[Offtopic] (no subject) HDD data recovery

Jim Maunder techo at ruyton.vic.edu.au
Fri Apr 27 21:31:10 EST 2007

At 08:51 AM 23/04/2007, you wrote:
>On 4/23/07, Cameron Bell <bell.cameron.p at edumail.vic.gov.au> wrote:
>>Funny you should say that. I have an English teacher that had a bad HDD
>>replaced by Lenovo. Was able to keep old one to try to recover his data.

Here is what I currently use for data recovery (I look after 500 laptops)

A USB caddy for 3.5" HDDs (for when the HDD gets returned for data recovery)
An external USB HDD to hold images, recovered and/or saved student 
files etc etc

BartPE (XP on a CD)- containing:

This does a reasonable job of creating and restoring images of disks 
and partitions.
This is almost miraculous (worth every bit of the $US79 licence fee) 
- for example I dealt with a laptop that was imaged for a student A, 
then a year later it was re-imaged for another student B. Another 
year later the lappy was stolen, but recovered a few days later. The 
light fingered person had re-partitioned, re-formatted and installed 
XP. However, I was able to see and recover some of student A's files. 
It probably helped that I use a separate data partition, the area of 
which was not overwritten by the light fingered re-formatter even 
though the partition was removed and formatted over in the process. 
(Make sense? Should I get an English teacher to de-convolute it?)

I have not tried it with severely damaged HDDs, but it seems ok with 
moderate bad sectors. I am trying with a really bad one right now, 
but I think it has firmware issues, and I don't have much hope for it.


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Jim Maunder
Ruyton Girls School
Melbourne, Australia

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