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HELLLLP! :-|


I need a good referral for HD data recovery. The firewall failed on machine, got a virus and the disk crashed ( No backup either - Grrrrr :mad: ). I've tried every software solution I know of and even got a specialist to check it for me. We both came to the same conclusion - send the HD to a data recovery specialist. The only one I knew of was going to charge between $2 - 3,000.00 for the process :eek: , so I'm hoping someone here can refer me based on their personal experience.

I realize that this may not be the right forum, but I figure the more I ask, the better the results. If you can help, then please hit me back and pass on the 411!

Thanks :)

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Last Post by arcanum
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Unfortunately, date recovery companies such as DriverSavers and the like charge a heck of a lot of $$ for their services, but if your drive was really hosed by viruses and/or spyware, the data is still most likely intact.

I'd suggest trying the following if you haven't already:

Install the drive as a slave drive in another computer and see if you can access and back up the data that way.

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Hello,

You can also try booting an alternative OS. For example, if your computer was a Windows 2000 Server, try loading Knoppix on it, and use linux to access the hard drive. You can also try a floppy disk with DOS on it, and some network drivers, and an NTFS Read module. You will need to move the data off the drive, and then likely re-format it.

Now, if the fella who built your box was a good administrator, he would have partitioned the drive into a few partitions to isolate areas on the disk, and prevent the C: from filling and collapsing the device. It is possible that the other partition is available and functioning.

Dunno though.

Christian

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Yo Caperjack,


I wish it was that easy. The drive is no longer with me, and the person who has it is not pc literate at all. He might do more harm than good, and since the data on the HD belongs to him all I can do is recommend a solution. He doesn't know how to backup either, so at this point I was wanting to send him to the professionals. He doesn't want to hassle with the alternative. :(

Thanks for the link, I'll check it for myself. If anyone has a personal referral I would definitely appreciate it. Thanks again! :D

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I wish it was that easy. The drive is no longer with me, and the person who has it is not pc literate at all. He might do more harm than good...

Sorry to hear that that's the case, but I definitely understand everything that you're decribing about the situation.

1. Your assessment of "He might do more harm than good" is right on the mark. If he knows nothing about data backup and recovery, he could very well lose everything on the drive if he attempts any recovery procedures on his own.

2. If the data on the drive is truly important, I'd suggest that he call some of the local computer service companies/people in his area and see if they can help. If those people really do know their stuff, they should be able to do something similar to what Christian suggested- install the drive as a slave drive in another computer and access/recover the data that way.

I'm a freelance computer consultant, so I've done that a number of times, and for a few different reasons; massive spyware infections included. If it was truly a virus/spyware infection that crashed the system, then all of your friend's data is still intact and most of it, if not all of it, should be recoverable. It might involve using a computer running something like Linux (as non-Microsoft operating systems are immune to the infections) to copy the data to a safe backup location, but the process should cost much less that using the services that Drive Savers and the like offer.


In terms of a "personal referral"; you'd have to tell us where your friend lives. Those of us who help out here are scattered all around the globe, so there's a chance that we could actually give him some "local" recommendations.

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Yo Double M!

Thanks for the response, and to be honest I didn't even consider the Linux option. That shows you how busy I've been rebuilding a website and all.. :mad:

The hd is now in Las Vegas, and I did have a local tech go there to check this out. All I got from him was that the drive would not boot up due to a virus. He stating trying to boot up as a slave, but that didn't work as well. So there you have it.

And don't worry, I wouldn't even think of trying to mail ya :p Thanks for the assist though. And btw, that comment "May the Wombat of Happiness snuffle through your underbrush." - That could be mighty uncomfortable :cheesy:

Take care..

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The hd is now in Las Vegas...

Hmm, I see... and gambling away all of its free GigaBytes too, yes? There's the problem. :mrgreen:

to be honest I didn't even consider the Linux option....
... All I got from him was that the drive would not boot up due to a virus. He stating trying to boot up as a slave, but that didn't work as well. So there you have it.

Your post is strangely timely- I've just gotten back from a service call involving a corrupted Windows XP drive that contained all of a client's business data; contact info, billing info, the whole works. Nothing he had tried before I visited (booting into the Recovery Console from the XP CD, going through the computer's built-in factory diagnostics with a Dell support tech, etc.) had worked.

He had called to schedule the appointment a couple of days ago, so in the mean time I'd gone and downloaded the iso of the lastest version (3.9) of Knoppix Linux and burned it to CD. The CD is a "live" CD, meaning that the OS boots from CD and runs entirely in RAM. It doesn't use/need a hard drive at all, but it does support and understand Windows-formatted (FAT/FAT32/NTFS) drives

When I got to the client's site I stuck in the Knoppix CD, booted from it, and it automagically detected the crippled Windows hard drive. It also auto-detected and configured his network card, so I just set up file/folder sharing with another healthy Windows computer on his network and did a network copy of the data on the crippled system's drive to a folder on the good computer. No muss, no fuss, all data saved. Total cost to client: two hours of my time; a hot $90 USD.

