Humpty Dumpty played with a drive...
October 15, 2009 8:17 AM   Subscribe

Damaged harddrive-- need to recover one particular file, but due to the damage, only perhaps 30% of the file is intact. What tools are available to just pull that 30% back?

The drive is working to a degree-- if I freeze it I can get directory listings and see the file I want, but when I drag the file off the drive, windows errors out with a CRC error after about 30% and so the file fails to move/copy.

I'm looking for a tool that will keep what it can from the file.

So if the file is like (where G is good and B is bad) :

GGGGGGBBBGGGGGGBBGGGG I'd ideally like to 'recover' the good portions, so I'm left with either
GGGGGG___GGGGGG__GGGG or even just

I don't care about the bad areas, or want the system to think too hard about querying them (drive only stays nice and chilly for so long).

I thought about installing an FTP server and ftping the file off the drive, but I'm hoping some mefites know of a more speciailized tool for the job, which might also grab those later good parts of the file. Windows options preferred.
posted by Static Vagabond to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
dd_rescue or ddrescue (two different implementations of the same idea) are probably what you want, here. I think one or the other of them should be available on a Knoppix live CD, or it should run in Windows under Cygwin.
posted by hades at 8:46 AM on October 15, 2009

Would it be possible to stick the HD in an external enclosure and run it while in the freezer?
posted by 6550 at 8:53 AM on October 15, 2009

JFileRecovery is a free Java Web Start application that can copy files from damaged storage devices and media, skipping over problematic regions that typically cause copying to fail. If the file is listed, there is a good chance that JFileRecovery can salvage much of the data with minimal corruption.

I've used this tool to copy a video from a scratched CD. YMMV.
posted by Gyan at 11:43 AM on October 15, 2009

Thanks, unfortunately the drive edged from damaged to ruined the last time I plugged it in to try the solutions (The file wasn't terribly important, so no tears spilt).

I'll keep both those suggestions in my toolbox for next time though, the dd_rhelp seems like it would have been the perfect fit.
posted by Static Vagabond at 7:49 AM on October 16, 2009

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