Ran dskchk for corrupt external hard drive, need to restore missing files asap - Techist - Tech Forum

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Old 07-04-2009, 08:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Ran chkdsk for corrupt external hard drive, need to restore missing files asap

Hello everyone and happy 4th of July! I have a Windows XP 2004 edition on a Dell Inspiron 9300. I have two external hard drives, one is a 250gb simpletech that I have been using for two years, and the other is a just yesterday bought 500gb seagate. Today the simpletech had problems and reportedly was corrupted. Windows told me to run chkdsk, so I did, and lo and behold the files on the external hard drive were deleted. Actually, they are still there (the same amount of disc space remains), but when I go into Explorer to look at the files, all that comes up is one folder of music, and when I click on it an error message pops up saying the data cannot be displayed. As far as I can tell, running chkdsk did not affect my C: drive or my other external hard drive that I just bought.

I have spent a couple hours researching how to proceed. I don't know too much about computers, but one recurring theme I keep running into is I need to find out whether I am having a problem with the hard drive or the software. Some people say I should create an image of the corrupted drive before doing anything else. Others say to run GetDataBack (I have used 249gb/250gb of the drive, and because it is a large drive it would be NTFS not FAV right?).

Here is a question I sent to GetDataBack support. You don't necessarily have to read it, but it talks about how I'm not sure how to use the GetDataBack software correctly.

"I would like to use GetDataBack NTFS to restore the files. I am a little confused about how to install and run GetDataBack. I read the FAQ and I am supposed to install it in a Windows drive that has not been affected. So would running it in the C: drive be fine? I am 90% sure the C: drive has not been affected, and I am 100% sure the 500gb external hard drive has not been affected. In which drive should I install the program? Additionally, I have to have enough space on the drive to restore the files. Since my C: drive is only 60gb and the drive that lost its files is about 230gb, I would need to install GetDataBack in the 500gb drive right? After that, I read that I should disconnect the broken external hard drive. I have been reading online and most guides say to not touch/use/disconnect the broken drive, and so I have not disconnected it like your guide says to do. Can I run the recovery program without disconnecting my external drive? Also, is using GetDataBack free? I read something about inserting a license code when the recovery process is done. I don't mind paying any money. I just didn't know if I should buy the program before running it or just use the demo program for now?"

If you guys could please help me out, I would really appreciate it. I have three questions:

1) What should I do in the meantime? Some people say not to access the damaged drive at all and not to disconnect it, while others say to disconnect it and plug it back in.

2) Is my data lost for good? I had a lot of movies and music on my drive, but nothing of life importance, so I can survive this loss. Does that mean I would be willing to pay around $100 to ship the drive to someone to have the data restored? Yes, but I would not be willing to pay much more than that.

3) What can I do in the next couple of days to hopefully restore the data? Also, how can I be 100% sure only the external drive was corrupted and not the C: drive as well? This may be obvious, but how do I know chkdsk did not damage the C: drive too?

If there is any information I left out that would be useful, let me know and I will add it.
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Old 07-04-2009, 10:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ran dskchk for corrupt external hard drive, need to restore missing files asap

1. My first question is are you sure that it is just saying it can not be accessed? Does it mention anything about permissions? I would try this:

How to take ownership of a file or a folder in Windows XP

Take ownership of the files. This could solve your problems quickly if it is a permission issue.

2. Unless the read/write head crashed on the drive it is not lost for good. There are many options for recovery.

3. Try my permissions suggestion first. If that doesnt work report back and we will see what else we can try.

If you ran chkdsk it only runs on the drive specified. So if you specified the external drive that is the only drive affected.
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Old 07-05-2009, 03:18 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi Mak. To take ownership of the files, I need to run Windows in safe mode, which means I need to restart it. I know you can't say for sure, but will this affect my drive?

Here is the response from a GetBackData support staff:

"Since it is the external 230 GB drive you want to recover data from you can install GetDataBack on your C: drive. Launch GetDataBack and scan the 230 GB drive.

If the file system of the external 230 GB drive is NTFS you will need GetDataBack for NTFS, otherwise you will need GetDataBack for FAT.

I am not sure it GetDataBack will recover the files because Chkdsk does a lot of damage. I recommend you try the demo first and buy the license if GetDataBack finds the files you are looking for."

Additionally, when I tried to access the only folder shown in the damaged drive, the message I get is "The folder is not accessible. The file or directory is corrupted or unreadable."
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Old 07-05-2009, 08:29 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ran dskchk for corrupt external hard drive, need to restore missing files asap

If you take ownership it will not affect your drive at all. Taking ownership is just a file permissions thing. It is not something that will affect your drive.

The only thing that will affect your drive is if the read/write head crashes and if that is the case, then nothing we do here will matter as the only way to recover the data then is send it to the pros for extraction.

Chkdsk does a lot of DAMAGE??? WTF are these people smoking? That person knows absolutely nothing. Sorry but it is true.

Chkdsk.exe is the command-line interface for a program that verifies the logical integrity of a file system on Windows. When CHKDSK encounters logical inconsistencies it takes actions to repair file system data, provided it is not in read-only mode.

Taken right from Microsoft's site. So yeah that person doesnt have a clue what they are saying. It checks file integrity. If the scan is interrupted at all that is when the problem occurs.

You can try something like Pandora Recovery.
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Old 07-05-2009, 12:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ran dskchk for corrupt external hard drive, need to restore missing files asap

Do you recommend Pandora Recovery over GetDataBack?

By the way, I checked and the damaged drive is NTFS.
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Old 07-05-2009, 12:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ran dskchk for corrupt external hard drive, need to restore missing files asap

Hi,
I am looking at getdataback's site right now and just like mak I am wondering what they are smoking, some of the claims they make on their site are just farcical, 1'st off like mak said chkdsk is a windows command line program for file system checks and repair it will not cause damage in any way shape or form I use that program many times a week to fix issues. Second they are calming on part of their site that OSX is using the EXT3 file system well that is a load of bottom gravy of the highest order OSX has a hard time mounting drives that are in any format other than the mac HFS or HFS+ file system with the exception of FAT32 and FAT 16 for portable media like USB flash drives.

Also there site is a mess, in opera and FF there is nothing but broken links and broken images.

If you want a bit of software that is user friendly and has the great price tag of sweet fanny Adams look at Recova, it's from the same people who made CCleaner. I use it and it has provided some of the best results in my experience for a point and click tool.

Chris.

Edit:
Here is the link to Recuva, Recuva - Undelete, Unerase, File Recovery - Home
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Old 07-05-2009, 12:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ran dskchk for corrupt external hard drive, need to restore missing files asap

^^ +1 for Recuva, great little program.
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Old 07-05-2009, 01:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I have downloaded Recuva. First though I would like to go ahead with Mak's idea of reclaiming ownership of the files as a possible solution.

I have to reclaim and recover about 230gb of data. In my C: drive, where I have installed GetDataBack and Recuva, I have only 1gb free. Maybe I am misunderstanding the data recovery process, but where does the recovered data go? I have a 500gb external hard drive that I could put the data in if needed.

Thanks, you guys have been really helpful.

Update: Recuva works great. The first run through it only found a couple of my files. I changed some settings, and now it found 40000 files! I am currently restoring them, which will take around 5 hours.
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Old 07-05-2009, 03:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ran dskchk for corrupt external hard drive, need to restore missing files asap

Glad you got it done.
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