Is PhotoRec discovering any files? (RAW HDD)

How to use TestDisk to recover lost partition
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Posts: 2
Joined: 19 Sep 2015, 22:13

Is PhotoRec discovering any files? (RAW HDD)

#1 Post by OfficeJerk »

Cutting a long story short, my old internal HDD crashed and im trying to recover what ever I can from it. It isn't making any strange sounds, but the file system has become corrupt and RAW. It always returns I//O device errors when trying to acces the disk from explorer and many data recovery software cannot finish or start the scan due to being unable to read the data. (The correct HDD size and model shows up too in windows if I might add)

I read about PhotoRec being good for corrupt partition tables which have become RAW, so ive decided to give it a go. I managed to get through all the prompts and am now at a screen which appears to be searching or reading every sector on my HDD which is more than any other program ive tried could do.

Anyway my question is about the time being spent on this and whether there will be any benefit of me doing this? As you can see by the below image, it appears to be scanning but when I check the output folder that it asked me to create so it could save files there, all I see is a 'recup_dir.1' folder and when I click in, I only see 1 xml file named 'report' and its always at 0kb in size. If this is actually doing something in terms of trying to recover my data, im more than happy to wait weeks, ive left it running on an old desktop. But If the scan isn't really picking up any files, im going to simply abort the search and format my drive using quick format, then attempt data recovery software so I can at least access the drive in explorer.

I just need to know if PhotoRec is actually doing anything? Ive never used the software so im unsure how it works and what to expect.

Thanks in advance,


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Re: Is PhotoRec discovering any files? (RAW HDD)

#2 Post by cgrenier »

As you get I/O errors, you should clone the disk to a new empty one using gnu ddrescue under Linux.
Once it's done, remove the original disk and try to recover from the clone.

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Joined: 19 Sep 2015, 22:13

Re: Is PhotoRec discovering any files? (RAW HDD)

#3 Post by OfficeJerk »

Thank you for getting back to me.

I ran it to about 20% and it didn't return a single file.

I will be more than happy to clone the disk then try again, but if the search wasn't able to find anything on the actually HDD, how will tying to recover from the clone be more effective?