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I have an All in One HP TouchSmart computer that has gone completely crazy since I installed Windows 7 updates. I can't reach the login screen for Windows. So I removed the hard drive and plugged in a SATA HD Enclosure to access it with another computer to recover my files.

Once I opened the drive on my computer, I can see all the files that were on the HD. If I go into My Pictures, and click on a picture, I can open up the picture in Windows Preview.

After that, I select all the files on the HD and copy them over to my laptop (plenty of space). While it begins by counting all the files that need to be transferred, I get an error saying a particular document is unreadable (PNG file). I click Try Again to no avail. So I end clicking cancel.

If I revisit my HD with Windows Explorer, all the images (JPEG, PNG etc) have an icon for Windows Preview instead of a thumbnail of the picture and if I open one up, it says "Windows Photo Viewer can't open this picture because either the picture is deleted, or it's in a location that isn't available."

If anyone can explain to me this bizarre phenomenon, it would be much appreciated. If you can also think of a solution for me to retrieve these I would be very grateful.

Comment if you need more information,

share|improve this question
There could be problems reading the sectors where some files are located. I would suggest cloning the drive, then trying to copy files off of it if at all possible. Of course this is more involved but may be the best solution. – jmreicha Jul 31 '12 at 13:40
How would you recommend I clone the drive? – Karl Jul 31 '12 at 17:50
Typically if the health of the drive is in question I will use a bit for bit copy, something like dd_rescue. – jmreicha Jul 31 '12 at 18:52
So I tried doing a dd_rescue and a simple dd but I kept getting "Input/output error" and "0 in, 0 out, 0 bytes transferred". What would you recommend. I think the drive is fine, because when I disconnect it and reconnect it works again for a few minutes then makes files unreadable again. Thanks for your help @jmreicha. – Karl Aug 2 '12 at 15:44
Just to be sure, dd is NOT the same as dd_rescue. As an additional step if you haven't already, remove the HDD from the enclosure and hook it directly up to the computer, USB does not handle I/O errors gracefully. Finally, I would also advise to be very careful when attempting a clone, just be sure to double check your work. – jmreicha Aug 2 '12 at 15:55

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