Recover files with R-Studio from a ddrescue image

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Recover files with R-Studio from a ddrescue image

Post by msi_rescuer » Wed Nov 02, 2016 8:56 pm

Summary: I am trying to recover files from an image I am in the middle of creating using ddrescue. I'd like to know if R-Studio is capable of reading the ddrescue image to try to find files in what was once an NTFS file system. I'm interested in the usual file types (photos, videos, documents) but also some unusual file formats output by game engines like Unity and RPG Maker. I don't care if the image can be made bootable again, I'd just like to recover the data.

Details: The internal hard drive of an MSI laptop running Windows 8.1 has gone bad (SMART failure) after only 10 months, and I can't remove it without voiding the warranty. MSI will replace the laptop under warranty, but they won't return the damaged drive to me for data recovery. So I need to get as much data from it as I can, before I send the laptop under RMA.

After a day of research, I settled on booting from a Clonezilla Live ISO (Linux) installed on a USB flash drive, and using Clonezilla to image the 1 TB internal drive to an external 2 TB USB drive. Clonezilla was relying on Partclone, which was unable to read any of the bad sectors and just skipped it all. No files were readable after mounting the cloned image.

After a second day of research, I settled on booting from a Linux SystemRescueCd ISO (Linux) written to a USB drive and running ddrescue. I'm about 12 hours into the cloning process, and it seems to be going well. The drive has periodically been making some truly shocking noises, but the console says "errors: 0" although it also says "remaining time: 71d 21h 46m." I feel like I'm going to get the best image I can without resorting to a voiding the warranty and sending it to someone with a clean room, which I won't do, so I'm thinking about what's next.

I *think* I had great results using R-Studio in a similar situation in 2010. The screenshots of the product look really familiar. But... that was working directly from a damaged drive. This is different, and it's 6 years later. Can R-Studio work with the image created by ddrescue? Or do I need to look elsewhere to attempt to recover the files? I searched these forums for "ddrescue" and Googled, but couldn't find information about viewing and attempting recovery from a ddrescue image using R-Studio. Is it possible? If so, I'm happy to buy R-Studio again. If not, what software can I use (any OS will do).

All advice welcome!

Specifics on what is wrong with my drive: - Gparted view of partition data - SMART failure

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Re: Recover files with R-Studio from a ddrescue image

Post by Alt » Thu Nov 03, 2016 9:31 am

1. I believe there exist data recovery companies that are authorized by major computer manufacturers (MSI included) to open their devices and do necessary data recover work without voiding their warranties. But I cannot recommend you any.
2. If DDRescue is creating a plain image, that is, just an exact copy of the sectors it reads without compression, some extra information, etc, you may load such an image into R-Studio and do all the necessary data recovery procedures. Actually, it doesn't matter whether you use the image or the actual disk. Data recovery pro's always image disks and do data recovery from those images.
3. You don't have to buy R-Studio before you estimate whether it can help you or not. Just download it, install, and run in its demo mode. You'll be able to do all the data recovery tasks except saving the recovered files. Try to find and preview common files like jpg, docx, ets. If preview is successful, just buy R-Studio and save the recovered files. You won't have to stop R-Studio, you may register it on-the-fly. Most likely you'll have to scan the image, I recommend you to save the scan info just in case you'll have to stop recovery and resume it later.
And I wish you success in your case.

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