After my HDD got broken, Windows says it needs format. So, I'm using TestDisk to fix it.

But a read error always occurs when I execute the Quick Search or the Deep Search process. To get one progress, it takes about 15min. It means more than 6 years to finish the search process. We can't wait for it.

[Error Detail]

Analyse cylinder */243200: 00%
Read error at **/241/1 (lba=15183)

(the number of ** is * minus 1.)

Could anybody tell me how to get data from the HDD if it's possible? Or if you can guess what is wrong in HDD, please kindly tell me.

I also tried to use CloneZilla to copy whole HDD data to another one, but failed with an error "Unknown partition table format for ***".

  • 3
    I noticed it was unable to get data with software. I mean, the HDD was physically broken.
    – fx-kirin
    Jul 16, 2015 at 5:53

2 Answers 2


Testdisk is the wrong tool for the job. To recover data from this drive, get another drive (and ensure you have another place for writing a file), and use Gnu DDRescue to pull the raw data off the drive.

DDRescue is designed to try and pull data as best it can - and if it fails it allows you to restart it as often as you like - and even let you read from the end of the disk backwards. You might not get all your data off, but you will get most of it off.

Once you have a non-hardware-failed copy, you can copy the data again and try regular data recovery techniques if required - although often the data thats available on the drive will now be accessible without further work.


Based on the information that you have provided, there is a failure internal to the hard drive. You will not be able to fix it with software. A data recovery firm may be able to disassemble the drive and recover some of the data from the platters, but this will probably be an expensive endeavor. Unless the data is worth the expensive, it is a lost cause.

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