Several hard drives failed – I need help recovering data from one of the drives


Hello everyone,

I’m having a problem and I’m not sure if it makes sense to try another data recovery here myself.

Several years ago, several internal SATA hard drives all died in a very short time. I stored them in the closet for years, well packed, hoping for a miracle. Some time ago I connected them externally via a USB docking station. The miracle actually happened with one of the drives – it was recognized by Windows Explorer as a 2TB partition and I could access it normally.

I looked at the SMART values ​​and they are really bad. The record was completely dead by then. I don’t know why he suddenly comes back now. I took a quick peek into Explorer to see what was there in the first place. I found out that it was actually important data that I had forgotten for a long time and deleted.

I tried copying the most important folders through Explorer, but Windows Explorer immediately crashes while copying. Each attempt to copy through the command line (Xcopy) also fails.

So I started a virtual machine with CAINE Linux and tried to create an image with ddrescue. I am working with VMware Workstation 16, USB 3.1 is supported. Then I passed the still USB connected dying disk and one of my USB backup disks to the VM.
On the backup disk, there is enough space for a 2TB partition image file.

I mounted the writable backup disk as / media / sdb1, the dying score is / dev / sdc1.
I first tried it without any settings.

ddrescue /dev/sdc1 /media/sdb1/hdimage.img /home/cc/Documents/ddrescue.log

I was able to record 21% of the disc to frame in two or three hours, I was shown a remaining time of only 8 hours.
Too good to be true – and indeed, the transfer rate then dropped drastically and the first read errors occurred.
So I took a closer look at the manual and tweaked the syntax slightly:

ddrescue -nf /dev/sdc1 /media/sdb1/hdimage.img /home/cc/Documents/ddrescue.log

Unfortunately, it didn’t bring any improvement either, so far it looks like this:

[email protected]:~$ sudo -i
[email protected]:~# ddrescue  -nf  /dev/sdc1 /media/sdb1/hdimage.img /home/cc/Documents/ddrescue.log
GNU ddrescue 1.22
Press Ctrl-C to interrupt
Initial status (read from mapfile)
rescued: 420290 MB, tried: 7573 kB, bad-sector: 0 B, bad areas: 0

     ipos:  422883 MB, non-trimmed:    7573 kB,  current rate:   65536 B/s
     opos:  422883 MB, non-scraped:        0 B,  average rate:    191 kB/s
non-tried:    1580 GB,  bad-sector:        0 B,    error rate:       0 B/s
  rescued:  420309 MB,   bad areas:        0,        run time:      1m 39s
pct rescued:   21.01%, read errors:        0,  remaining time: 72d 14h 47m
                              time since last successful read:          0s
Copying non-tried blocks... Pass 1 (forwards)

The transfer rate fluctuates greatly, but very rarely exceeds 200 kB / s. Sometimes I get over 200 days of remaining runtime.

Does it make sense to let this process continue?

I’m afraid that after a few hundred days I’ve created an image that might not even be readable. Unfortunately, I can’t edit the image, no matter what shift I take. The output is in German, sorry. But here’s what it looks like:

[email protected]:~$ fdisk -l /media/sdb1/hdimage.img
Festplatte /media/sdb1/hdimage.img: 393,9 GiB, 422884868096 Bytes, 825947008 Sektoren
Einheiten: Sektoren von 1 * 512 = 512 Bytes
Sektorgröße (logisch/physikalisch): 512 Bytes / 512 Bytes
E/A-Größe (minimal/optimal): 512 Bytes / 512 Bytes
Festplattenbezeichnungstyp: dos

Gerät                        Boot     Anfang       Ende   Sektoren  Größe Kn Typ
/media/sdb1/hdimage.img1      1380404564 3216423027 1836018464 875,5G  a OS/
/media/sdb1/hdimage.img2      1309281536 3263005284 1953723749 931,6G 69 unb
/media/sdb1/hdimage.img3      1735554131 3688805757 1953251627 931,4G 6d unb
/media/sdb1/hdimage.img4      2978742282 2978797514      55233    27M 66 unb

It doesn’t really look like a usable image, does it?
Of course, I would like to know if the data I need is already recovered or if I need to send the hard drive to a recovery company.

Does anyone here have a suggestion on what I could do? If necessary, I’ll bite the bullet and send the hard drive.

Thanks a lot for your help.


Published by CygnusX, today, 17:27.

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