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I have a portable 500 GB HDD. For the last few days, all files of some folders are getting kind of corrupted. I can't access/delete them. Here is an example.


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If I try to access these files/folders, I get the following error.


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This thing is kind of spreading in my HDD. Until now it has affected two folders worth 70 GB in which one folder is a backup folder where all my important data resides. So I am really lost if I lose this data.

How can I retrieve this data?

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"Backup" is supposed to be a backup... where's the other copy? :S I'm in the same boat.... trying to pull as much crap off my dying drive too. –  Mark Feb 28 '10 at 8:49
    
No other copy.I wish I could make one.Btw,thats not the point. –  ravi Feb 28 '10 at 8:51
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Actually, it is: this wouldn't be a problem if you had a backup. Backups that are connected to your system all the time don't count :P. Don't worry, though, none of us used backups until we lost a significant amount of data to something, either :( –  Phoshi Feb 28 '10 at 10:28
    
I was going to say that I didn't learn that the hard way, but then painful memories of Vista killing a zip of pictures stabbed me in the other direction. –  digitxp Sep 5 '10 at 1:32
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2 Answers

First of all, make an image of the drive! That way, you can avoid stressing the dying drive further, which may cause it to stop working altogether. I would recommend using GNU ddrescue for this: It will first skip the faulty parts of the drive to get a quick copy of the good parts, then automatically retry the bad parts to salvage something. Of course there are many other imaging solutions.

Once that is done, you can use any recovery software (starting with fdisk/chkdsk) on the image and try to recover what you can.

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Restore from a backup.

Alternatively, if it's not a virus that has hosed your data I would try a chkdsk /x /r and then get a copy of R-STUDIO and GetDataBack and let them attempt to recover the data. You should be using a second PC for this recovery, stop using your current computer now so you don't make data corruption worse.

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I'll try to find bad sectors and recover data first. If not then I'll go for the recovery software. God bless me. –  ravi Feb 28 '10 at 9:11
    
I wouldn't think it would be bad sectors, rather actual corruption of the file system. If you have a spare 500 gig hard drive lying around you may want to make a 1:1 image of the drive and work with the image for data recovery. –  ta.speot.is Feb 28 '10 at 9:16
    
One more 500 gb HDD...Thats impossible for me. Any other solution? –  ravi Feb 28 '10 at 9:24
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If you don't have a spare hard drive you can use the recovery tools on the same disk, but I would restore the data to another hard drive rather than the one you are currently using. –  ta.speot.is Mar 1 '10 at 10:49
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