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I tried to boot up a relatively old computer and it would always blue screen at the Windows XP splash loading part. I thought something could just be wrong with the board because it was old so I swapped out the drive into a much newer board with better wires. Same issue. All the Hirens boot disc utilities I used to try to read the drive treated it as if it was unformatted. I was able to run a Data Rescue DD on it completely though, despite consistent read errors throughout the entire drive. So now I have a ~186GB .dd file on an external drive of mine, and I have no idea how to salvage anything from it. I am hopeful, but I can't seem to find anything online about these types of files.

I am preparing to try TestDisk on this file shortly (making a backup first!). I'll let you know how it turns out.

Any suggestions on how to recover any data from this drive would be greatly appreciated! It is not mission-critical, and I have no intentions of spending money to pay some expert to analyze it.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

What you have there is a raw disk image file - a file based representation of the entire hard drive.

It can be mounted easily under Linux, but for Windows you need special software.

A bit of hunting lead me to this software: ImDisk

It allows you to mount the image as a virtual drive in Windows and access it as if it were a real hard drive.

I have never used it, so can't vouch for it, but it looks like it should work.

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+1 Thanks for the quick tip! Going to try that now... – Josh Stodola Apr 30 '11 at 17:42
It worked! I was able to copy some files off the mounted drive. No signs of corruption yet, but I'm sure I'll have a few files that will be incomplete. Thanks! – Josh Stodola Apr 30 '11 at 19:27

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