And btw, that comment "May the Wombat of Happiness snuffle through your underbrush." - That could be mighty uncomfortable :cheesy:

Um... I really won't go too far down that road, but let's just say that it's a soft Wombat; a hedgehog, of course, would be a much more (*ahem*) prickly matter. :mrgreen:

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When I got to the client's site I stuck in the Knoppix CD, booted from it, and it automagically detected the crippled Windows hard drive. It also auto-detected and configured his network card, so I just set up file/folder sharing with another healthy Windows computer on his network and did a network copy of the data on the crippled system's drive to a folder on the good computer. No muss, no fuss, all data saved.

So ,Im gessing that along with the knoppix cd [witch i have ]]you need a good drive to copy to ,right ,like if the computer is not on a network ,you would need to add another drive to the computer to copy the data to , right .
Don't meant to butt in ,just trying to learn how to do this in case i need too backup for someone .someday .thanks

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So ,Im gessing that along with the knoppix cd [witch i have ]]you need a good drive to copy to ,right ,like if the computer is not on a network ,you would need to add another drive to the computer to copy the data to , right .

Yes- you're right. In my case, the client did not have a second hard drive in the system (but I brought a spare one with me just in case). He did have a USB "keychain"-type flash drive which Knoppix detected just fine, but it was one of the older 256M version; once we discovered that Knoppix could read the entire contents of the hosed Win drive, we needed a larger backup device than that.

Since Knoppix was able to see the shares on the networked Win computer, we decided to go that route; ti made more sense since the end result of that method was that the client has all of his rescued data backed up ontp one of his computers/drives.

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...someday I will need all this info!!

Yeah, the Linux method is pretty handy in situations where Windows-based tools just don't work. In terms of grabbing the data off of a hosed drive, the Knoppix package does also have burning programs, so if you've got another CD-ROM in the system you could burn the data to discs locally.

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Thanks Folks, I am going to try and walk him through this. Then again, I'll get someone to employ the method you described. No way am I going to Vegas in 120+ degree heat. :eek:

You two are pretty crazy, and I like that. So keep in touch, and I'll let you know what the results are. Thanks again! :)

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No way am I going to Vegas in 120+ degree heat. :eek:

120+?? Yoiks! I don't blame you; I'm having a hard enough time with mid/upper 90s that we've had in my area for the last two weeks...

Do keep us posted though; it would be interesting to see how things turn out.

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Yeah, the Linux method is pretty handy in situations where Windows-based tools just don't work. In terms of grabbing the data off of a hosed drive, the Knoppix package does also have burning programs, so if you've got another CD-ROM in the system you could burn the data to discs locally.

Thats good to know ,will knoppix recognize a USB Burner if there isn't a internal burner .

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I'm in So Cal and the temp is pushing 105 in the L.A. area. So it's bad enough here, and there's NO WAY that I'd want to go there unless it was air conditioned all the way. I will keep you informed.

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Thats good to know ,will knoppix recognize a USB Burner if there isn't a internal burner .

Yes, the latest version of Knoppix should, although older versions may not.

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I have a copy of knoppix and it runs beautifully except for one flaw. I have a USB flash drive that i would like to use for situations where a client i am working with does not have a burner in his system but i still need to back up their data. It would prove to be quicker and more efficient to use rather than hooking up a slave drive or a burner to his computer in order to back up the data in situations where the clients drive is unable to access the native operating system and needs to be formatted after their vital files have been backed up.

Knoppix recognizes the 512 mb flash drive that i have, and it allows me to read the contents of the drive; It appears to be in working condition. However when i attempt to copy files to the drive from the HDD it gives me an error and tells me that it is unable to copy to the drive. I tried to copy as a link just to see what would happen, and it told me i do not have permissions to write to the drive. So i altered the properties of the drive to allow it read & write permissions, but it still says the same thing. I have also a version of BartPE called 'the ultimate windows boot disc' which is not nearly as good as Knoppix that I tried after knoppix to see it's compatability with the flash drive and it DOES, however, allow me to read and write to the flash drive just fine. A work around for this problem obviously would be to use the ultimate boot disc to backup the data, but i do not wish to use this particular live bootable cd at all, it is slow and not nearly as good as knoppix, and every time i have tried to use it, it fails to start network support.

Does anyone have any ideas regarding getting my flash drive to work properly with knoppix?

Would appreciate any and all feedback!!

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Hi,i know you said you change the usb drive to read /write ,this site explaines it, and also other tips if you follow some links .
Knoppix

The read and write permissions weren't an issue. If you read my post you will see that i said i had set them properly. Not hard to figure that one out, i don't need a tutorial to tell me how to do that. In anycase, I figured it out. For some reason when i open the flash drive there is no default directory to copy to. I have to open the usb drive from the desktop and then right click and select copy here for the usb drive directory to appear.. then i can select the directory of the usb drive and freely copy whichever files i wish. I am not sure why, but it is working now so that's the main thing. Thanks for you reply though :P

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The read and write permissions weren't an issue. If you read my post you will see that i said i had set them properly. Not hard to figure that one out, i don't need a tutorial to tell me how to do that. :P

Good for you!!!!!!!!!!
I only posted the link ,in case you were missing a step!! i guess you know what you are doing , !
Live long and prosper!

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Definately appreciated :) I'm usually pretty thorough, Don't usually miss a step unless one wouldn't normally think of it, like the resolution to this particular issue!!! :)

Anyway, thanx once again for your reply, any extension of help is appreciated greatly ;)

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