Question How to recover invalid disk?

May 14, 2020
Hey guys,

while surfing on the internet my computer suddenly went straight into cold reboot. After that my secondary 3TB internal dynamic HDD (NTFS/GPT) went invalid and cant be accessed anymore (Diagnosed with Disk Management). I made an exact copy of it to experiment with and fortunately a lot of files have been recovered. The strange thing is some files are missing. But the ones ive found are completely uncorrupted. So I assume the other files are somewhere in there otherwise the should have been at least shown corrupted. I tried some recovering programs but most of them turned out to be scam or just not good enough to work on invalid disks. The best one I've found so far is testdisk. It found my partition and says the filesystem is corrupted. It says bootsectors condition is poor and back ups boot sector is bad. After recovering the bad bootsector it had at least windows run checkdisk on it again but it only finds around half of the files.
I need an answer to any of these three questions:

Can you recommend any data recovery program that can recover any type of data on an invalid disk? (prefered free)

Can you recommend any file system repair/recovery program?

And most important: I really need to get back a file called config.txt which contains a 32 char password. It was located in my users document folder. ANY idea to get that one back? Any recovery program or even a program to search for specific bits on a disk? My thoughts on this are there must be a place on the disk where it saved the filename which has a predictable bit order and maybe the following bits are the content? Im not too much into that topic so I dunno but since its a simple .txt file there must be a way.

Since I have a backup ANY help is appreciated I will probably try all ideas.

My Computer is 11 years old. I updated it continously.
Windows 7 Ultimate (64 bit)
Motherboard (original): MS-7613
CPU: some old i7

I dont know if this any helps but on starting up my BIOS is telling me the 3TB disk is only 746gb big. But on windows running intel storage management its showing 3TB correctly.
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The thing with all the programs you are running, the more you mess with the disk the less chance there is of a recovery as the disk gets accessed and checked. Especially running checkdisk, that often makes it harder to recover files since it tries to fix errors in the file system but often with a disk issue it can't, and ends up doing what it thinks is correct but actually corrupts more files.

Photorec may work, it's from the same developers that did testdisk. Just keep in mind if this is really something you need, the best way to do it is hand the disk to a professional recovery service that knows how to treat disks with issues and has the equipment to do a proper scan on it.

And I am guessing going forward you will be doing some sort of backups of the files to another disk or cloud storage, almost 100% of the issues we see like this won't be issues if a backup was done.