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Data recovery from DiskXtender is a bit tricky

Hardware and RAID configuration

There were 2x1TB drives from a Windows Server computer. The customer reported that Disk Extender (i.e., DiskXtender) was used.

Problem:

The drives had some bad sectors and data was not accessible.

Diagnosis:

  • The hardware sector problem was resolved by cloning the drives to new blank drives. Data was recovered from the clone drives.
  • An analysis of the file system metadata did not show any problem. The key metadata structures were intact. However, the actual recovery did not go well. Only about 50% of the data could not be restored.
  • Further investigation found a rarely-used attribute of NTFS to implement symbolic links or soft links in other file systems such as ext3 and ext4. File Scavenger® could not restore the files that were a symbolic link to another file.

Solution:

  • Restored all files.
  • If a file is merely a symbolic link, follow the link to restore the actual file.

Result:

All data was completely restored.


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