Hardware and RAID configuration
There were 2x1TB drives from a Windows Server computer.
The customer reported that Disk Extender (i.e., DiskXtender) was used.
The drives had some bad sectors and data was not accessible.
- 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.
- Restored all files.
- If a file is merely a symbolic link, follow the link to restore the actual file.
All data was completely restored.