Dynamic disk recovery software? Preferably freeware?

Bona Fide

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Here's the long story:

I bought a 500GB hard drive last month, and immediately partitioned it into 2 pieces. I had one 20GB partition, and the other ~445GB was another partition. The intent was to install Fedora on the 20GB partition so I could dual-boot Vista (on another hard drive) and Linux. I abandoned that plan and "joined" the two partitions, creating a dynamic disk.

Today I turned my computer on to find out that Vista was somehow irrepairably corrupted, and I'd have to reformat my first HDD and reinstall Vista. I did that, and now I've found out that my dynamic disk is inaccessible.

Is there any way to get to the data on it? I had over 300GB of stuff on it, and I can't believe that it's gone. It's still on the disk, but I can't access it. Surely there's a utility (preferably free) that can recover or even restore the disk. I'm looking for something that can get to the data so that I can transfer it back to my first disk, so it'll be saved. If there's some software that can transform it back to a simple volume without data loss, that'd be even better.





Cliffnotes: Vista got corrupted, I had to reinstall, lost a dynamic volume in the process. Looking for a way to recover the data or restore the disk.
 
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Sounds similar to d3c1us's thread "Accidently deleted Volune... now what?" below is what I posted there... hope it's able to help you!


Try TestDisk, it's free/opensource & you can get it for DOS, Win, Linux & Mac.

http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk_Download

It ended up recovering an entire 320 GB drive for me. If it can't bring back your entire volume/partition, it might at least find the majority of the data.
 

Bona Fide

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Thanks a lot! I'll give this a try. Honestly, if it can recover anything I'll be happy. :)
 

Bona Fide

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No dice...I ran testdisk.exe and it didn't detect my drive. In fact, it didn't even detect my functioning drives. The only ones it did detect were my optical drive and a USB flash drive I had plugged in. :eek:

Edit - I think the problem is that my "lost" volume wasn't deleted or anything. It was a dynamic volume, so when I reinstalled Vista I guess I lost access to it. Somehow it must have been tied to my previous Vista installation.
 
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Don't know if the screenshot below will be visible (hopefully it is), if so is this roughly what it looks like when you run it? It might work goofy if you use the wrong version (win/dos/linux).
When my 320GB drive died, neither the Win setup disc or partition magic could see it... but w/a 3.5" boot disk & TestDisk DOS I was able to view files (but only had <1.4MB of free space to copy them off to). Once my 500GB drive showed up in the mail, I re-installed windows on that drive, got TestDisk win working & copied all the files onto the new drive overnight.

Your bad drive is spinning up at least tho, right? It looks like you've got the same WD SE16 drives I do.. they should show up

 

Bona Fide

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You need to upload that picture somewhere...I can't exactly read it off your hard drive. ;)

www.imageshack.us

Interestingly enough, Disk Management "sees" the dynamic volume (labeled as Disk 1), but says it's offline. Testdisk doesn't even see it. And I don't have a floppy drive to try to work the DOS version off.

Here are screencaps of Disk Management and Testdisk:




Ignore the volume names. I backed up my Vista partition to the E: and didn't change the name.
 
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Maybe this link will help:
http://forums.windowsvistamagazine.com/forums/thread/3366.aspx
If you scroll ~75% down, there's a link for a program called ptedit that might work (looks like it's only for 32bit tho).
That same thread also has a link on how to use DskProbe (http://thelazyadmin.com/blogs/thela...erting-Dynamic-Disks-Back-to-Basic-Disks.aspx)
for converting Dynamic back to Basic drives.
I honestly would only try this stuff as a last resort since they look med-hi risk.. another day of searching might uncover a more reliable method of getting the data back.
 

xglarmy

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Aug 28, 2007
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Out of all the programs ive used GetDataBack is the best one for recovery.

Basic Layout



Just click on the 1st box , default settings.

After you see that you will get



This step scans for ur hard drives in ur sytem or any usb / external drives you have connected , just disconnect any external drive. This step usually takes around 5 - 50 seconds. Once its detected your drive on the left side click on the drop box and choose the partition , " i hope u didnt write any data back onto that drive " after you're done click the next button and you will see this.

\

this is the 3rd step , this step takes anywhere between 1hr - 12 hrs depending how big the drive is in size , for the demonstration im just showing u a 20 gig maxout i mean maxtor drive. Once its done scanning on the left box you will see a whole bunch of files. There you will see Deleted Files , Corrupt Files and Other files. Just click on the backup destination and if all goes well u will get ur files back.

Also when copying files across to your backup location sometimes you might get a box saying Choose Elox 1 or 2 , 1 is for Ntfs and 2 is for Fat , make sure to check the right box. Also in advanced options there is data check , this will check any hard drive for missing parts , for example lets say you have a system on raid and both drives fail , this will get the files from both drives and combine it back into 1 file for you.

Hope this helped :p
 

Old Hippie

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Dynamic disks are a major PITA and I'm suprised anything is helping recover your data.

GetDataBack has been my favorite recovery program for many years and it's well worth the 80.00 entry fee.

I'm glad it's working out for ya!

Edit......Crap....this is an old thread.........LOL!
 

mkrohn

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I've run into this problem today while trying to remove a 1.5tb drive from my dynamic disks.. anybody else got anything to add or is GDB my best hope?
 

dbwillis

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GDB is free to try, its paid for itself many times over for me
 
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