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I have a failing 500Go external USB HDD (Buffalo Drivestation). I am rather skeptical at recovering anything, but still, I want to try. I am running a chkdsk H: \f \r \x on it, and it is quite some time (say several days). I was wondering if it could be faster under Windows failsafe mode. When I plug other devices in the remaining USB ports, they are not being recognized (although they used to be) during the chkdsk. If I stop the chkdsk, unplug the drive and try the other devices they work. I do not know if this is related but it lead me to the conclusion that the operation could be slow because of some USB problems (as well).

Do you have any ideas? Do you know of any other software that can give me ideas about the state and potential recovery of the drive? I cannot find any utility from BuffaloTech for this.

[I can be patient too

I tried an unsuccessful attempt with GetDataBack (http://www.runtime.org/data-recovery-software.htm), which showed some problem with a corrupted Mft.

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According to this explanation from microsoft chkdsk /r doesn't actually do disk data recovery beyond what just copying all the files off would do.

The purpose of chkdsk is to prevent future data loss by making sure all the disk metadata is correct. It's for healthy disks that may have corrupted data due to being disconnected or shut down unexpectedly. In addition, chkdsk /r reads every sector of the disk so that bad sectors are not used again--but if a disk is reporting unreadable sectors to Windows, you should probably replace it.

If you're trying to do data recovery off a dying disk, there's some help in this question

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Thank you for this answer! (and the link to the other Q/A on recovery). From your opinion, would the chkdsk have impede a possible recovery (with any tool, be it DDrescue or else) by making "bad sectors" not used again? –  mot Aug 25 '11 at 8:31

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