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  • Joint work of R-Studio and HDDSupersClone

It's difficult to extract data from malfunctioning or dying hard drives using standard system routines. For example, every time the system runs into bad sectors on the hard drive, the read speed drastically drops - thus making disk imaging a very long process. There are some methods to get around this, like skipping some sectors in the hope that the next sectors will be readable, but they are not implemented into the standard disk drivers. Other times, faulty hard drives require specialized hardware and software to implement a solution.

Two examples come to mind: PC-3000 from ACELab and DeepSpar Disk Imagerâ„¢ from DeepSpar. They've earned great standings in the data recovery community and are widely accepted in data recovery labs around the world, and they also work quite well with R-Studio, too. See R-Studio help page DeepSpar Disk Imagerâ„¢ and our article "Joint work of R-Studio and PC-3000 UDMA hardware" for more details.

Hardware solutions have their own drawbacks, with the most important being their prices. Quite often cost considerations limit the number of such devices that many small data recovery companies can afford, or, at worst, prevent them from having even one piece of such hardware.

However, there are good substitutions for that data recovery hardware - pure software solutions. They use system disk I/O ports for hardware emulation, as well as their own drivers with extended controls that aren't available in standard system drivers. Such solutions do have some limitations compared with their hardware counterparts, but they can still solve most data extraction tasks. Taking into account their minimal cost, it's not surprising that those software solutions are widely used.

Usually those software solutions work under Linux, as this OS gives the most flexibility in disk operations among the major PC operating systems.

HDDSuperClone from SD Computing Service is a software solution for disk imaging, cloning, and data extraction tasks. It's specifically designed to work with unstable, faulty, or dying hard drives. It uses several advanced techniques to extract data from hard drives with bad sectors and other hardware issues while doing everything possible to avoid inflicting even more damage on the drive being processed.

It has two modes of operations:
1. The disk cloning/imaging mode: It simply copies data from one disk (the source) to another disk or a file (the target). It also creates a disk map file (the log) that specifies the sectors that cannot be read (the bad sectors). Such data may be processed by a third-party data recovery program. This mode is available in both free and commercial versions, with some small limitations for the former.

2. A virtual drive mode (the commercial version only): In this mode, HDDSuperClone installs a special driver that creates a virtual drive from the disk. This virtual drive becomes accessible to the host OS and other programs.

The HDDSuperClone driver uses all advanced methods to extract data from the problematic disk, but this is not all. The main advantage of this mode is the partial imaging of the source drive. When a program accesses some data on that virtual drive, HDDSuperClone also copies that data to the target disk/image file. When the same data is accesses next time, HDDSuperClone takes the data from the target disk/image rather than from the source disk. This mode greatly reduces tear and wear of the source disk. This is especially important when the disk is malfunctioning or dying.

This article will show you how R-Studio can work together with the HDDSuperClone in this mode. We'll try to recover data from a faulty drive (Seagate ST380817AS) that cannot be processed directly because of its poor conditions.

The course of the required actions is the following:

1. Connect the source drive and the target drive if such drive is necessary. If the source drive is small, it's possible to use a disk image file rather than another hard drive.
Hardware installation for HDDSuperClone and R-Studio
Hardware installation for HDDSuperClone and R-Studio
Click image to enlarge

The OS in the host computer is the Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS, kernel Linux 5.4.0-67-generic x86_64.

2. Run HDDSuperClone and create a new project. Next, install the virtual driver before connecting the source and target. As the source drive is small, the target may be an image file in our case. Select the necessary Virtual Mode and click the Start button.
HDDSuperClone connected to the source drive
HDDSuperClone connected to the source drive
Click image to enlarge

You can read more about working with HDDSuperClone in its documentation: HDDSuperClone User Manual.

A virtual drive will appear in the system.
Virtual drive created by HDDSuperClone
Virtual drive created by HDDSuperClone
Click image to enlarge

You need to wait for a couple of minutes to let the host OS finish processing of this virtual drive.

3. Run R-Studio and locate the virtual drive created by HDDSuperClone.
Faulty hard drive and its virtual drive created by HDDSuperClone in R-Studio
Faulty hard drive and its virtual drive created by HDDSuperClone in R-Studio
Click image to enlarge

Note that the real hard drive also appeared in R-Studio, but nothing could be read from it due to its poor physical conditions.

4. Start the scan process for the APFS Container found on the virtual drive created by HDDSuperClone.
Scan process for the virtual drive created by HDDSuperClone
Scan process for the virtual drive created by HDDSuperClone
Click image to enlarge

And wait for the scan results
Scan results for the virtual drive created by HDDSuperClone
Scan results for the virtual drive created by HDDSuperClone
Click image to enlarge

Once the disk area where the APFS Container resides has been scanned, HDDSuperClone will take all the data from that area from the image file rather than from the source drive.

5. Enumerate files on one of the recognized partition, say, Recognized4.
Files found on the Recognized2 partition
Files found on the Recognized2 partition
Click image to enlarge

Found files can be previewed, searched for, and marked for recovery.
File preview for a pdf file
File preview for a pdf file
Click image to enlarge

Finally, the marked files and folders can be recovered.

Conclusion
As our article shows, R-Studio and HDDSuperClone can successfully work together. The combination of advanced disk imaging capabilities with HDDSuperClone and the superior data recovery performance of R-Studio greatly increases chances for successful data recovery from faulty hard drives. At the same time, the partial imaging performed by HDDSuperClone greatly reduces possible damage that may further deteriorate hard drive conditions.

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Hi!

I used some software for data recovery on MAC, but THIS IS only one, that help me!!!

THX :)

bye
Tom from Hungary
I want to upgrade it to the technician tool.
This tool is amazing. I was able to recover 5 years` worth of lost photos by imaging 4 disks from a corrupted RAID 10 array.

It did a byte copy of the disks and then replicated the array layout and I could see the files instantly. I`d recommend it to anyone, especially at these license fees. You`ll struggle to get better for the price.
After several attempts, using various softwaretools, I wasn`t able to recover any files from my encrypted drive.
I almost had to come to terms with the darkest of dark scenarios, losing it all to oblivion and no one to blame but myself.
Then I came across the demo version of R-studio and decided to giving it a final try.
YES-yes-yes... Utterly wonderfully fabulously FANTASTIC R-Studio!
The most important files were in good condition so (the paid version of) R-Studio could recover these right away.
Unfortunately ...
I accidentally deleted several gigs worth of data from an external drive - no restore point. I tried other recovery software, but what was `recovered` was mostly junk files in randomized order. Considering the cost of professional data recovery, and given the online reviews, I decided to purchase R-Studio.

Wow. Everything - like, EVERYTHING I had ever moved to the Trash from that drive - was recovered, folder and subfolder structure intact.

I am grateful and beyond impressed at this program`s price point ...