Data recovery and disk repair questions and discussions related to old-fashioned SATA, SAS, SCSI, IDE, MFM hard drives - any type of storage device that has moving parts
January 21st, 2020, 10:12
I messed up my external hard drive through sheer idiocy.
I've been trying to get an old dos/win95 laptop up and running and have been playing with partition software to setup an mSATA to use as the main hard drive.
It seems that while trying to write an image to my mSATA i've somehow written the image to my external hard drive which was still plugged in. Reducing the size from 4TB to 4GB. It took me a while to realise what had happened, because I was concentrating on the mSATA not the external HDD and once I realised I almost had a full on meltdown, as there are baby photos & videos, wedding photos & videos which may not exist anywhere else anymore.
So i'm trying to find the best way of recovering the data. I've accepted there's no magic Undo button and i'm going to have to work to get my data back properly.
The image below shows the current state of my external hard drives. (I bought a new drive to help recover the data. This will double as a backup connected to a raspberry pi4b used as a NAS drive once i've sorted my mess)
I'm currently running EaseUS Data Recovery, scanning the drive for all my files. I ran this first on the 4GB partition and it found some files as RAW files, so some of the filenames make no sense and there's no folder structure. I'm worried though, that by having split the partition I might get fragmented files, so whilst I might recover a few things some will never be recoverable.
So my first thought to get around this is whether I extend the 4GB volume to the maximum size and see if this helps?
Any advice would be appreciated
January 22nd, 2020, 3:08
Just as an update, checking my scan now before I goto work and while the scan seemed to be finding over 250000 files, it has only recovered 6466 files over 98GB of space, so very little really.
I think I'll have to try recombining the primary partition and unallocated space by extending the volume. Could anyone tell me if this would do anything more to the contained files?
January 22nd, 2020, 4:46
a quick hex analysis can help to determine the damage of file system.
can take a look if interested.
January 22nd, 2020, 7:54
Overwriting the first 4gb of your drive is probably going to leave you without the folder structure and file names though most of your files should be recoverable as raw.
What you can do is get yourself a free evaluation version of Dmde.
You would be looking for the existing partition info. If you see your original partition try to open the volume.
You might also scan the drive and see if any more partitions are found.
Of course in an ideal world one should create a full drive image first!
January 22nd, 2020, 8:33
dick wrote:Overwriting the first 4gb of your drive is probably going to leave you without the folder structure and file names though most of your files should be recoverable as raw.
I don't think I have overwritten the first 4GB, I think it's still intact but partitioned. I ran a data recovery on the first 4GB and it produced much better results than the rest of the drive.
I've not heard of Dmde before, i'll give that a crack tonight.
Is there any software that will scan the entire drive regardless of partitions and piece together files / folder that might have been divided between allocated / unallocated space?
January 22nd, 2020, 20:31
I used MiniTool Data Recovery Pro in the past, it included a partition searcher and drive contents function. I do not how strong the trial version is. I don't know if MTDR will work for your situation.
January 22nd, 2020, 20:57
JimUK wrote:Is there any software that will scan the entire drive regardless of partitions and piece together files / folder that might have been divided between allocated / unallocated space?
I recommend you try ReclaiMe File Recovery
. It has been great at reconstructing file and folder names and structure for me. You can just run it as a trial and buy it ($79.95 USD) if results justify the purchase. No need to rescan the drive if you decide to purchase.
January 23rd, 2020, 3:02
My latest scan finished still using EaseUS. Was disappointed at what it's letting me recover, as during the scan it seemed to show all files in their original folders, then when the scan is complete it leaves me with RAW files and unnamed folders. Wish i'd remember to take a screenshot of the folders while they were being scanned.
I had a look at Dmde free, but it says you can only recover 4000 files at a time?
Going to have a crack at using ReclaiMe, getting it running before i head to work.
January 24th, 2020, 4:04
ReclaiMe has done it!
I left it running all day yesterday and at lunchtime I could see everything that had gone. By the evening the software seemed to have found everything so I save all the files onto my new external HDD, moved the files to the root of the drive as they had existed on my older drive, changed the drive letter to match the older drive and everything popped back into place!
Thanks for the help, EaseUS just didn't seem quite up to the job so I appreciate the advice.
By the way is it normal on this forum to have each and every post approved before it appears on the board?
January 24th, 2020, 9:49
That's terrific, @JimUK! Glad to hear it. I don't know how many posts need to be made before they appear without moderator approval. Perhaps someone else can answer that.
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