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  1. #1

    Strange HDD recovery problems

    Hi guys

    I'm struggling to recover some files off of a slightly damaged NTFS partition. Tried searching but can't find anything relating to this specific issue.

    Basically the MFT seems to be corrupt. Ive tried CGSecurity TestDisk, which recovers deleted files perfectly, but won't recover files that are actually stored in the partition. It has a "List Files" option which fails with a corrupt partition message (I guess it's trying to read the partition as if it were healthy).

    I would try PhotoRec but it doesn't recover file names or paths.

    Surely there is a way to low-level read the healthy parts of the corrupt partition in a few minutes considering it only has minimal damage?

  2. #2
    Trusted Penguin Irithori's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Hi and welcome

    If testdisk reports a corrupt partition, then the damage might not be so minimal.
    For MFT repair (btw, how do you know that it is corrupt?), try this documentation: Repair An NTFS MFT

    Is there a backup of your files?
    You must always face the curtain with a bow.

  3. #3
    Thanks Irithori!

    My analysis hasn't been very scientific. I believe damage is minimal because TestDisk managed to recover over 20GB of data that was deleted off the drive months ago, and it did it in a matter of minutes. Also, the HDD is partitioned into two partitions. The one partition still works perfectly.

    I'm guessing that the MFT is corrupt based on output from several tools that I've tried. e.g. they will start scanning the MFT and give errors at a certain point. TestDisk failed MFT repair stating that both the main MFT and the MFTMirror are corrupt.

    Unfortunately the last backup I have was made 2 weeks ago, and even more unfortunately, I've been working on these files day-and-night ever since so it will take 2 weeks to re-do the work (which is due for release on monday)
    The 1st thing I'm going to do once this matter is resolved is to write an automatic backup script!

    Edit: I've just finished an 11 hour scan of the drive using the freeware EaseUS data recovery and it has found 1000's of unnamed but readable files. Haven't been able to locate the files I need as yet.
    Edit 2: The latest version of the 1 file I desperately need has been recovered Just another 3 files then I can go on weekend! I'm still determined that TestDisk could do this better... I mean recovering "deleted" files can't be that different from recovering "existing" files
    Last edited by juice777; 06-01-2013 at 11:12 AM.

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