After being told about this program to assist in doing the cloning and
data recovery of my failed HDD, I did some looking up ddrescue. All I am
seeing is the Linux version, and worse yet, it requires doing it by the
command line. To me, this means I may as well just toss my failed drive
in the garbage and say goodbye to my data. I have never had any luck
with anything Linux, and if it involves the Linux command line, it's
time to "hang up the phone". On top of that, it appears that to even run
this thing means it needs to be burned to a DVD. That means I will first
have to buy a DVD burner, and blank media. NO THANKS!!!! (That DVD
burner would proably never be used again).
I cant believe there is not something similar that runs in Windows, or
even from Dos, which is just as good. I prefer to stay away from Linux
as far as possible. I will run anything that works on Win9x or WinXP, or
even DOS. (I am not afraid to use Dos command lines, because I was
raised on Dos).
So, what else is there? I'll even purchase commercial software if it's
not over $50. But what do I use?
I just cant believe there is nothing that runs on Windows or Dos, and
think it's sort of ridiculous to have to use Linux to fix a Windows
One other thing, according to Norton Disk Doctor (for Win9x), the FAT
table is defective. There is supposed to be a second copy of the FAT
table, How can I swap to the second copy, and is it possible to swap
back if that dont work?
Yes, I know this dont apply to Windows 7, but I am sure all of this info
would work for 7 as well.... I just use Win98 by personal choice and
also have XP available.
I didn't know about the first answer here, until happening on it.
I've never had a disk fall into the gray zone, to test all
these utilities and spot this. When I have a (really) bad disk, it dies
before I can get any data off.
"Why you can't clone in Windows:
There are a great number of Windows based data recovery and
backup programs out there which make claims of being able to
clone hard drives with bad sectors. This may be partly true, as
some employ bad sector skipping code to jump ahead a large number
of sectors when a bad sector is hit and attempt to continue.
However none are well suited to the task simply because all
Windows based applications rely on the Windows host controller
to interface with the drive. Currently there is no known
workaround for this in Windows. The Windows host controller
unfortunately does not allow software running in Windows to
directly control ATA commands issued to the drive (such as
read timeouts) which are necessary to effectively clone as much
data as possible from hard drive with bad sectors. Fortunately
there is another OS capable of running on your computer that
does not suffer from these same constraints...."
AFAIK, the disk drive itself can hold up the process for 15 seconds
per sector, unless you have a drive with TLER in which case the time
constant can be reduced to the 5 to 7 second range. The disk drive
will try a *ton* of times itself, to read a bad sector.
"Repair FAT tables
File Allocation Tables are maps of the data region, indicating
which clusters are used by files and directories. To repair the
FAT, the menu Repair FAT will have TestDisk compare the two FAT
copies. If the FATs mismatch (sector by sector check) or contains
errors, *TestDisk* uses the FAT copy with less errors and removes
the obvious errors. This function must only be used on FAT
filesystems with correct values in the boot sector. It has been
used with success when scandisk, chkdsk or fsck.vfat crashed or
refused to repair the filesystem.
TestDisk 7 is available from that site, and runs in Windows.
For example, on partitions with the "hidden" attribute,
ones without drive letters like System Reserved, you can
use the "file listing" interface, to actually list the
contents of a hidden partition. The interface is a
bitch :-) Press "control-c" to quit at any time. You'll
eventually learn how to use it... somehow...
TestDisk is also on the Linux DVD.
If you have a USB stick, one big enough to hold a 1.6GB Linux
ISO file, the recent distros are UEFI hybrids with direct dd
transfer capability. You can prepare a USB stick, just by
downloading a Linux distro and transferring it to the USB
stick, sector by sector.
# This assumes the second drive seen in Windows is the USB stick.
# Harddisk0 is the first disk. Harddisk1 is the second disk etc.
# The block size should divide evenly into the size of the ISO.
# The ISOs were properly padded to 1MB (1048576) byte multiples,
# but newer ones are only guaranteed to be a multiple of the optical
# disk sector size of 2048 bytes. I use "factor.exe" to factor the
# size number and work out an optimal block size.
dd if=c:\temp\linux.iso of=\\?\Device\Harddisk1\Partition0 bs=2048
That's to illustrate you *can* prepare Linux boot materials
from Windows. No CD needed (except on year 2005 computers or older,
that don't boot from USB).
There are other tools for preparing boot USBs.
For certain classes of disk problems, you have to
drop to *real DOS*. Count your lucky stars that
Linux, with GUI convenience, exists for at least some
of the problems you might encounter as an amateur
data recovery specialist. One of my problems is,
getting my DOS floppy to boot on modern computers.
It's almost impossible (can't figure out how to
modify memory map to make it fully functional).
It took a lot of trials on my Asrock 4Core to make
that work, but I eventually stumbled on the correct
values. I haven't been as lucky on newer kit.