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View Full Version : Useful data recovery tools



Spiny Norman
22-10-2005, 12:22 PM
This week I struck a nasty problem at work ... one of my servers, running Windows Server 2003 (SP1), refused to back up data and was claiming that the filesystem was corrupted. Yet the server was working just fine. Ran a CHKDSK on the D: drive and it claimed that it was type RAW instead of type NTFS. Weird.

After some deliberation, I made a mistake, namely to reboot the server. After the reboot the server claimed that the drive was not formatted.

Microsoft Consulting Services were called in. No help. Basically washed their hands of it. That's when I discovered the following extremely useful third-party data recovery tools:

STEP 1: Used Disk Explorer for NTFS v2.31 to examine the drives. Showed that the NTFS filesystem was still on the corrupted drive, but that the boot sector was not in sync with the rest of the data (it showed no filesystem at all)

STEP 2: Used Get Data Back for NTFS v2.31 to copy all the data off the corrupted drive to another server. This tool was able to find the copies of the Master File Table (MFT) that were not referenced in the boot sector and used these to re-index the drive and build a file tree ... then COPY/PASTE and at last I had a right-up-to-date set of data.

STEP 3: Used Partition Table Disk Doctor v3.0 to fix the boot sector. It has a very simple point-n-click approach. Point at the drive to repair, right-click, Fix Boot Sector ... it told me "Hey, there's an NTFS filesystem there, do you want to access it" ... YES (!) ... one second later "Please reboot" and after the reboot all my data was available.

So I am a very happy chappy again. Can't recommend these tools highly enough.