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Restoring raw hard drive and MFT without losing data?


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#1 KeithManiac

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 10:55 AM

I've got quite the dilemma here with my 2TB hard drive. . .

Background: a few weeks back, I attempted to root my Nook by switching its main disk with a disk image of an Android tablet. By doing that, I was prompted to select an hard drive to replace the disk image of -- and foolishly, I selected the wrong drive -- I chose my large 2TB hard drive by accident instead of my Nook, and converted it into a 70MB partition, with the remaining area showing up as invisible unallocated space. Thus, my ~1TB of pictures, drawings, videos and MP3s disappeared, and according to Windows, the drive was only "70MB."

Not knowing what to do, I removed the 70MB partition, which then displayed the entire drive as 2TB of "Raw" and in need of formatting. Despite my miniscule knowledge of disk drives, I of course didn't choose to format it, however in every disk management program I've scanned it with, the drive is still displayed as raw and in need of formatting! I've downloaded a ton of file recovery programs from TestDisk to Easeus, and everything in between, and upon deep scans, the files are all found -- MP3s, pictures, videos and all -- albeit, they're displayed as "FILE001, FILE002, FILE003" et alia, with their respective names and meta data removed. I've done some sleuthing and deduced that in order to recover the complete file names and folder locations from the raw disk, I first need to recover an MFT folder.

Basically, my question is this: considering the aforementioned details, how can I recover my raw hard drive's data and maintain file names, file trees, folders and whatnot? I have a spare blank 2TB hard drive to save my recovered files to if/when I gain the proper recovery tools. I'm using an HP computer with Windows 7 64bit. Thanks in advance!

tl;dr version - what sort of file recovery programs can not only restore all files from a raw drive, but also maintain their respective names, folder locations and file trees as well, rather than saving each file as "FILE001.JPG, FILE002.JPG?"

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#2 James Litten

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 12:22 PM

Hi

I rooted my Nook in the same manner so I understand what you did.

There are a few paid options out there that seem to be able to get the old partitions back with the filenames and directory structure. I use one called Restorer Ultimate since it seems to handle bad sectors better than most others. There is a demo and then to recover the data, you have to purchase it for something like $30 (I own a copy so I don't know the exact cost these days).
http://www.restorer-ultimate.com/
There are others out there that are very similar so look around.

I am surprised that TestDisk did not find the old partition and allow you to at least list and recover the files on it.

James

#3 KeithManiac

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 12:52 PM

James - I've run TestDisk, but with its DOS-style GUI, I admit I was much too confused to determine if it could find my specific problem or not. Each scan took about 24 hours to complete, and afterwards I wasn't always sure which option to use. It found "a" missing partition, but I wasn't able to tell if it was the original 2TB partition or the phony 70MB Nook partition, ergo I exited lest I did something irrevocably wrong. I'll try the Restorer Ultimate program and let you know how that works.

Thanks!

#4 James Litten

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 01:18 PM

Keep in mind that Restorer Ultimate will take a long time too since you need to do the raw disk scan (2TB is HUGE).

Let me know if you end up trying testdisk again and I'll write up some directions for you.

Did you ever finish rooting the Nook?
That technique works great for me and it is nice to be able to simply pop out the memory card and have it revert to being a normal Nook again.

James

#5 KeithManiac

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 02:58 PM

I'll begin the Restorer Ultimate operation when I get home from work today, and more than likely the scan would be ready tomorrow afternoon. As for the Nook rooting, I haven't gotten back to trying it again - as I've been using using most of my computer time to trying to fix the hard drive! But as long as we're on the subject of Nook rooting, what's a rooted Nook actually like? I mean, with the Android's system being used over top of default B&N format, does it have more options for apps and programs?

#6 James Litten

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 03:42 PM

I don't use Google on my rooted android devices so I skip that step. My wife tried it with the Google add-ons and it was just like a large android phone with apps and everything (except the phone part :) ).

Mine I use an open-source app store and I have been able to find everything I need there or code my own apps for it. Don't know how safe that is but I keep my modded nook pretty locked down.

James

#7 KeithManiac

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 07:32 PM

Great news thus far!

I've downloaded Restorer Ultimate and began a search, and based on the small search I did, the scan found file trees and specific file/folder names and locations for my original hard drive! Now I just have to complete the deep scan to get everything back, and ultimately buy the registered ($29) version. Thanks for the advice, James - the folks at the CNet tech support forums weren't nearly as optimistic.




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