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Date:      Wed, 11 Apr 2018 16:26:38 +0300
From:      Mehmet Erol Sanliturk <>
To:        Ernie Luzar <>
Cc:        Polytropon <>,  "" <>
Subject:   Re: Recover directory tree with files from win10 HD
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <> <> <>

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On Wed, Apr 11, 2018 at 3:53 PM, Ernie Luzar <> wrote:

> Polytropon wrote:
>> On Tue, 10 Apr 2018 20:14:36 -0400, Ernie Luzar wrote:
>>> My mothers win10 pc has external usb 3tb sata drive with 600gb of data
>>> that has hardware data problems. It will not mount on win10 pc.
>> Do not try any further with "Windows", it could do more damage.
>> On "Windows 10", they use NTFS or FAT as file systems, and both
>> are known to do the "funniest things" when getting into some
>> inconsistent state ("silent" data corruption, data loss, no
>> access due to damaged hiberfile, etc.).
>> My mother has her whole digital life on the external drive.
>> Just restore from backup! Sorry, couldn'r resist... ;-)
>> I can not find any win10 software to recover the data from a drive that
>>> will not mount.
>> First of all, use tools that work with a copy of the damaged
>> disk (or partition). Create this 1:1 copy first in a read-only
>> manner, then work with the image. Do not try to repair the
>> data "on-disk", it will probably destroy more data and reduce
>> the chances of getting the "whole digital life" back.
>> Seriously. I'm not making this up - I learned from my own
>> faults. Check the mailing list archives for the terrible
>> truth. :-)
>> Do not use "Windows" any further without knowing _exactly_
>> what the problem is.
>> I am thinking about using FreeBSD to recover the directory structure and
>>> the files contained in them. Asking anyone if they know of a port that will
>>> recover the data with their full file names in their directories?
>> That depends on the actual damage. This is how you should
>> proceed:
>> 1. Make a 1:1 copy of the disk or partition. Use that copy
>>    in all further steps. (Two copies are handy, in case you
>>    mess up one.)
>> 2. Examine the data. What has happened? Can you use FUSE's
>>    NTFS mount program to mount it read-only? Can you use
>>    tools from the ntfs-tools package to repair things like
>>    the MFT. Or is it a FAT drive? Try mount_msdos instead,
>>    maybe even fsck_msdosfs. It could be sufficient to copy
>>    all the data (cp -R).
>> 3. No luck getting the partition to mount? Assume the data
>>    is still there. Make yourself familiar with professional
>>    forensic tools. Start with the easy ones. If they get
>>    back what you expect to recover, well done. If not, use
>>    the more complex ones.
>> On this mailing list, I have published my "famous list of
>> data recovery tools" from time to time. Note that in order
>> to make use of that list, you'll have to learn (!) about
>> lower-level file system design, because you _must_ understand
>> what you're doing.
>> Here is this list. Note that I've added a few comments that
>> might help in your specific situation (damaged FAT or NTFS
>> drive):
>> System:
>>         dd                      <- for making 1:1 copy
>>         fsck_ffs
>>         clri
>>         fsdb
>>         fetch -rR <device>
>>         recoverdisk
>> Ports:
>>         ddrescue                <- if 1:1 copy is hard
>>         dd_rescue               <- same
>>         ffs2recov
>>         magicrescue             <- get data back (no structure)
>>         testdisk
>>         The Sleuth Kit:
>>                 fls
>>                 dls
>>                 ils
>>                 autopsy
>>         scan_ffs
>>         recoverjpeg
>>         foremost
>>         photorec
>>         fatback                 <- FAT
>>         ntfs-tools              <- NTFS (ntfsfix, ntfsinfo, ntfsmount)
>> Keep in mind: It will take time. There is no "one size fits
>> all" GUI solution where you just click and icon and then have
>> all your files (and the directory structure) back. IN worst
>> case, what you're searching for has already been overwritten
>> by "Windows" attempting to "repair" it.
>> Your alternative: Take $500-3000 and ship the disk to a
>> recovery business. If a "whole digital life" is worth that
>> much money, you can give them a change. Note that there is
>> absolutely no guarantee that they will succeed.
>> Good luck!
> Thank you for your post.
> Lets talk about making a copy to work with.
> Question is about unused space. Disk is 3TB with 600GB used.
> How do I reduce the working copy size to the data only size of 600GB?
> Using the dd command I don't see any way to tell it to ignore coping empty
> space.
> Do I need another 3TB disk to hold the working copy?
> Do I dd the bad HD to another HD of same size making a complete image copy
> resulting in 2 ntfs hard drives?
> Or should I have the dd command create a single flat file of the bad disk
> on the target disk?
> _______________________________________________

You may try

SystemRescueCd is a Linux *system rescue disk* available as a bootable
CD-ROM or USB stick
for administrating or repairing your system and data after a crash.

This is a Live Cd , without installing it , you can mount supported file
system ( there are many including ntfs ) and copy files , etc. from that
file system .
I think , the most useful tool is this Live CD . It can be used in Linux
and Windows computers .

My suggestion is to learn how to use it before attempting any repair on the
damaged disk . First try to copy files into another disk .
Backup data from an unbootable windows computer
Backup and transfer your data using rsync

Thank you very much .

Mehmet Erol Sanliturk

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