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  Missing Files 
 Date Written 
Wizard Prang Feb 06, 2012, 09:02am EST Report Abuse
In a two-drive system, the system locked up and had to be hard shut down. On restart, Windows (XP) did a disk check and "corrected" some problems. I believe that one of the error message said something about $MFT. :(

I pulled the data drive and attached it to another system as external to back it up. Windows reports the data drive as having 220GB of files, but when I back it up only 64 GB are copied. All of the files appear to be there except for the contents of one directory (TiVo files) are missing, which explains the discrepancy.

I have done a little reading. Some (including Microsoft suggest using CHKDSK, while others say that CHKDSK will err on the side of caution and "fix" the disk by completely blowing the missing files away.

I have a backup that I can restore, but it is a year old. If possible I would like to rescue those missing files.

Does anyone else have any ideas or options about fixing this problem?

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Joshua Marius, LeThe Feb 06, 2012, 02:45pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Missing Files

I have had much success with GetDataBack:

However when it comes to repair, HDD Regenerator has saved me in situations like these:

A quick note: All repairs / recoveries are different and vary from drive to drive, so your experience may be different than mine. I can tell you that throughout the years I have used these tools on hundreds of drives and recovered TB of files. If you want to leave the recovery to the professionals, I recommend Data Mechanix: They are the most reliable company I have worked with and will not charge you to evaluate your drive:

Joshua Marius
Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
Intel Core i5-2500K
Intel SSDSC2CW180A3 180 GB
RAID 1: Seagate ST3750528AS 750 GB
CORSAIR Vengeance 8 GB DDR3 1600
eVGA GeForce 8800 GTS
john albrich Feb 07, 2012, 12:07am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Missing Files
Wizard Prang said:
...I have done a little reading. Some (including Microsoft suggest using CHKDSK, while others say that CHKDSK will err on the side of caution and "fix" the disk by completely blowing the missing files away....

re: CHKDSK...The discussion below is intended to be ONLY about the possible impact of using is not explicitly claiming anything about whether an arbitrary "data recovery program" will or will not be of help. And...I'm trying to explain CHKDSK operation very roughly and broadly here, so a specific scenario may not be covered. (And, because of the dosage of the pain meds I'm on today...the way I say things in this particular post may not make as much sense to others as I think it does.)

Warnings about using CHKDSK are appropriate, even in "last-ditch" cases where using CHKDSK is ultimately necessary in order to repair the filesystem structure (aka "meta-data)...e.g. you haven't implemented strong backup protocols,

CHKDSK will if necessary "sacrifice" the information on how user/system data were originally inter-connected in the disk, to make the filesystem structure "bright and shiny new" and ready for the OS to use it again. CHKDSK is pretty much an "officially sanctioned moron" and doesn't give a damn about user data content. Unfortunately, this can result in making it virtually impossible to reconstruct your data in a useful/reliable way even using a data recovery program afterwards. Your data may still be "on the disk" afterwards, but with CHKDSK...much of and possibly all the information that "links" your data together in a meaningful way can/will be lost. Under such conditions, a data recovery program may "recover" much of your raw data, but it can still be up to you to manually assemble and/or verify a possibly huge part of it so it means something intelligible to you and/or an application...and that's a high-level skill often beyond many users. Among other factors, the amount of file fragmentation prior to the failure can make a profound difference in how difficult that then becomes and how successful or useful a data recovery program may end up being in a given situation.

IF some parts are in some degree of order after CHKDSK, it's pure luck. CHKDSK is not a very smart program. Something or someone likely still has to reconstruct a file's contents piece by piece based on what it/he believes is the correct sequence. A data recovery program may help with some of the ordering, but because of the way CHKDSK works, data can still be put in the wrong order or associated with the wrong discrete file. For example, you could end up with something like "Alas poor Yorick! I knew O Romeo. To sleep, perchance to fire burn and cauldron bubble". Even if the file's parts are "connected" so the OS can read them, the underlying file structure and/or content can still be mish-mashed (e.g. an .mp3 file with even a single element in it from a .doc (or other) file(s) may make the mp3 player "choke" on playing the "music" file saying it's an incompatible format or no codec exists to play it. Or an image of a Rembrandt may end up looking more like something by Picasso).

So even if a particular file is "recovered" to 99.999% of the original content and structure, it can remain unusable for all PRACTICAL purposes.

Worse a spreadsheet data file CHKDSK could change the data sequencing and attempts at file reconstruction could end up interchanging the location of some "cells" (or even put information from another file into some "cells") and your spreadsheet would now UNDETECTABLY provide you with bad information. The consequence might vary from minor embarrassment in a department meeting to IRS audit/fines/jail time.

On a RELATED topic, here's some info on data integrity/usability for people who think NTFS (journaled file system) protects your data 100% in the event of a system/OS "crash" or power disruption. It's similar because it is also an issue of preserving the filesystem "structure"/meta-data v. protecting the actual content of files.



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