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just some happy rantings :)


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Symlinks are great. So are system images. Enjoying RedoBackup and Recovery. And systemrescuecd. Managed to squeeze them both onto one 8gb usb stick. Resizing my three partitions. One (actually two, c and e,) of which contains fsx. Creating room for a fourth partition. Why? Need some room for a rescue. Buying enclosure tomorrow, ide 3.5" to Usb. Freind has dead ehd and wants her photo's back.

Did a test and shoved 1g of fsx pics on a usb. Then formatted the daffodils out of the thing. Removed partition, created new one hfs (!) then reformatted to fat32. Used redo's photo recovery utility and hey presto, 1g of pics recovered, folder structure gone, pics just randomly put in sequentially numbered folders, but hey, details. All set for when I recieve her drive next sunday.

Wammy wham whazzle, party on dudes! Love you all. il88pp.

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Happy rants are the best kind! :D


I love SymLinks too, got a passel of them redirecting all of my User folders from my 64GB System SSD to my more mundane 2TB HDD.

i7-10700K @3.8-5.1GHz, 32GB DDR4-2666 SDRAM, GTR-2060 Super 8GB, 2x SSDs
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My partition sizes were: -- c:\ 230Gb -- d:\ 400Gb -- e:\230Gb -- unpartitioned: 50Gb

data on drives:---------- c:\100 -------d:\200---------e:\45 --------

all on one internal harddisk. e:\ has fsx on it.


changed partition sizes, to create more unpartitioned space:

now: -- c:\ 200Gb -- d:\ 300Gb -- e:\95Gb -- unpartitioned: 335 Gb



make system image using windows. (on ehd)

make system restore disk on cd.

boot from linux usb and used Redobackup to make another system image, just in case. (on EHD as well).

disconnect EHD.


used Gparted utility in Redobackup to resize all HDD partitions and move them together. so all unpartitioned space ends up at the end of the drive. thought it through one more time. and clicked "apply"....

warnings popped up:

--are you sure?--moving windows partition can result in a unbootable os... ----YES

--are you sure? --all data on partitions may be lost.... ----------YES

here goes nothing....


Checked flightsim.com (browser included in the Redobackup distro :) ), switched off the monitor, went to bed because, resizing the partition means moving all data around, it takes hours, plus I think it's best to just let the compu do it's thing during these sensitive operations. Curious if windows would boot the next day though!


woke up to "operation completed succesfully". well, that's something.

now to see if it boots win7.... no! --error bla bla, insert your os install disk, reboot, and select 'repair'

Instead I inserted my Windows System Repair Disk and rebooted....

I expected the menu with the normal repair disk (5 or 6) tools.

Instead a message: "there awere errors detected with your OS, would you like to automatically repair and reboot??"

I selected yes. the pc rebooted almost instantly, and cleanly booted into windows!


partitions resized, 330 gb unallocated to play with! happy days happy days.

having a blast!



(small WARNING, these tools are not for the faint of heart.)

(they are powerfull tools. you could easily destroy all your data.):mad:

(so make sure you have extremely good backups before using them.)



(on the other hand, they are very intuitive)

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Regarding her failed HD, dont't have it yet.

But I did buy the enclosure yesterday. With IDE connector to USB, 3.5inch drives, including power adapter. Only 25$ !

Plan is to break open her drive and get the HDD out. Should be a standard model harddrive.


I'm not sure her drive will fit in this enclosure, it's a 5 year old desktop model EHD, so I expect IDE, but it could just as well be Sata. I thought it wise to get the IDE enclosure as they were in stock locally, and this stuff is getting phased out. If it turns out she has a sata drive another enclosure would be easy to acquire.

I can use the IDE enclosure myself, it won't go to waste. I already used it to transfer some stuff from my two old hdd's to my current PC.


Unless the drive inside her ehd has completely failed I'm very hopefull this will be a succesfull rescue!


(only whishing I had known about these tools a year ago when I killed a usb stick by unplugging it in win without thinking. It was no longer detected when plugged in, and I trashed it. I'm sure I would have been able to rescue it with one of these linux live CD's, either redobackup or systemrescuecd.

Water under the bridge..


have a great day all:):):):):):):):)

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Happy rants are the best kind! :D


I love SymLinks too, got a passel of them redirecting all of my User folders from my 64GB System SSD to my more mundane 2TB HDD.


I'm still a bit fearfull of setting them up for the "win" folders (my docs, downloads, etc), I just direct files to where I want manually for now.

I only did some tets using the fsx screenshots directory and that worked right away. mklink:).

