ISO image file recovery?

A forum on data recovery using the professional data recovery software R-STUDIO.
Step
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Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 7:35 pm

ISO image file recovery?

Post by Step » Fri Dec 26, 2008 8:14 pm

Hi,

Have just used R-Studio with great success to recover data from my Windows XP (NTFS) hard drive. However, none of my backup ISO files were recovered, the folder where they were stored was there, but completely empty. There were folders containing other known file types either side of the ISO file folder and these were completely recovered.

Is it possible that R-Studio will support the recovery of .ISO files in the near future or does the recovery of this file type present particular technical difficulties that cannot be easily overcome? I feel sure that it's inclusion would benefit a significant number of R-Studio customers and it slightly took the edge of my pleasure of recovering so much data to find that my archive folder of .ISO image files, was empty.

Best regards.

Alt
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Re: ISO image file recovery?

Post by Alt » Sat Dec 27, 2008 10:51 am

Please, explain what happened and what you did in more details.

Guest

Re: ISO image file recovery?

Post by Guest » Sat Dec 27, 2008 5:50 pm

Hi Alt,

Well, it was my own stupid fault. My computer has two partitions, one for the OS the other for data. I intended, for reasons that aren't important, to erase the OS partition but by mistake selected the whole hard drive. I discovered my error almost immediately, but the eraser program had already run for somewhere between five and ten seconds. To erase a partition would have taken thirty to forty minutes, perhaps more. I knew some data would be gone for good but hoped that the damage would be minimal considering the short length of time the erase program had run.

I connected the damaged drive as a secondary SATA and downloaded R-Studio. I used the default settings to run a scan. All the important data I really wanted to get back seemed to be there waiting to be recovered so I paid to register the program and indeed recovered the majority of my data. Only later as I went through the data did I realize that my archive folder of iso image files was in fact, completely empty. This is a shame.

On the R-TT website I noticed on your own File Recovery FAQ page that "UDF and ISO-9660 (CDFS) are not supported by R-Studio" (though that was for CD/DVDs) and also that there is no facility for selecting the iso image file type in "Settings > Known File Types"

The standard iso image file type is not particularly obscure, compared to some others that R-Studio already caters for, so I assumed that perhaps there were technical reasons that made the recovery of iso image files a more challenging task.

I would be very grateful if you can help me with this.

Many thanks,

Step

Alt
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Re: ISO image file recovery?

Post by Alt » Tue Dec 30, 2008 2:41 pm

Well, several seconds is enough to destroy MFT tables on an NTFS partition and large files are the first to suffer from such disaster. iso files are large. Moreover, as large files, they are most likely fragmented, and therefore hardly ever be recovered by scan for known file types.

Step
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 7:35 pm

Re: ISO image file recovery?

Post by Step » Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:51 pm

Hi Alt,

Yes, my iso image files would have been large, certainly in the hundreds of megabytes and, as you suggest, probably fragmented.

I did recover the vast majority of my 80GB of data which is excellent. However, without checking every file is it possible to know how intact and true to the originals my recovered files might be?

My iso image folder was completely empty, so does R-Studio only display those recovered files that it considers to be complete or does it also display partly recovered files and it's up to the user to make a determination as to the quality of each recovered file?

NB
My problems were caused by an accidental erasure of part of my hard drive and not by any form of corruption.

Many thanks,

Step

Alt
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Re: ISO image file recovery?

Post by Alt » Wed Dec 31, 2008 5:48 am

Well, from bottom to top.
Yes, I understand that that was erasure rather than corruption. And that made the things worse. Erasure completely destroys the data, while corruption, in most case, destroys data partially, making it possible to analyze the remains and recover it. In your case erasure destroyed the MFTs, that is, the information on what and where files resided. Fortunately, NTFS has a lot of redundancy to recover data even some of them are gone. Unfortunately, long files suffer most. (It would be too lengthty to explain why).
R-Studio displays those files and folders on which information it has found and understood. If there was a file on which information is completely gone, neither R-Studio, nor other data recovery software can find and show the file.
The problem is that the information on files (file name, size, dates, place it occupies, etc) is stored in one place, while the actual data of the file on another one. And quite often the information on a file is good while its actual data are corrupted/overwritten and gone. And the opposite. That is why it is impossible to say exactly if the file could be recovered correctly or not unless it is actually recovered and tested. So R-Studio recovers all files the user choose for recovery and then goes the most interesting moment - the user has to test how correctly the data are recovered. All data recovery software work that whay.
You may make some gueses by previewing files (which in fact is data recovery without saving the recovered file). If most files are displayed correctly chances are high that the rest of files can be recovered successfully, too.

Alt
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Re: ISO image file recovery?

Post by Alt » Wed Dec 31, 2008 6:23 am

And back to practice. Sometimes files appear not in their original folders. Click the Find button, select Files on the Find/Mark dialog box, specify *.iso, select Entire disk in Look in, select Find all matched files, and click the OK button (R-Studio Help -> Data Recovery Using R-Studio -> Basic File Recovery-> Searching for a File). All found files will appear in the Find Results panel. Maybe this will help.

Step
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Re: ISO image file recovery?

Post by Step » Fri Jan 02, 2009 9:06 pm

Hi Alt,

Many thanks for your help.

I followed your advice and as you suggested my iso image files were not in their original folders but in two folders called $$$Folder24050 and $$$Folder24051 in 'Extra Found Files'. Excellent, I'm very impressed.

On a different topic, I was experimenting with Tools > Settings... > Known File Types and discovered that If I expand the Graphic/Picture section there is an option called JPEG Digital Camera (.jpg). If this option is checked and the Settings dialog closed by clicking the OK button and then re-opened, the check box will now be unchecked.

I was unsure why there are two very similar options; one called JPEG Digital Camera (.jpg) and the other JPEG Image (.jpg). Admittedly, I know very little about this sort of thing, but aren't those two options really the same thing?

Thanks again.

Best regards,

Alt
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Re: ISO image file recovery?

Post by Alt » Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:21 am

Well, there was such bug in previous versions, but to my understaning, we fixed the problem in the latest release. I'll check that.
Indeed, jpegs from digital cameras and made by, say, Photoshop, are almost the same, but they have different file signatures, different enough to divide them into two file types. I don't know why, though.

Step
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 7:35 pm

Re: ISO image file recovery?

Post by Step » Mon Jan 05, 2009 4:18 am

Hi Alt,

If I open: Help > About R-STUDIO...

the version of R-Studio installed is shown as "Version 4.6(Build 127529 11/12/2008)"
This is an outdated version.

If I attempt to update R-Studio using Help > Check for Updates

the R-TT Update Wizard dialog displays: R-Studio Version 4.6 Build 127531 Date 10/12/2008

If I click the Next button to update, I'm informed that my 'Product is up to date'

Best regards.

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