slow recovery of PDFs & perculiar errors

Using TestDisk to repair the filesystem
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Posts: 5
Joined: 28 Jun 2014, 22:11

slow recovery of PDFs & perculiar errors

#1 Post by m0atz » 28 Jun 2014, 22:24

I've been using Testdisk for some time now to recover drives in various states. It has always been my go to app to resolve issues.

This one is bugging me a little though. I'm working on a 1TB drive with about 300GB of data on the drive. It's formatted as NTFS, Windows pretty much hangs when its connected by USB (its native USB). I tried running chkdsk /f d: but that seemed to hang as well, so Windows wasnt playing ball. Linux however seemed to run ok with the drive plugged in, but it wouldnt mount - citing an IO error of sorts, and also saying there was an error in the upcase table. Weird.

Testdisk however lets me list the files on the troublesome drive. I'm in the process of copying the files to another drive, but it literally is taking forever. I dont know why. Previously this may have taken up to a day or so with a large amount of data, but I've been running this for nearly a week and I'm probably not even half way. A lot of the files are PDFs - do these take some time to recover or is it more related to the drive issues?

Every now and again I get a message in the Testdisk window saying:

Code: Select all

ntfs_attr_pread_i: ntfs_pread failed: Input/Output error
I assume this means that for a split second Testdisk lost access to the drive but then resumed it somehow?

I also get

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Failed to read index block: Input/Output error
Anyway - the MBR on the drive and the MFT seems in tact, I cant understand why it wont mount, it takes an age to image with ddrescue (running at about 4kb/sec if I'm lucky) and Windows doesnt want to play ball. Any tips to speed up getting the data out would be appreciated?


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Re: slow recovery of PDFs & perculiar errors

#2 Post by Fiona » 29 Jun 2014, 07:59

Faulty file system and bad sectors can cause that testdisk, ddrescue and windows hang.
Running chkdsk /r driveletter: instead of /f might be a better option.
Windows startup repair is often more stable.
Be careful, because drive letter might be changed.
Chkdsk is a try to repair a file system and it's not intended to recover data!
That's why use it at your own risk.
To stabilize USB a little bit more, you can use an USB hub using its own power supply.
If Linux doesn't work as well, you should check your disk using smartmontools or crystaldiskinfo under windows. ... dex-e.html
Using crystaldiskinfo, I recommend the portable version, because the windows installer contains adware open candy.
In your case datrecovery software might be a safe solution.
Did you try photorec?
Under PhotoRec and FileOpt you can press s to deselect all file types and only check these file types, where you'd like to recover.
So you'll not recover unnecessary files.


Posts: 5
Joined: 28 Jun 2014, 22:11

Re: slow recovery of PDFs & perculiar errors

#3 Post by m0atz » 29 Jun 2014, 08:53

Thanks Fiona ill perserver with chkdsk also. Thanks for the other tips ill report any progress.

Posts: 5
Joined: 28 Jun 2014, 22:11

Re: slow recovery of PDFs & perculiar errors

#4 Post by m0atz » 02 Jul 2014, 19:31

Hi Fiona,

Tried again with chkdsk and its reporting it as RAW and therefore wont do anything with it Windows. I quickly tried photorec and as expected it sees the drive and can recover, but is just as slow as copying the files out of testdisk. Not sure why its so slow, assuming its the bad sectors.

Any tips on getting chkdsk to read it when in a raw state?

Do you think imaging the drive (which is slow) and then copying files out of the image will be quicker?

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