HardDrive corrupt. Stuck with damaged filesystem PLEASE help

Using TestDisk to repair the filesystem
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jlewi142
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Joined: 05 Feb 2017, 14:39

HardDrive corrupt. Stuck with damaged filesystem PLEASE help

#1 Post by jlewi142 » 05 Feb 2017, 14:56

Hey guys bad news, I lost 2.5 years worth of photos with my girlfriend on this harddrive and trying so hard to recover these files as they hold sentimental value. When I plug in the harddrive it shows up as localdisk:f and has no data on it, when I click on it, it asks me to format it. I should also note that there is no physical damage to the drive, it appears to be something wrong with the software component. I have tried multiple different recovery programs and testdisk seems the most appropriate for my situation. Unfortunately after I analyse, and quick search, it finds one partition, which sounds right since the whole disk is only like 100 sectors larger than that partition, and also to my understanding, it has never been formatted. So after I go to list the files from that It says "can't open filesystem. Filesystem seems damaged" and i'm stuck... I have read many threads and yes I have gone back into Advanced and tried to rebuild the bs to no avail. Still shows nothing... The furthest I have gotten is using PhotoRec and I have recovered 8 files after about 100,000/1,000,000,000 sectors and figured it wasn't going to retrieve any more information as the first 8 files happened in the first 1,000 sectors. So I quit and continued looking for a solution. I have heard that you may be able to effectively clone the bad hard drive to a working one and run testdisk from there and it will work? Is there any truth to this, and if so how do I clone my harddrive to my fresh harddrive on windows 8.1? Or I also have heard that you can format the drive, and then make a new partition and get the files that were deleted using testdisk or another program, will this work better? I am hesitant to take this route as it seems risky and may do more damage than good, so i'm currently trying every avaialble option before that. All I really need are the photos on there, I do not care about the hard drive itself, I will most likely trash it after this. Please if there are any more techniques that I can try or how to fix the "can't open filesystem. Filesystem seems damaged" error please reply. Hoping to get it fixed before valentines day as a gift! Thank you everyone, let me know if you need any more information, screenshots, or logs! Thanks!

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Re: HardDrive corrupt. Stuck with damaged filesystem PLEASE help

#2 Post by cgrenier » 05 Feb 2017, 15:47

Do no format your disk!

You should clone your disk to a new empty disk using ddrescue. Read https://www.cgsecurity.org/testdisk.pdf, chapters "Creating a live USB" and "DDRescue: data recovery from damaged disk".
Once the copy is done, remove the original disk and try to repair the filesystem on the clone. If it's not possible to repair it, use PhotoRec on the whole space of the partition.
Good luck

jlewi142
Posts: 4
Joined: 05 Feb 2017, 14:39

Re: HardDrive corrupt. Stuck with damaged filesystem PLEASE help

#3 Post by jlewi142 » 06 Feb 2017, 04:31

Thanks for your fast response. After another few hours of trying to get Fedora to boot up and then trying to install DDRescue, I have successfully started cloning the damaged device to a new hard drive. Waiting for it to clone and understand it may take a while. Currently says 515 days until it copies + increasing... Hopefully the remaining time decreases and will get back to you! :)

jlewi142
Posts: 4
Joined: 05 Feb 2017, 14:39

Re: HardDrive corrupt. Stuck with damaged filesystem PLEASE help

#4 Post by jlewi142 » 10 Feb 2017, 16:57

Hi, hopefully you're still with me. I had to restart this cloning stage a few times unfortunately due to people turning off the PC etc. However it's been running for a day now and copied approx 49% of the hard drive. 12 hours into the cloning it had hit 46% but the last 12 hours has been incredibly slow... It's only a 460gb disk, everything seems to be running fine on both disks (the indicator that it is working is flashing, no weird sounds or errors) so I still believe the device isn't damaged, at least to the extent of not saving anything. My question is, is there a way to speed up this process? I've read that it may be reading bad sectors so it is taking a while, but 12+ hours? For 3%? I also read somewhere that ddrescue can see into the filesystem and recover specific files, however could not find anything further on this. I really just want to photos and is now 3 days away until Valentines day. Can I make it so it just copy's small files and skips over any damaged sectors or something? The current command I am running in ddrescue is: sudo ddrescue /dev/sdc /dev/sdb -f
The -f is because it won't overwrite the existing hard drive, and sudo to make sure it works? I can't remember but I needed it there, and then obviously sdc is the damaged disk, and sdb is new disk i'm cloning to. Please help!!

jlewi142
Posts: 4
Joined: 05 Feb 2017, 14:39

Re: HardDrive corrupt. Stuck with damaged filesystem PLEASE help

#5 Post by jlewi142 » 10 Feb 2017, 17:11

Okay so the "current rate:" was at 0 so I ctrl C and reran it but with the command

sudo ddrescue -d /dev/sdc /dev/sdb -f -R

Will keep this running until I hear from you :)

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