I guess I just like using the command line.:)

I also noticed suddenly that in a 'dos' prompt in win 7 you can see full filenames, not just the 8-3 notation. ( readme~1.txt ). Read that is because of a difference in the formatting. Used to be 8-3 in fat, but no longer in NTFT and fat32. neat.

doggy flights, (harr harr:) )


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I'm still a bit fearfull of setting them up for the "win" folders (my docs, downloads, etc), I just direct files to where I want manually for now.


Windows 7 and up support moving the folders quite easily. Go into your user account folder, right click on each of the folders (Documents etc.), select properties and then Location. You can move them all to another drive from there.

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Nevermind, figured it out. I'm not going to try drag and drop.

I see now you have to go to "C:\users\your usrname" to use the properties\location function.

If you select properties in "\favorites\downloads" the option 'Location' is not available...


Thanks, will be trying that with the /downloads folder when my head clears up a bit. (It's getting close to an OOM / overheating situaltion up there I think.)


Thanks for the tip.:)

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I also noticed suddenly that in a 'dos' prompt in win 7 you can see full filenames, not just the 8-3 notation.


On Win98/XP you could also use full filenames but you had to enclose them in quotes if they were more that 8 char. Now you only need quotes if there are spaces.


While you're at it try "Tab" when you're typing a command, it'll autocomplete valid paths & filenames that exist in your %cd%. Cycle through the available autocomplete options with tab, tab, tab, etc until it falls on the one you want.


BTW, why do I get the impression there's more to this story about the woman with the broken hard drive than just a broken hard drive? :p

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Hi Jim,

I knew about the quotes. Important when there are spaces in a filename too.

But what I meant was that in a prompt, if you type the "dir" command, you get a list of the full filenames, not truncated to 123456~1.txt -- 123456~2.txt -- 123456~3.txt etc.


About the Hdd. There is only one thing I had not mentioned, which is, her computer is an iMac. So I'm not sure if her external drive is fat32 or hfs or hfs+ or ext2 or...


As she discribed it to me, she had it connected, and was browsing folders on the ehd. She copied a small folder with some files to her iMac. During copying a error message popped up and the drive was no longer available in the iMac. She unplugged it, then plugged it back in, but no dice.

I suggested trying the drive on a windows pc, or asking someone that uses linux, but she isn't that computer savvy, and had sort of given up by that time. (we got talking about it last december, it had happened months before that.)

She had looked into data recovery service firms, but didn't like those prices.


I recently bought myself a new 2GB external and did my research as usual. I wondered what life expectancy of ehd's was. Many sites quoted 3-5 years.

I read that the drive inside a ehd is just a standard drive. those usually last at least ten years. What makes the ehd's fail prematurely is often the connection between sata (inside drive) and the external usb connection.

I found that certain models/brands of EHD have the usb connector soldered directly to the harddisk.

I chose a standard EHD that has a simple standard 2.5" sata drive inside. with a usb on the outside, and a converter inbetween. That way, if the connection ever fails, I can use a screwdriver to force open the casing, take out the sata drive that's inside, and plug it in a standard enclosure.


When I got home with it I suddenly thought of her damaged ehd and saw light at the end of the tunnel.


The drive is very important to her. She's a semi professional photographer, that did a two year project taking pictures of her local area. The photo's from this project also were in an exposition. Real artsy. Plus it contains pictures of her grandchildren.

She's a long time freind. We met the family on holliday 20 odd years ago! Have seen each other only a few times since, but there's a strong bond.


I'll try to get the drive to work first, then make several types of backups. (one on one copy to hfs if the drive was formatted like that, a one on one copy to FAT32(=compatible wit mac), and a system image, just in case. Plus I'll use the photorecovery function in redobackup to save all .jpg .bmp .gif etc files.

Better safe then sorry.


If the drive has no visible partitions, I'll just use redobackups photorecovery to save as many files as possible, then use photorecovery again to save pics only. Then format her drive fat32 and stick all files on it. (after conferring with her, she may want to leave the option for datarecovery, not format the drive, and instead I'll stick the files on a new EHD.)


As you see, having some free space available is not a bad idea here.

can't wait! (and fingers crossed):)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, not all done yet, but close.

99% (99+ actually) is saved.


The enclosure of her EHD was indeed bad, there was no stable connection. So I took the drive out of the enclosure. It turned out to be a 500 Gb - 3.5 inch - Sata harddisk. The enclosure I had bought was IDE, so I'll keep that myself.

