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Old Nov 12, 2007, 10:26 AM   #1
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Had sort of a problem about 3 weeks ago. The power supply in my computer died, taking the motherboard with it. It was kind of an antique by computer standards but it was serving me well for what I needed so I had no need to replace it yet. I had another "antique" that I went out and bought a new power supply for before putting it in service so the same thing didn't happen again. I loaded the hard drive from my original into thesecond machine as a second hard drive so I could pull things from it. Much to my disappointment I discovereda fewfiles were damaged on the original hard drive including some of my pictures. I know...you should back everything up and I'm pretty good about doing this. What I have is some recent pictures that I hadn't gotten around to yet. When I have a pretty good size group of pics I put them on a CD. So what I have is maybe 30-40 pictures that were on that hard drive and weren't backed up elsewhere. Are they gone forever? I'd hate to loose them, but at least its not 300-400 that are gone. I have ACDSee Classic and that will not open them and Photoshop 7 gives me a message...that it can't open them because..."an unknown or invalid JPEG marker type is found". Is there some program that will do something for me or are these files damaged beyond use? Some pictures in the same folder are OK but others are as I described.....Thanks for any help anyone can offer....Dave
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Old Nov 12, 2007, 10:56 AM   #2
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If the files themselves are corrupted, you're probably out of luck. If you're getting errrors because of drive damage, there are a few things you could try.

Some advise.... Do not try to write to that drive. In fact, it's probably not a good idea to have it running in the new PC at all with Windows hitting it.

Have you already tried running things like chkdsk or scandisk against it (or did Windows do that automatically when you installed it in the new PC). I would not do that without a good backup of it first using specilized utilities designed specifically for that purpose (capable of a full sector by sector copy of the drive).

Do you have another drive you could use to do a sector by sector copy of the old one to (preferrably a new drive that's as large or larger than the original one).

If so, there are some *very* good utilities that are smart enough to do retries on physical errors to try and recover as much of the old drive as possible, and sometimes with a cool drive (versus a drive that's already hot from constantly spinning), you have a better chance of a copy without errors.

I use a Linux utilitiy for that purpose called ddrescue. Scroll down on this page until you see the post titled "Fast, effective and flexible" by rtpdave from May 16th 2005 on how to use this kind of utility.


It's *very* smart, with the ability to use a log file so that you can make multiple passes against the same source drive, only copying what was *not* copied error free from previous read passes.

The examples in this post assume you want to write to an image file. But, you can also use this utility to write directly to a new drive (which is what I'd suggest).

It's on a number of Linux Live CDs now. That way, you just boot into a Linux operating system on CD and run the utility from there.

One you can use for that purpose is SimplyMEPIS 7.0 Beta 6. It's got ddrescue on the live cd. It's about a 700MB download. Here is a directly link to the ISO file.

Download Link for SimplyMEPIS 7.0 Beta 6

Basically, you'd need to download the .iso file and burn it to CD. One utility you can use is deepburner free. It's the second download link on this page:


Basically, after you install deepburner free in Windows and start it, you just pick the menu choice that says "Burn ISO" and then browse for and select the .iso file you downloaded for SimplyMEPIS and burn it to a CD. Then, you simply boot into the CD (it's a full operating system capable of running from CD).

After that, you can run utilities like ddrescue to copy from one drive to another.

But, you'll probably need someone that's "Linux Savvy" to help you out with determining what device names are assigned to the source and destination drives to use it. If you want to give something like that a try, send me a PM with a phone number, and I'll try to talk you through using it via phone.

But, if you're already ran any utilities like scandisk or chkdsk against the old drive, your chances of recovering any problems from read errors is *greatly* diminished (I wouldn't expect to get them back, since it probably screwed up what might have been readable trying to fix the drive errors). *Never* let Windows try to fix a drive unless you have a very good sector by sector backup of it first (and it will do that automatically if it sees drive errors upon a reboot).


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Old Nov 12, 2007, 2:54 PM   #3
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Jim..Thanks for spending the time to answer my problem. I scanned thru your response briefly and I'll need to sit down and re-read and investigate and understand what you explained.

The first few times I booted with the 2 hard drives, windows wanted to run scan disk on the second drive. It did give me some sort of warning about did I want it to fix currupted files,blah blah, I don't remember the exact wording now. It was not the usual "let windows fix any errors" sort of thing, it was a message I'd never seen before. So I told it not to scan the drive. After about 3-4 boot ups it stopped asking me if I wanted windows to look at the drive.

From what your saying maybe I'd better pull the 2nd drive out. I' don't think there is anything else really I'll miss or wasn't backed up. The pictures I (maybe) lost aren't the end of the world, but you hate to loose any. Thanks again....Dave
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Old Nov 13, 2007, 1:42 PM   #4
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i had a virus that rendered my drives useless, they showed as zero for the size, i too had pics on them not backed up, so really needed them

i got a 160 gig hard drive and then used some software called "getdataback", it found everything and allowed me to recover the entire contents for both drives that where previously affected, now i have copies on dvd and on my server and also on one of the drives after i formated it

the software also recovered pics from a duff memory card

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Old Nov 15, 2007, 9:26 PM   #5
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Ok thanks Gary ! I'll take a look into that too. It can never be said enough especially for those that have pictures on their computers that can not be recreated When you least expect it things can happen............Back up... Back up....
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