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I managed to salvage a bunch of files off an old toshiba sata drive for a friend. He says there were movies on there but all I've gotten off the drive are .gpg and .swc files. I really have no idea what to do with these.

I understand from google that .gpg files are encrypted files and .swc belong to Adobe but I don't know where to go from here.

My buddy says he doesn't know which OS his family pc (or mac?) was running back when the drive was being used, nor does he know what the files are actually supposed to be.

Can anyone explain to me what step I should take next to determine if I can recover these files?

I'm running Win7 (32 bit) myself and I used photorec to pull the files off the drive.

EDIT: Disk Management sees the drive but won't allow access. The only options it provides are 'Initialize' and 'Delete Partition'.

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Do you still have the hard drive? Does it get detected in windows? Can you load the drive into a linux environment such as a livecd? (Some things work better in linux, for some reason, including SOME ntfs corruption issues, and file identification) – Journeyman Geek Jun 28 '12 at 9:51
@JourneymanGeek Yes I still have the drive here. Windows sees it in Drive Management but won't allow me to access it. I don't have a Linux system available to me at the moment, just my Win7 pc. – Nikki Jun 28 '12 at 9:56
up vote 3 down vote accepted

In my experience, linux just has better support for filesystems (including HFS+) and in many cases will open NTFS drives that won't open in windows. Its worth trying - you can get a live linux environment using unetbootin.

On top of that, i'd suggest trying a range of tools on the drive imaging and working off an imaged drive is a good idea. As for specific tools, i hardly ever get past testdisk and its step by step guides in most practical scenarios.

If you NEED to use windows, the free basic version of prodiscover might help - i believe it does imaging and some recovery and is pretty easy to use.

On linux, there's quite a few tools. As i said before, sometimes, it just works, but there's some things to try

I've been meaning to try scapel and foremost, but not gotten a chance yet - both should recover files off an image, and use headers.

You can also identify your currently salvaged files with the 'file' command.

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Well I'm not great with Linux but I'll give it a go. Thanks JG – Nikki Jun 29 '12 at 3:52
I've given some windows options as well. I just prefer to do recovery in linux cause of its tendancy to read drives windows won't. It ends up being faster if it ends up that you need to do nothing at all – Journeyman Geek Jun 29 '12 at 4:02

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