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Computer Forensics World :: View topic - Hard drive corrupt/inaccessible
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Hard drive corrupt/inaccessible

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Computer Forensics World Forum Index -> Technical Issues: Peripherals
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laura25
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Joined: Feb 18, 2007
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 4:45 am    Post subject: Hard drive corrupt/inaccessible Reply with quote

Hi ya,
I've come across a case where a pcs hard drive is corrupted and inaccessible - cant access the OS which is Win xp professional in ANY way to backup files.

Does anyone have any idea how you would go about this to backup these critical files/image them?
Could you use a Knoppix bootable disk and try and access windows files this way to backup windows files?
How could I copy these files onto my laptop? Is there any kind of cable that connects to pc and laptop? So if Pc data needs to be backed up, it can be copied onto laptop?

Thanks in advance Smile
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ctrose
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Joined: Mar 20, 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try fdisk /mbr with a WinXP boot disk (cd or floppy).
That may allow you to boot it and then copy the files you need to an external drive.
You could also reinstall Windows XP. It will only overwrite the base install, it won't overwrite any third party software.
You should then be able to copy the files you need.
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gralfus
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Joined: Sep 30, 2004
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 1:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've also had good luck recovering "dead" drives with SpinRite from grc.com. As long as the drive will spin up, I've been able to recover the drive.

Yes, a Knoppix or Ubuntu Live CD could also probably access the disk, if it isn't too far gone. You could transfer files via CAT5 cables and a switch if both have NICs.
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RobertR
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Joined: Jun 04, 2007
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Location: Arizona

PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 2:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

take the drive out and put in an enclosure and see if you can access it as a secondary disk..... If that doesn't work you can try access with knoppix or....but if yo can access it as a secondary the MFT is probably messed up..... you can try to recover the partition with Gpart or a similar tool....... shor if that doesn't work you can make a profile for the headers and footers for your file type and try carving them out with scalpel.
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cfprof
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Joined: Apr 15, 2006
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Location: Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 4:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ctrose wrote:
You could also reinstall Windows XP. It will only overwrite the base install, it won't overwrite any third party software.
You should then be able to copy the files you need.


But won't the new installation of XP have a nearly empty MFT? In other words, its MFT won't contain the files from the original disk.
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Rpent001
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Joined: Apr 22, 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I once had an issue with a drive where none of the files were accessible. I took the drive out of the machine and put it in an external USB enclosure and used MaxBlast 4 to do a Drive-to-Drive copy onto a new hard disk. Evey file was recovered and I just reformatted the old drive.
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