I have a somewhat complex problem. My notebook's hybrid drive failed and the HDD part (500 GB) was damaged physically so any software based solution was off the table. However I have taken an image of SSD part (64 GB) and rescued a lot of files from it with Photorec. The problem as you may know, that photorec ignores file system and file names and directories are lost. Anyway I think I can go one step further and repair file system with reducing the size of it. When I try to mount image in linux, I get an error, which tells me that the file system is damaged, because file systems sector range is out of the SSDs actual size. So I think that my hybrid drive worked as such, that the file system ranged from SSD to HDD (data tables in SSD and files in both drives). If I can reduce the definition of the filesystem and reduce it to the size of the image/SSD, I may mount the NTFS file system (of course without the files from HDD) and recover directories and file names.

One problem might be that, there will still be files from HDD defined in the file tables pointing places outside of the file system. Deleting these definitions might be necessary. But I still want to give it a shot.

I have no experience with file systems or problems as such. Any help would be nice. What tools would you suggest? Are there any better or more reliable approaches?

Thanks in advance!

  • I don't like messing around with damaged parts, if the data on it is so important, you should have backups (plural!). If you really want the data back, no matter what the cost: There are some companies who offer you all their expertise for a low-low price of a few thousand dollars per drive. You'll get a new drive with the recovered data on it. – Jochem Kuijpers Jan 13 '14 at 1:17
  • Hi, you are right I should have taken back ups, however when you have many things to do and life gets stressful with many jobs, it can be forgotten or postponed. And as you said, there are bunch of commercial services but cost is another problem. However about damaged parts, as I only have an image and now a copy of it, I may play around as much as I want. And I also think this problem is interesting for this platform as other (super)users might have similar problems (now or in the future). – Genom Jan 13 '14 at 17:54

Recuva is not a bad option, there are some excellent non-free recovery options too but they can get pricey. To be clear though, what is your final goal? What you're trying to achieve is possible but sounds like a huge unnecessary pain for file recovery. Like getting 5 lbs of potatoes into a 1 lb sac. There may be easier ways, especially if you already have a backup image of the damaged drive.

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  • I will take a look at the recuva. I know it will be a mess to try it, but I also find it interesting. My first goal was to recover files, no matter what and I have succeeded it with Photorec. Now my next goal is to recover files with names and directories (file system). I have described the problem about, so there might be a way to recover the file system. (I think there is a chance). I have an understanding of partitions, file systems, hard drives. But I don't know the tools or methods for my problem. – Genom Jan 13 '14 at 17:57

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