Recovery of Lost Partition from exeternal HDD

Using PhotoRec to recover lost data
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Ageofempires2
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Joined: 28 Aug 2016, 21:28

Recovery of Lost Partition from exeternal HDD

#1 Post by Ageofempires2 » 29 Aug 2016, 11:14

Hello,

Story: I was busy sending a game to my 500GB external HDD when I accidentally (out from the USB port) unplugged it from my laptop thinking that process had been completed. I didn't realize the problem immediately, and only found out when I reconnected it to try and see if I could play the game from my other computer. When I connected the external HDD, windows explorer assigned it a letter and it was visible.

Windows Explorer see's it as: Local Disk (F:)

When I try opening the external HDD, I receive the following:

Location is not available
F:\ is not accessible.
The parameter is incorrect.

When I check the properties, I see that free space and used space is set to 0 bytes. I've been reading alot and I have diagnosed this external HDD as being RAW. Windows cannot recognize the type of data in the external HDD, so I find myself with the problem of not being able to access it. The only option provided is to format the external HDD, BUT I know better and didn't do so.

I downloaded a few programs like EaseUS Data Recovery, EASEUS Data Recovery, HDD Regenerator, MiniTool Power Data Recovery, Wise Data Recovery and this is the result: They can see the folder structure, but they cannot recover the files correctly. When I open them, they are corrupted. Others, require payment for recovery more than 2GB, but I feel like there's no need for that just yet.

So, the problem is greater than what I thought, I downloaded the latest testdisk and photorec at the time and started using it. I'm familiar with it since I've used testdisk before to recover data from my own laptops hard disk drive. When I use photrec, I can recover the data as I tested it and can see some of the pictures and so, but thing is the file structure and names are missing.

I used testdisk and when adviced on partition it said "None". So I picked that, analysed the disk and I found some partitions but when I wanted to list the files, I couldn't do so. It said something like the structure is corrupted or something. I read one of Fiona's post and it said I should check the Boot part, and it was not identical so I made it identical. And I started my deep search, but now it stuck on 81%. The deep search shows alot of different partitions like exFat, NTSF etc and they have the wrong cylinder, head, sector for each. So I don't know how to change that number for each individual partition.

Sorry, I summarized the test disk info, but please ask me if needed. I will attach the .txt from textdisk. Thank you very much for your time reading this, and I will really appreciate all the help. I have faith this is possible and I hope this post can help others in the future.

Note: I uploaded the text file on to my dropbox because I do not know how to put it here.
File: www.dropbox.com/s/e6gefhp9e07ao9b/testdisk.log?dl=0

Thank you

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cgrenier
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Re: Recovery of Lost Partition from exeternal HDD

#2 Post by cgrenier » 30 Aug 2016, 06:23

Using TestDisk 7.1-WIP, select Disk \\.\PhysicalDrive1, Advanced, List.
If it doesn't work, try Boot, RepairMFT.

Ageofempires2
Posts: 7
Joined: 28 Aug 2016, 21:28

Re: Recovery of Lost Partition from exeternal HDD

#3 Post by Ageofempires2 » 31 Aug 2016, 23:54

Thank you for you reply, but this didn't work. The Boot was identical. And I can see a partition, but when I tried to access it by pressing "P", I cannot list the files because I get this error: "Can't open file system. Filesystem seems damaged"
*This is a very common message for some people, so I'd really like to get a solution so that others can benefit too.

When I analyzed using the version 7.0, I received lots of "geometry" errors, like sector, cylinders etc do not match. Could this be the problem? And if so, could you please help me with the changes needed to make in the "Geometry" in order to be able to access my files?

I recently downloaded 7.1, and analyzed it again and instead, I'm receiving this error:"check_FAT: can't read FAT boot sector Invalid FAT boot sector"
hhhh.png
hhhh.png (58.94 KiB) Viewed 974 times
Which is different from the error in 7.0, less explicative on the error, so I don't know, what do you think I should do? Please would you assist me with abit of information on what Geometry changes I would need to make?

