Two identical hard drives went RAW

How to use TestDisk to recover lost partition
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AncientAliens
Posts: 5
Joined: 09 Jun 2018, 07:20

Two identical hard drives went RAW

#1 Post by AncientAliens » 09 Jun 2018, 21:10

I've tried doing what the TD manual says and various things I've read here… maybe I'm missing a crucial step. I have 15 years of special project work on this HD so I really need to recover it :-)

I have two identical HDs in one computer. One is a "live" HD and the other is a backup. Every night the contents of A are copied to B. In Windows 7, using Disk Manager, I unassigned hard drive letters then I rewired the SATA cables and what HD they are matched with, in preparation for adding another bigger HD. Problem is that now I can't mount EITHER disk! I've tried using TestDisk to the best of my knowledge without success. What could I be doing wrong? Please see below.

1. Opened TestDisk
2. Started Logging
3. Selected my HD (/dev/sda - 1000 GB / 931GiB - WDC WD10 01FALS-00J7B)
4. Partition Type: selected Intel (this was the detected type)
5. Went to Advanced - Filesystem utilities. Shows "> 1 P HPFS - NTFS …."
6. Selected List at the bottom… says "Can't open filesystem. Filesystem seems damaged."
7. Tried Rebuild FS.. it processes for about 12 hrs then comes back and says "Boot sector Status: Bad Backup boot sector status: Bad Sectors are not identical. A valid NTFS boot sector must be present in order to access any data; even if the partition is not bootable."
8. Did "Q"uit then tried "List" --- got "Can't open filesystem. Filesystem seems damaged."
9. When I try doing Analyse, I see:
Disk /dev/sda - 1000 GB / 931 GiB - CHS 121601 255 63
Current partition structure:
Partition Start End Size in sectors

Invalid NTFS or exFAT boot
1 P HPFS - NTFS 0 1 1 121600 254 63 1953520002
1 P HPFS - NTFS 0 1 1 121600 254 63 1953520002
No partition is bootable
10. Quick search and Deep Search yield nothing :-(

I can't see the file system on either disk, both of which are now in different computers.

What am I doing wrong?

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cgrenier
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Re: Two identical hard drives went RAW

#2 Post by cgrenier » 10 Jun 2018, 08:04

If you try PhotoRec, does it recover some valid data ? Note that recovered files will not have their original filenames.

AncientAliens
Posts: 5
Joined: 09 Jun 2018, 07:20

Re: Two identical hard drives went RAW

#3 Post by AncientAliens » 10 Jun 2018, 17:38

I tried photorec on an image of the HD and it did recover some files :D :D :D

But yes... the extensions appear to be incorrect. I have not yet tried renaming and opening.

That is good news!?

AncientAliens
Posts: 5
Joined: 09 Jun 2018, 07:20

Re: Two identical hard drives went RAW

#4 Post by AncientAliens » 10 Jun 2018, 20:11

Update: I looked at the files with a text editor and they look like gibberish. Normally you can find human readable text in a binary file but in this case it looked differently than when a binary file is normally looked at with a text editor.. characters looked totally different.

Could the HD sector size be different than 512?

AncientAliens
Posts: 5
Joined: 09 Jun 2018, 07:20

Re: Two identical hard drives went RAW

#5 Post by AncientAliens » 14 Jun 2018, 01:12

cgrenier wrote:
10 Jun 2018, 08:04
If you try PhotoRec, does it recover some valid data ? Note that recovered files will not have their original filenames.
Hello. Maybe you didn't see it since I replied to the thread and not you directly...

Some files were recovered but none were readable regardless of the extensions I try.

I am totally lost of where to go next with this :cry:

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cgrenier
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Re: Two identical hard drives went RAW

#6 Post by cgrenier » 20 Jun 2018, 06:34

What kind of files have been recovered by PhotoRec ? If you only got some txt or pgp/gpg file fragments, there are false positive. It can occur when the original disk was encrypted or with some electronic damages...

AncientAliens
Posts: 5
Joined: 09 Jun 2018, 07:20

Re: Two identical hard drives went RAW

#7 Post by AncientAliens » 20 Jun 2018, 14:44

PGP/GPG files. Also JPGs but they were just random data.

HOWEVER, Good News! I shuffled around placing the hard drives into different SATA ports and viola!, it recognized the HD as NTFS again. I have no idea why it started working again but it does!

Thank you for the personal help on this.

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