Question Recommended Open Source Data Recovery Software ?

Mar 23, 2019
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Looking for recommendation for good and FREE data recovery software (open source etc). It is for around 500gb of data on a drive not being detected. Easeus allows 2gb for free but then you need to purchase paid version. I need to be able to recover the files to another drive and retain the folder structure.

Any recommendations ?

Thank-you.
 

USAFRet

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Looking for recommendation for good and FREE data recovery software (open source etc). It is for around 500gb of data on a drive not being detected. Easeus allows 2gb for free but then you need to purchase paid version. I need to be able to recover the files to another drive and retain the folder structure.

Any recommendations ?

Thank-you.
TestDisk
Recuva

Given your constraints:
FREE
drive not being detected
recover the files to another drive and retain the folder structure

...you are almost certainly out of luck. Any consumer level tool requires that the drive be accessible. And probably won't recover the exact folder structure and the files within, even when it does work.

The time to worry about 'data recovery' is with a good backup routine that you implement before the BadThing happens.
After, like in this case, it is often too late.
 
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I would like to help you with selecting a software tool (free/open source) but I have no experience with any of these tools as my data has never been important enough to me to recover or I've had a solid backup with that said @USAFRet made two good suggestions based on my limited research on this subject both TestDisk and Recuva have had good reviews. Go ahead and look those two programs up on google, find some reviews and pick the one you think offers you the best chance of recovering most of your data.
 
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Hi

I suggest you run the disk manufacturers Windows diagnostic software to check there is no physical damage first before data recovery.
Available from Seagate & Western Digital web sites
I havent seen a Toshiba version generally available
(The WD version will check other brands and internal & USB)

Not absolutely clear if disk drive is internal SATA as some assumed or USB external drive

FREE data recovery software (open source etc)
Open Source indicates you get free access to the source code which is rare in data recovery and probably not important.

I have had good luck with TestDisk/PhotoRecovery from cgi security (Windows & Linux versions available & No restrictions )

and Recuva (free version) from Piriform
https://support.piriform.com/hc/en-us/categories/200264780-Recuva

DMDE is well recomended
free version has limit to recovering 4000 files at a time
https://dmde.com/editions.html
fee is very reasonable compared to some other companies
though I have not used it in anger yet

Ideally you should clone the disk using software like DDRescue (which can copy disks with bad blocks/sectors)
Then do the data recovery work on the cloned disk .
If you are unable to recover the data your self you can still give the original disk to a professional

regards

Mike Barnes
 
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Mar 23, 2019
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Hi

I suggest you run the disk manufacturers Windows diagnostic software to check there is no physical damage first before data recovery.
Available from Seagate & Western Digital web sites
I havent seen a Toshiba version generally available
(The WD version will check other brands and internal & USB)

Not absolutely clear if disk drive is internal SATA as some assumed or USB external drive

FREE data recovery software (open source etc)
Open Source indicates you get free access to the source code which is rare in data recovery and probably not important.

I have had good luck with TestDisk/PhotoRecovery from cgi security (Windows & Linux versions available & No restrictions )

and Recuva (free version) from Piriform
https://support.piriform.com/hc/en-us/categories/200264780-Recuva

DMDE is well recomended
free version has limit to recovering 4000 files at a time
https://dmde.com/editions.html
fee is very reasonable compared to some other companies
though I have not used it in anger yet

Ideally you should clone the disk using software like DDRescue (which can copy disks with bad blocks/sectors)
Then do the data recovery work on the cloned disk .
If you are unable to recover the data your self you can still give the original disk to a professional

regards

Mike Barnes
Thanks Mike. Good advice.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
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Thanks. I read somewhere you needed to be careful before running testdisk. Do you know if it does anything to the disk which could mean that data become unrecoverable that wouldn't be otherwise ?
You need to be careful with ALL of these tools.


"on a drive not being detected "

  1. The drive needs to be able to be detected.
  2. You'll need some other drive to potentially recover to. It does not recover on the affected drive.
  3. Please do this with only the potentially bad drive connected.
  4. Read through the TestDisk documentation before you start: https://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk_Step_By_Step
 

AllanGH

Commendable
Mar 10, 2019
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I read somewhere you needed to be careful before running testdisk. Do you know if it does anything to the disk which could mean that data become unrecoverable that wouldn't be otherwise?
If you read that somewhere, it was written by somebody who has never used TestDisk (or is devoid of technological common sense). The drive to be recovered is treated as read-only.

