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Question Data Recovery on HDD with bad sectors

Jun 21, 2020
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A few weeks ago my windows 10 computer got stuck in a boot repair loop. After some investigation I found bad sectors, especially issues with system32 to be the problem. I've worked IT before, years ago for my university so I'm tech literate but I was on the software support side exclusively so I'm a bit out of my depth. Even after running chkdsk with repairs my computer couldn't load so I took out the hard drive and put in a new SSD. However I'd love to get the data of my old drive if possible, there are a few confidential encrypted files that I didn't store elsewhere for security reasons for my clients and those notes would be great to get. I've got a new enclosure and I'm waiting on a new external SSD for the clone process. Also I know that sending my drive to a professional would be the best but I absolutely don't have the money for that.
But I've got some basic questions:

1. I've read time is of the essence. What does that mean? I discovered the problem on June 6th, stopped using the drive right away. There were only a handful of bad sectors but lots of system32 issues so the drive was useless for running windows. Is there a problem with waiting a few weeks to clone the drive? I'm trying to study up on how to do it really properly.
Here's a picture of the chkdsk results https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EZ2u8dgUwAAOVsn?format=jpg&name=900x900)

2. Is it okay if the original drive is a traditional one and the new drive is solid state? I've read the sector sizes are different but I really don't know much about hardware. Would it matter?

3. Is there a good, easy to use, free cloning software? I've looked at ddrescue and HDDsuperclone but I have no idea if any of them are actually good. Also my OS is windows and I haven't used Linux since I was a teen.

4. My back up drive is a Hitachi SimpleDrive 1tb and the power supply just died about 2 months ago at least I think that is what happened (hence why some of my stuff wasn't backed up). I was hoping to save up the money to get this drive recovered, but it's not happening. Any advice about how to get data off of that monster drive? Just clone it too?

5. I've had terrible luck with electronics hardware recently (obviously). Any general advice or things I should know through this process?

This is my first post on this website and I hope I followed the rules and norms okay!
Also just in case it's relevant my laptop is an Acer Aspire V
 
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1, 2: If these are the only errors you get from CheckDisk, you probably don't need to clone the drive, just connect it to another system (or use USB-to-SATA adapter for laptop drives), and copy your data (start with important stuff first).

3. CloneZilla never game up on me. For Windows, many people here recommend Macrium.

4. A lot of these older drives have off-the-shelf SATA drive inside. It's work poking inside.
 
Apr 28, 2020
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To fix and repair bad sectors in a hard drive you can try the below methods:

Option 1: Manual Method for Windows 10/8 Users
  • Selection of the Search option.
  • In the Search field, type This PC >> click This PC.
  • Select the drive you want to repair >> Right-click the drive >> click Properties.
  • Allows you to Select the Tools tab.
  • Under Error checking section, click Check.
  • Allows you to Review the scan results.
  • Click Scan and Repair drive option.
  • Allows you to Schedule when to repair the file system.
  • Let Windows to Scan and Repair the Hard Drive Sectors.
Option 2: Manual Method for Windows 7 Users
  • Close all running Programs and File.
  • Go to Start >> Computer.
  • Select the Hard Drive you want to check for Bad Sectors.
  • Under Properties >> select Tools.
  • Under Error-checking section, click Check now.
  • Checkmark the Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors option.
  • Click Start.
  • Indicates Windows attempts to fix errors.
  • Review the Check Disk Report.
Hope it will help.
 
Jun 21, 2020
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Follow up question. So I have the drive and can mount it and everything is great but when I try to open the folder of my old windows user account it says I don't have permission to access it, not even read access. Normally when I logged into my computer's account I entered my password. I'm assuming that's the problem. But how or where would I enter the password? Is there some way around it?


 
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Grobe

Distinguished
Normally when I logged into my computer's account I entered my password. I'm assuming that's the problem.
No it's not.

Windows doesn't give a <Mod Edit> what the user name that was used to create those files. If it was created on another computer, that user would have another ID regardless if the name and password is the same - i.e. another unknown user.

You have to first take ownership of the files, then you assign yourself full rights of those files. That's the way to go.
 
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Jun 21, 2020
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[/QUOTE]
No it's not.

Windows doesn't give a <Mod Edit> what the user name that was used to create those files. If it was created on another computer, that user would have another ID regardless if the name and password is the same - i.e. another unknown user.

You have to first take ownership of the files, then you assign yourself full rights of those files. That's the way to go.

Okay awesome. Good to know.

Would you say this guide to taking control is accurate? Is there any risk?

 
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1. I've read time is of the essence. What does that mean? I discovered the problem on June 6th, stopped using the drive right away. There were only a handful of bad sectors but lots of system32 issues so the drive was useless for running windows. Is there a problem with waiting a few weeks to clone the drive? I'm trying to study up on how to do it really properly.
This only applies to using the drive,you have to stop using it immediately so that new writes don't overwrite old data you might want to salvage.
Checkdisk already was too much, it tries to recreate or string together relevant pieces of data but it will also write over deleted files which is something you don't want.

You should have cloned the drive right away and tried the checkdisk on the clone ,or even a copy of the clone if you are afraid that the original disk is near death and maybe wouldn't give you another chance to clone it.
 
Jun 21, 2020
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This only applies to using the drive,you have to stop using it immediately so that new writes don't overwrite old data you might want to salvage.
Checkdisk already was too much, it tries to recreate or string together relevant pieces of data but it will also write over deleted files which is something you don't want.

You should have cloned the drive right away and tried the checkdisk on the clone ,or even a copy of the clone if you are afraid that the original disk is near death and maybe wouldn't give you another chance to clone it.

Thank you! This answers a lot of questions I had. And now I know what to do next time
 

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