a massive pain in the ass to look for all the individual components of this folder I need! Anyway to alleviate that?
Depends on how much got damaged. If folder structure is overwritten there's no way to alleviate. But most of the time only a tiny part of the hdd gets overwritten by initializing, partitioning and formatting so chances are good most of the folder structure remained intact.

Now you just need a program that can detect and recognize it because all there is left is the raw data and no more markers what data means what. So having a good recover tool matters. Recuva *should* be able to do it, but if you made the most thorough scan possible you could give a different program a try.

Speaking of which...
Quote from Corbo
I should have done this overnight since I kinda have to work...

Is there a problem if I stop it?
There could be a problem with hdds that got physically damaged (either by shock, age, faulty components, etc.) when trying to read it over and over. While reading *usually* doesn't make the problem worse it *can* make it worse, especially with deep scans. Reading a drive still means accessing it and working it's mechanics which can lead to data integrity deterioration, even if you're not writing to it.

That's why it's best practice, if at all possible, to make a clone of the hdd before you do anything and then run scans and any recovery attempts on the clone. That makes sure that the hard drive will be read just one last time, and prevents any unnecessary read stress by the scan. (And yes, a scan is a lot of stress for a hdd. Though this stress is not at all a problem if the hdd is not physically damaged.)

That being said, only run cloning with machines you don't need for an hour or a few hours.
After the cloning you can safely abort scans without fear of making the problem worse through multiple reads.




Sep 17 2014, 12:45 am Corbo Post #17

ALL PRAISE YOUR SUPREME LORD CORBO

3 minutes left! Let's see how this went :P



fuck you all

Sep 17 2014, 12:51 am Corbo Post #18

ALL PRAISE YOUR SUPREME LORD CORBO

Okay, new problem. It found only 107 files. Seems to be finding only the "Western Digital" software files or whatever...

Any clues? should I just try another program?



fuck you all

Sep 17 2014, 4:22 am rockz Post #19

ᴄʜᴇᴇsᴇ ɪᴛ!

I, uh, deleted ~500 GB of company data on a production server that wasn't backed up properly. Recuva was able to get most of it back, but there were a huge number of files like [0125892].pdf which had lost their metadata but were (mostly) intact. A lot of text files were overwritten with jibberish hex data, and some text based pdfs had random ascii symbols and jibberish in them. Some of the red items were actually good (xml files which were small) and some of the green items were bad. It's not a sure thing with recuva.

If you format a drive, you're essentially wiping everything out unless you do a quick format, since you initialize every cluster, which essentially overwites all files on the disk. Not sure exactly how quick format works.

You're SOL on this drive I think. The most important thing in data recovery is to not touch the data at all. Windows is notorious for just automatically touching your data, so if you can, remove the drive, boot into partedmagic or mini-xp and do the recovery there to a separate drive (before you format!).



"Parliamentary inquiry, Mr. Chairman - do we have to call the Gentleman a gentleman if he's not one?"

Sep 17 2014, 5:49 am NudeRaider Post #20

We can't explain the universe, just describe it; and we don't know whether our theories are true, we just know they're not wrong. >Harald Lesch

Quote from rockz
If you format a drive, you're essentially wiping everything out unless you do a quick for
A quick format is often standard. It only wipes the Master File Table, but not the files itself.




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