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This is part question and part response.

I'm not a Linux guy but I've used from it time to time.

Here is my case:

An HDD with Windows NTFS partition has failed, no recovery software on windows has got any data on it: no files, no partition, the disk fail to inactive.

Even the magical HDDRecovery software (I've used it many times with success) has got nothing many sector marked has D (delay) and then nothing.

The first Linux attempt to recovery I've tried is booting with a Linux live CD Ubuntu Rescue Remix and tried to use ddrescue -v -f /dev/sdc /mnt/sde1/image.img /mnt/sde1/log.txt

The command got an image file but unusable, ddrescue says 1 error of 500gb (the whole disk size).

For a final attempt I've tried to boot up Puppylinux, and after a couple of mount error messages the disk is visible with all the files!?

I've started to copy and the files seems ok...

Anyone got similar results? Is ddrescue the "final" rescue tool? or maybe not?

Thanks Rob

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closed as unclear what you're asking by Kevin Panko, Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Tog, Mokubai, AthomSfere May 5 '14 at 10:15

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

When you copy /dev/sdc, you copy all of it, including the partition table and friends. You can use loopback devices with offset and size parameters to access a part of it (check the man page for losetup) or you can just copy partitions one by one (/dev/sdc1, /dev/sdc2, ...). – Michael Kjörling Feb 14 '14 at 14:36
That said, we generally prefer questions here that can be objectively and authoritatively answered. "Anyone got similar results?" does not seem a very good fit for that. Can you perhaps rephrase it such that this becomes a question that can have an authoritative answer? (It's OK if you don't know it yourself; that's what the site is for. It should however be possible to come up with an authoritative answer, which I don't think it really is as your question is written now.) Welcome to Super User. – Michael Kjörling Feb 14 '14 at 14:38
Be aware that "What recovery software is best?" is also not a good question. Maybe something like "Why would PuppyLinux see my files when ddrescue could not" would be a good question. – Kevin Panko Feb 14 '14 at 15:20
Kevin Panko and Micheal Kjörling, hi and thanks reply! Well yes i know that my question it's not really a question nor a response sorry for that! I was curious on why ddrescue not copying data when the file manager of Puppylinux does. Also strangely i know that using ddrescue with /dec/sdc copy the whole drive but the problem was with the partition (in this case sdc1) was not correctly recognised as "sfs" from ddrescue, Puppylinux for some reasons read it correctly as ntfs. – oudoken Feb 14 '14 at 18:10
Btw, this question can be a reference to someone that has tried to unsuccessfully recover data with ddrescue or other linux/windows tools , to try has an alternative method puppylinux. – oudoken Feb 17 '14 at 10:43

Glad to hear you got your files back. In the past, in similar situations, I've used these:

  • GParted: This is primarily used to manage the partition table on devices, resizing filesystems, etc. But it also includes a data rescue feature.
  • SpinRite: Nothing beats SpinRite for recovering seriously mangled filesystems, including on damaged hardware. This program is amazing.

Also, I've never done this, but they say that temperature matters in these cases:

Why does freezing your hard drive sometimes help to recover data (technical details)?

I'm not sure why Puppy Linux would have recovered the files and Ubuntu not, but sometimes the details vary with different distros, or even with whether you bumped the computer with your foot and shook the drive just right. You didn't mention whether the failure was data corruption or hardware failure or otherwise. A lot would depend on that.

In some cases the "final" rescue tool, as you say, could be cosmic rays flipping the right bit back to its original state. No really! Cosmic rays!

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Hi Todd Walton, thanks for the reply! Never tried SpinRite but i will go check out. And for the freeze i can confirm that it really works. Btw i've built a simple usb-fan with a 10cm chassis fan that can cool down hdd when stress copy are in progress. – oudoken Feb 14 '14 at 18:14

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