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One of my hard disks is failing and I need to recover some data from it (mostly photos). It's not the boot disk, which is an SSD. But as long as the failing hdd is connected, the system hangs on boot (Win 10). If I disable that hdd via BIOS, system boots.

So I'm thinking a bootable pendrive based recovery software that can work with possible bad sectors and broken fs. Or do I need to use a windows based data recovery with a SATA to USB enclosure (I imagine this will hangore than the former, what with the bad sectors)

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Booting from a pen drive is the way to go.

If I were doing it I would get a second disk that is the same size or larger then the failing disk, then use a USB pen drive to boot a Linux distro and use ddrescue to bitcopy the failing drive, then try pull the data off under Windows, and if that fails use photorec.

You definately don't need Windows to do recovery at this level, and putting the failing disk in a USB enclosure is less then ideal as it abstracts the disk and makes it that much harder and slower.

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So I'm thinking a bootable pendrive based recovery software

HDDSuperClone is your best option for bad drives, it rivals some pro hardware solutions. See: https://youtu.be/_xSXXW42Ouw.

Source: https://github.com/thesourcerer8/hddsuperclone Original website: https://www.hddsuperclone.com/hddsuperclone (ignore references to free/pro, it's freeware and open source now).

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