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Lost and Found. Or the Storage Forum Sticky,

Welcome to the Storage Forum.

Since most seem to land here because their storage has sprung a leak or gone missing this sticky is to say "Welcome" and in the replies to this welcome note some common to miracle recoveries performed by our members.

As always, good luck and always remember this:

"We only lose what we didn't backup."
- Most CNET moderators....

Post was last edited on January 12, 2018 4:16 PM PST

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The LaCie Miracle recovery or "Skipping Windows.";posts#3079868 and our member "DeadLacie" wrote this after a suggestion to try a LiveCD:

"Windows Skipped - SOLUTION FOUND - THANKS!
by DeadLacie - 7/13/09 6:28 PM In reply to: I'd skip Windows for this. by R. Proffitt Moderator

Thanks R. Proffitt. Your suggestion was taken and a correct one at that. I used Ubuntu and was able to access the RAW partition with ease.

I wanted to add this to my posting in hopes that it will help someone else in the same position as I was. Here is what I did to retrieve my data. Note that in my case the drive was functioning but that I just could not access the RAW partition of the drive.

1. Attach target drive to machine. In my case a 500mb Seagate SATA drive.
2. Download ISO image of UBUNTU Desktop edition. It's open source and free (and cool).
3. Burn ISO to 80 minute CDR.
4. Set computer to boot from CDROM.
5. Boot from the Ubuntu CD and select to boot without installing the OS.
6. Once Ubuntu loads you will have access to all the drives on your system. At least, in my case I had access to NTFS WinXP drives and the target Seagate drive that was Linux.
7. Open the partition and copy all your files from that partition to one of your NTFS drives/partitions. NOTE that you will have to have enough space on your other drive(s) to copy everything over.

That was it. I now have all my data on my NTFS drives.
Thanks for the others who communicated on this thread."

Thank you DeadLacie. You made it sound simple!

Message was edited by: admin to edit word
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The usuals. Or titles members have reported success with.

In this post I'll share the usual titles members have tried and succeeded with. Not all work in all cases but most have trials, some are free but first a piece of advice.

ADVICE! -> Don't install software to a drive you want to recover files from. You run the risk of overwriting the very files you are trying to save. Instead we remove the drive and place it on some USB to SATA/IDE adapter and on another machine try to get our files out.

The freebies:
- PCInspector File Recovery
More at

The trials that help you decide to buy the full thing (these are very good to see if there is hope):
- Zero Assumption Recovery
- Easy Recovery (comes in many flavors)

This title is worth noting because we can get files off DVD Camcorders:
-> ISOBUSTER (does more that just camcorders!)

Find each of these titles either at or your search engines.

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Lost a drive letter. Just the letter?

This post is mostly for missing drive letters and not corrupt drives. For this to apply your USB stick or drive works fine in other machines. That is, all machines but yours.

Here's your articles:

If you need to known more read where MSFT names names of companies that install filter drivers that cause drives to vanish.

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A few for Mac OS X

Disk Warrior: Rebuilds the directories on your drive. A corrupt directory can prevent a drive from mounting on the desktop. Saved many a drive in its time. A must have.

Data Rescue II: Attempts to recover deleted data or data from damaged drives

TechToolPro: General all around monitoring and protection + Data recovery

The best possible tool in any Mac owners arsenal? Time Machine!


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Not tried it myself, but I've seen good review posts about it by members comicfan and richvball44 as told in the forum discussion here;


"Of all the free or some paid for recovery tools I've used, I am most impressed by this one. The files were not just recovered to a point, they actually worked, music, documents, pictures, all in perfect condition. Normally I scoff at most free recovery tools, not this time. So yes, it's more than my opinion, I have proof it works, sitting in my recovery folder."

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Data recovery companies

If a drive is failing mechanically (meaning it doesn't turn any more) any DIY software won't help. Only a specialised company with a clean room can do data recovery then. Western Digital published a world wide list of company they recommend in such cases. You can see it in


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More software.

Edward O'Daniel posted a nice list recently. I'm glad to copy it here.