Errors using 7.0 testdisk example:
NTFS at 9877/111/3
heads/cylinder 16 (NTFS) != 255 (HD)
sect/track 2 (NTFS) != 63 (HD)
heads/cylinder 2 (FAT) != 255 (HD)
sect/track 18 (FAT) != 63 (HD)

And then at the end I started getting this error in the log file:
file_win32_pread(120,1,buffer,791217896(49251/9/15)) read err: read after end of file
*What does this mean?

Thank you very much, please do try to help me out as I would really appreciate it. As it is, I'm very grateful for such wonderful program.

Ageofempires2
Posts: 7
Joined: 28 Aug 2016, 21:28

Re: Recovery of Lost Partition from exeternal HDD

#4 Post by Ageofempires2 » 01 Sep 2016, 06:48

nnnn.png
nnnn.png (67.95 KiB) Viewed 965 times
This is the warning message I get after the analysis. How can this be fixed? Geometry?

Ageofempires2
Posts: 7
Joined: 28 Aug 2016, 21:28

Re: Recovery of Lost Partition from exeternal HDD

#5 Post by Ageofempires2 » 01 Sep 2016, 06:49

bbbb.png
bbbb.png (62.11 KiB) Viewed 964 times
I don't know if this is the correct partition, so I try to list the files.

Ageofempires2
Posts: 7
Joined: 28 Aug 2016, 21:28

Re: Recovery of Lost Partition from exeternal HDD

#6 Post by Ageofempires2 » 01 Sep 2016, 06:50

aaaa.png
aaaa.png (53.94 KiB) Viewed 963 times
Then I get this error.

Ageofempires2
Posts: 7
Joined: 28 Aug 2016, 21:28

Re: Recovery of Lost Partition from exeternal HDD

#7 Post by Ageofempires2 » 01 Sep 2016, 21:58

[SOLVED] :D

So I got my data back, which was my number 1 priority. Reasons why testdisk doesn't access the data in this state is still a topic of confusion between many users - as seen in the large number of posts with the "Damage filesystem" error. I believe a Geometry change would have fixed it, but that did very little or actually didn't do much to make the data more accessible.

So what I did to access my data and recover it was: I got the full version of "Zero Assumptions Recovery"(ZAR) - just do a bit of searching around - and I followed the programs instructions and tada! I recovered my data. The data recovered was ALL (100%) readable and the structure was all there, I could even recover previously deleted files! So that was a success. I copied my data to another location, out of the external HDD, then I reformatted it and placed the data back and all like new. ZAR was really quick too, I scanned AND recovered my data within 10 hours.

Thank you very much, I hope this helps someone out there with a similar situation.

ssanator
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Joined: 04 Oct 2016, 01:15

Re: Recovery of Lost Partition from exeternal HDD

#8 Post by ssanator » 04 Oct 2016, 02:29

Hi ageomfrieempire,

I hope this actually helps me already. I went through the same issue with TestDisk. I'm talking about the issue of invalid FAT boot sector and all that ish.. After going through lots of blogs they couldn't help until I came across your post on here. So far I got the ZAR x technician edition and currently trying to recover them. I hope it really works for me same as it did for u. However I wana ask if after recovering all your files, how were you to format your HDD since it keeps saying unable to format? Because my own HDD is from my PC it got bad, when I turned on my laptop it says "Can't find boot device" so I started by removing it and plugging to recover files frm a diff laptop with TestDisk but it was saying "invalid FAT boot sector" which discouraged me, so I went on a research and that's how I found you.

I strongly believe it will work. Thanks for sharing anyways!

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Re: Recovery of Lost Partition from exeternal HDD

#9 Post by cgrenier » 04 Oct 2016, 05:53

ssanator, if you get an error when trying to format your disk, it's probably because your disk contains bad sectors. You should replace it by a new one.

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