Losing windows XP files. How to retrieve them?

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QUESTION :

I have a portable 500 GB HDD. For the last few days, all files of some folders are getting kind of corrupted. I can’t access/delete them. Here is an example.


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If I try to access these files/folders, I get the following error.


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This thing is kind of spreading in my HDD. Until now it has affected two folders worth 70 GB in which one folder is a backup folder where all my important data resides. So I am really lost if I lose this data.

How can I retrieve this data?

ANSWER :

First of all, make an image of the drive! That way, you can avoid stressing the dying drive further, which may cause it to stop working altogether. I would recommend using GNU ddrescue for this: It will first skip the faulty parts of the drive to get a quick copy of the good parts, then automatically retry the bad parts to salvage something. Of course there are many other imaging solutions.

Once that is done, you can use any recovery software (starting with fdisk/chkdsk) on the image and try to recover what you can.

Restore from a backup.

Alternatively, if it’s not a virus that has hosed your data I would try a chkdsk /x /r and then get a copy of R-STUDIO and GetDataBack and let them attempt to recover the data. You should be using a second PC for this recovery, stop using your current computer now so you don’t make data corruption worse.

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