My method has always been to have a spare system with at least two separate drive controller channels (important back in the days of IDE interfaces), with the drive to be recovered on the primary controller and the drive to receive recovered data on the secondary controller. (I've only used the DOS and CD-launched versions, BTW).

If TestDisk won't recover a particular drive, then it's time to do platter swaps to an identical spare drive (platter count = 1), or swap-in drive electronics and head/pre-amp assembly from an identical spare drive (platter count > 1); then give the drive back to TestDisk to churn through.

I've never had a drive that I couldn't recover data from; although I have had drives with damaged platters where only partial data recovery was what I had to settle for. It's my good fortune that I've never had a multi-platter drive come to me with a bad spindle motor--there is no way I'm going to try to clamp platters in alignment and swap them to another spindle clamp.

I'm not in the commercial data recovery business, so I don't go looking for those kinds of problems. Unfortunately, they have come looking for me, and I have always had trouble saying, "No" to a challenge. Thankfully, it's not that often, these days.

Read the documentation completely, then read it again a few more times; don't do stupid stuff; and always triple-check which drive is your source drive, and which drive is your target drive.

If you have drive detection issues, and the data is THAT important to you, definitely get a couple spare drives IDENTICAL down to the sub-rev to work with. You will probably be swapping hardware to get that drive to a detectable state again.

If you doubt your ability to do it yourself, find somebody who is willing to do it for you; but remember that NOBODY with their sanity and business acumen intact will guarantee the results of data recovery, and they will want their Benjamins up-front.
 
Last edited:
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Mar 23, 2019
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If you read that somewhere, it was written by somebody who has never used TestDisk (or is devoid of technological common sense). The drive to be recovered is treated as read-only.

My method has always been to have a spare system with at least two separate drive controller channels (important back in the days of IDE interfaces), with the drive to be recovered on the primary controller and the drive to receive recovered data on the secondary controller. (I've only used the DOS and CD-launched versions, BTW).

If TestDisk won't recover a particular drive, then it's time to do platter swaps to an identical spare drive (platter count = 1), or swap-in drive electronics and head/pre-amp assembly from an identical spare drive (platter count > 1); then give the drive back to TestDisk to churn through.

I've never had a drive that I couldn't recover data from; although I have had drives with damaged platters where only partial data recovery was what I had to settle for. It's my good fortune that I've never had a multi-platter drive come to me with a bad spindle motor--there is no way I'm going to try to clamp platters in alignment and swap them to another spindle clamp.

I'm not in the commercial data recovery business, so I don't go looking for those kinds of problems. Unfortunately, they have come looking for me, and I have always had trouble saying, "No" to a challenge. Thankfully, it's not that often, these days.

Read the documentation completely, then read it again a few more times; don't do stupid stuff; and always triple-check which drive is your source drive, and which drive is your target drive.

If you have drive detection issues, and the data is THAT important to you, definitely get a couple spare drives IDENTICAL down to the sub-rev to work with. You will probably be swapping hardware to get that drive to a detectable state again.

If you doubt your ability to do it yourself, find somebody who is willing to do it for you; but remember that NOBODY with their sanity and business acumen intact will guarantee the results of data recovery, and they will want their Benjamins up-front.
Thanks Allan. Do you also happen to know what is the best method of reading a MAC drive from a windows machine ? I have heard negative things about using HFSexplorer and regardless of this when I run it does not detect the drive even on a good MAC usb drive that works on a MAC.
 

AllanGH

Commendable
Mar 10, 2019
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Not using either windows or MAC, I am definitely the wrong person to ask.

Perhaps somebody else, here, can offer useful advice on that count.

I do know that read/write access of HFS and HFS+ drives is pretty-much native to Linux, these days. In most cases the automounter will take care of it; and, in those cases where it won't, the drive can be manually mounted as root.

The sticking point comes into play where a drive has been formatted to HFS+ with Journaling enabled. You can either disable the journaling on the host MAC machine with 'diskutil disableJournal "path_to_volume" and move the drive to a Linux host (bears some element of risk, and is not my preferred method); or, just treat the disk as read-only from within Linux (much better, IMHO).

That said, I don't access MAC drives very often (maybe once in the past two or three years), because of the lack of need to do so.
 
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