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  1. #1
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    Dying Hard Drive & Damaged Image Files

    I have been attempting move image files (TIF, CR2, JPG, BMP, PDF, PSD) off a hard drive and onto another drive on the same computer. The files will not COPY nor will they MOVE. I cannot get them to CS5, PSE8, nor PAINT. When I try to open them in IRFANVIEW the app locks up and has to be closed by the OS.
    Most of the misbehaving images do display in all the thumbnail sizes of WIN 7. And the thumbnails display a black horizontal line through them at different heights and of different thicknesses. Some images have several lines.
    The COPY and MOVE commands stop when they hit one of these files but, using MOVE and telling it to disregard the bad files, I have gotten much of the data off the hard drive. By the way, this process took almost two days as the system settled on a transfer speed between 750 KB/s to a blistering 220 KB/s for 130 GB.
    Perhaps related, the hard drive at POST was detected as having corrupted files etc. I always opted to let the system repair which it did. I also downloaded and ran the WD disk check app and it found no problems. After several o0f these incidents I figured time was to buy a new hard drive and get data off the ailing one.
    Is there a way of retrieving the damaged files? What happened.

  2. #2
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    A couple of things you could try, first, run a check disk against the drive. That may take a LONG time depending on the condition of the drive. Also, when it recovers files, it names them something like FOUND.001, etc. Then you have to guess at the file extension to try and open them. Some people have reported that putting a dying drive in the freezer for a couple of hours has revived the drive long enough to recover files. I've never tried it, so I can't say how well it would work, besides, this would be subject to the condition of the drive. Some software that works pretty good in certain situations is Recuva (freeware: http://www.piriform.com/recuva), or RecoverMyFiles (not free, but has a trial: http://www.recovermyfiles.com/).

    In my experience however, even if you can get the files back, the lines you describe can't be removed, unless you have a lot of time, and are VERY skilled at cloning. As for what happened? Probably age. Its pretty rare for a drive to fail in its first 2-3 years these days. More often than not a drive will last 5-7 years without a hic-up. However, drives are still mechanical devices and as such will fail prematurely from time to time. Sounds like you may have one one of those.

    I have to plug the idea of backing up your files. External drives are cheap, and your data is priceless. And as you have experienced, drives can and do fail. I recommend a multi-tiered approach. Make regular images of your PC with something like Acronis or Macrium Reflect, AND separate data file backups, not only to recover individual files easily when needed, but in the event that an image goes corrupt. I have thousands of photos and hundreds of personal files, including financial data, etc. No way would I trust any one backup solution. I make system images, backup my data files to multiple drives with Robocopy, and burn photos to DVDs (I have as many as 4 copies of my photos).
    Last edited by Doc Brown; 2011-05-12 at 17:28.
    Chuck

  3. #3
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Judging from the description of the thumbnails and the fact that the WD disk check found no problems, I'd suggest it could have been an NTFS/FAT indexing corruption, probably made worse by fragmentation of the files.

    I've used RecoverMyFiles several times with great success, but it uses (as do most of the other good recovery tools), sector by sector scanning. This is most successful if the files to be recovered are not fragmented. TestDisk is another highly effective tool - free too.

    The freezing technique (I've used it twice, each time successfully) is only for a very few types of specific HDD problems; it won't help here but what it usually does is prevent any further recovery attempts outside of a professional clean room recovery service, due to the likelihood of subsequent condensation damage (think rust)!

  4. #4
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Have you run a thorough check disk with the "r" switch enabled from a bootable CD/DVD disk?
    Spinrite in this instance might be worth a try too.

  5. #5
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    There are two superb sources for recovery software which is free for home users: Easus, and MiniTools. These are often mentioned in the Lounge because of their free partitioning software, but if you explore the sites you will find that they have a number of recovery programs as well. There are, of course, pro versions if you are not a home user, but if you qualify as a home user then the price is perfect.

    Yes, they work, but be prepared to spend a very long time (say, a week for a 500 GB drive, for starters) and be sure not to do anything to scramble the drive any more than it already is: restore only to a separate (typically external) drive, and if the drive you are restoring is a system drive, then you must boot from CD or flash drive and load the program from it as well.

  6. #6
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    I have several layers of backup and other drives on the same machine and on external drives. Mercifully. That said. this is the first time I've had data corruption on some files and not others. And then there is the painfully slow reads on that HD. What's going on?
    Thanks all. I have run check disk but not from a CD to repair. I didn't want to muck things up more than they were. That may be a worthwhile effort at this point!

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