Her disk I then plugged into my PC, internally, and connected it to the mainboard and power. I could then access it through linux. I booted systemrescuecd and had a look around for any partitions. I found 6 partitions, 5 tiny ones and one 500 Gb partition (no. 6). I saw the data on it was around 130 Gb. The folder structure wa ok, and the files showed file sizes. looked good that no.6 partition. The other partition showed "filesystem unkown". My guess is that's going to be an issue, I can't just give the disk back in a new enclosure, I'll have to start rescueing data.


First I wanted to copy to my internal disk, where I had created space. I tried to create a new fat32 partition there, using windows, but it wouldn't go! "Only four primary partitions allowed" That was a bit of a setback...

So instead I shrunk my own 2 Tb external harddisk partition to 1.1 Tb, and created a 180Gb Fat32 partition in the unallocated space. I used systemrescueCD for that. (the GParted utility.)

Then I started copying. From her disk to my external Fat partition. Folder by Folder. The inside of her external HDD had smelt like burned capacitors when I opened it, so I copied her most precious folders first, expecting physical damage to the drive that could kill it anytime. So I copied her most precious folders first.

That went fine, large folders, with many many subfolders copied ok, and I had one third of the drive copied, when suddenly error messages started popping up: "error creating file "sdb1/HerDisk/pictures/2014/photo-course/shutterspeed/racecar f:0.8 1:100 70mm -1-.jpg"

I immediately saw what was going on. copying to fat didn't work, because the filename contains symbols. : ? etc are not allowed in Fat32 filenames.

So much for that then.

I stopped it there, kept the Fat32 partition, and created another180 GB partition on my EHD, this time a HFS+ partition. Copying from HFS+ to HFS+ should not show this issue with filenames.

I copied from HFS+ to HFS+, the troublesome filenames folder first, which went fine, no errors. Added benifit was copying was WAY faster! After that was succesfull, I selected all other folders together, and copied practically everything in one go. I didn't wait for it to finish, but when I woke up around 5 hours later it was all copied.


One small issue, there was a list of errors in the linux file explorer window. (It has a output window that shows the copying errors. Super handy!)

"error reading file: sdb1/HerDisk/path.jpg"

error reading file... that looks like sectors on her drive are damaged.

There were around 600 files not copied.

Seems like a lot, but it is less then one percent of the total data.

I tried copying some of the a few times more, but they just wouldnt go.

I saved the list of errors, from the output window using copy-paste, saved it to a usb stick. (It's also possible to store files on the linux OS usb stick itself, if you have put the live cd on a usb, but I want to be able to access the error-list from windows as well.)

Rebooting didn't help either. the files still wouldn't copy.


Then I remembered I had copied some folders to Fat32 as well. Maybe, just maybe, they wer copied correctly there... worth a shot.

And indeed, using seacch, carefully comparing folders, I found around 80 files that were not copied to HFS+, but that were present on Fat-32. I then copied those to the HFS partition.

Still a few folders to go. The sun came out, and looking up files one by one and copying is not easy in those conditions :)


I then discovered a utility that can do a SMART-test on a drive. And... RED warnings, drive close to failure, all spare sectors used up, damage to sectors on harddisk. Wasn't looking pretty.


So, I ordered a new EHD for her to put the data on. It will arrive in about 8 days.

Until then I decided to let it rest for a bit. The data is safe, I put it on two partitions of mine, on seperate EHD's, just being extra cautious.


All this has worn me out, saw the sun come up a few times.

I just went out and bought myself a large cake and some makrell. I needed some comfort food.


But a great feeling!! Her folder structure is intact, 99+ % of the data safe.

For example, the pictures of her granddaughter, year of her birth and the two years after, around 10.000 pics, only two missing.


Was fun, and I learned a lot.


"I have sat with the councel of geniusses, I have performed the tooran raah, and I have even been, to me."


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There are several purchasable programs which provide powerful tools for recovering files from damaged sector areas. Some of these tools are expensive, but spinright is pretty cheap.



2 carrot salad, 10.41 liter bucket, electric doorbell, 17 inch fan, 12X14, 85 Dbm
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Thanks for the tip pvarn.

Thing is, the 3 folders she wanted most, (2 in root, all 3 together containing around 1500 pics), only around 20 files are missing. She says the rest of the drive is unimportant.

So for now i'll just give her back a new drive with all the files I do have, plus a copy of the list of the missing ones. The list is organised already by folder.

Some files were missing but the same filename was in a related folder. Ie, not in /X/pics/selection but present in /X/pics/all. In that case I manually wrote that info in the list for her, but did not copy the file, as I couldn't be sure it was the correct pic. Most were named e.g. 1234.jpg.


She will need to go through the list and can then decide if those few missing files are essential.

If so I will concider payware then.


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