If the drive is damaged Geek Squad will not be able to get the data recovered. They are limited to the same software that you can obtain to try it yourself.

Look around on Ontrack's site as they do offer recovery software but more importantly they point out when to try software and when only a clean room recovery will work

Avanquest has a couple of file recovery utilities:
Data Recovery Professional$39.95
Smart Data Recovery$49.95

Easus for partition recovery -

Active@ recovery software -

DiskInternals -

There are also several free file recovery utilities such as Pandors, Recuva, and some more here -

Now and IMPORTANT caveat! If the data is valuable but you first want to try for yourself I STRONGLY advise that you clone the damaged drive to another drive and work on the clone so the original doesn't risk further damage.

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More recommended software.

There's a case reported in (it's a Mac forum, but it's about an NTFS Windows disk) that had success with the open source software Testdisk from
They also have a Photo recovery program, but that's not mentioned in that thread.

As it's free it might be worth a try in the cases they mention:
Fix partition table, recover deleted partition

Recover FAT32 boot sector from its backup

Rebuild FAT12/FAT16/FAT32 boot sector

Fix FAT tables

Rebuild NTFS boot sector

Recover NTFS boot sector from its backup

Fix MFT using MFT mirror

Locate ext2/ext3/ext4 Backup SuperBlock

Undelete files from FAT, exFAT, NTFS and ext2 filesystem

Copy files from deleted FAT, exFAT, NTFS and ext2/ext3/ext4 partitions.


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Roadkil's Unstoppable Copier (copy from damaged media)

Link ->

CNET Link ->

"Publisher's Description From Roadkil:

Recovers files from disks with physical damage. Allows you to copy files from disks with problems such as bad sectors, scratches or that just give errors when reading data. The program will attempt to recover every readable piece of a file and put the pieces together. Using this method most types of files can be made usable even if some parts were not recoverable in the end."

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Drive Clicking? Torque matters. Video link follows.
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HD recovery hints, tips and cures -200 of them

The link should provide some help to basic HD problems to include recovery or simple boots. Be warned, attempts to save data may produce the final breakdown or not, it all depends. Let's hope the outcome is in your favor.

You can also use the Hiren CD in order to attempt repairs on various PC problems or issues. good luck -----Willy

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If it's a Lexar card... by chipshotz

" If it's a Lexar card... - New!

by chipshotz - 11/9/12 7:19 PM

Lexar offers free recovery software with their cards. If you have a Lexar card and the papers that came with it, just look for instructions. If you don't, go buy one. It will be cheaper than buying recovery software and it works on all cards. Make sure it has instruction for their free recovery program (Image Rescue) with it. If you want to purchase the program you can do so here

I used it and it is awesome. It will most likely NOT work if you have reformatted your card."

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Hard drive reliability results

The MTBF = mean time before failure ....has been a measure for much of computer products. Since most users may rely on that, guess what you rarely can compare that to what you do. The real world is much different and everyone thinks they're unique. Typical HDs fail because they fall to heat stress(aka environment) or get excessive usage or wear out being an mechanical device. The link below has offered what they call real world results as being a server farm all the data stored on many drive banks. They offer what x-brand really didn't cut it or failed far sooner than expected. Understand any user that has that many drives is doing all they can to maintain and sustain "up-time" to the maximum.

Follow any other links provided from link above. While drives are int. mounted, the same applies to ext. HDs as well. Ext. HDs may have a shorten life-cycle because they're more open to user handling and "ESD=static discharges" as well. For now the word is Hitachi is the brand to serious consider buying with current available info.

enjoy -----Willy Happy

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CNET How To Video for Photo Recovery.
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Making the USB BOOTABLE. Why is it so hard?
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Reseting the PASSWORD for almost every Operating System.

Just last week I had to reset a few Windows Passwords. I used the UTILMAN.EXE PASSWORD METHOD (see google) but before I share a link be aware my UTILMAN.EXE use didn't lose any files but the next link can in some cases lose files. If you are worried about file lose, use the prior discussions about how to get at your files before they are gone.

With that out of the way, here's an article for just about every OS today we use.

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