Ron Kaye Jr on 13 Oct 2011 09:40:07 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Need to recover an external HD

 the manufacturer of the usb frequently has utilities to "fix" the usb drive.
try that


plug into linux box (can use a live cd)
linux may be able to read.
grab the files
i was able to recover all pics of my grandson, that my daughter "tried" to lose

Ron Kaye Jr
On 10/13/11, sean finney<> wrote:
On Wed, Oct 12, 2011 at 11:12:33PM -0400, Amul Shah wrote:
> My father-in-law unplugged his external USB drive from his Windows laptop without unmounting it ("Remove Hardware" in Windows parlance). Now every time he tries to plug it back in Windows says that he needs to reformat it.
> It's been years since I've had to recover a HD and I haven't the slightest idea what tools to use. I don't know if the disk is formatted with NTFS or FAT. I'll have his Windows laptop and my Linux box available to run a recovery. Any pointers on software recovery tools are appreciated.

assuming it was a software/user failure (i.e. corrupted because unsafely
removed, and not just badly timed hdd hardware failure), you should
take a disk image of the drive with dd before doing anything that might
twiddle with bits on the device.

In linux land, you can then make a second copy of the image file, set up
a loopback block device with it + losetup(8), and try all the things
you'd otherwise be scared of trying with it. I imagine that some
windows utilities might have a way of working with an image file
instead of the actual partition too.

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