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Prepare to use Disk Recoup™

Is Disk Recoup™ the right tool?

Disk Recoup™ can be used as the first step in recovering data from a hard drive with non-critical hardware faults. After the raw data has been copied to a reliable destination drive, the recovery will be much faster and more likely to succeed.

Please click here to view a table that can help to determine if Disk Recoup™ is the right tool.

What is required to use Disk Recoup™?

A destination hard drive or disk image file

See "What is copied?".

Working disk space

Secondly, Disk Recoup™ requires a working folder with sufficient free space to store housekeeping information. If a disk-image file is the destination of the copy operation, the folder will automatically be created at the same location as the disk-image file. If a dedicated hard drive is the destination, the folder must be created on a volume residing on a third hard drive.

In licensed mode the working space required is about 1/2,000th the size of the source drive. For example, 250 MB of working space is required to copy a 500-GB hard drive. In demo mode the required working space is 1.7% with the extra space used to store encryption data. In the same example, about 7.5 GB is needed.

Note that if you perform the copy operation in demo mode, the files stored in the working folder are required for decryption. If the files are not available, the destination cannot be decrypted and is unusable.

A computer running Windows®

Third, you need a computer running Windows® 10/8/7, Vista, XP, 2000, or Windows® Server 2012/2008/2003 to perform the copy operation. Both the source and destination drives must be mounted on this computer as non-boot, non-system drives. If Windows® hangs on the source drive at boot time, you can try booting the computer from a CD into a simplified Windows® environment such as BartPE.

To run Disk Recoup™ you must logon to Windows® as a system administrator.

Disk Recoup™ in licensed or demo mode

Fourth, you need to download and install Disk Recoup™. You can purchase a license to activate the program or run it in demo mode.

Time and patience

Last but not least, you need time and patience. For a drive with minor faults, the copy operation can proceed at or near the normal transfer rates between the source and destination. In our limited performance testing, we recorded transfer rates around 3 GB per minute between two 500 GB SATA drives and the copy operation took over 3 hours.

Older drives are usually slower. But their capacities are usually smaller.

USB-connected (USB 2.0) external drives can be three to five times slower compared to an internal drive of the same size and model.

A faulty hard drive may generate timeout errors, thus increasing the total time. The errors may force Disk Recoup™ to use more basic disk operations that are more tolerant of hardware faults but are slower than standard disk operations. This also adds to the total time.

With all its fault avoidance strategies, Disk Recoup™ may still hang on a read. You do not lose any work because Disk Recoup™ continuously saves its status. However, you will need to reboot the computer and restart Disk Recoup™. It will resume the copy operation at a different spot on the hard drive, avoiding the troubling spots. The reboots will add to the total time. For a severely damaged hard drive, the computer may need to be rebooted many times.

The total time taken to copy a source hard drive depends on many factors as discussed above. In our limited testing a 500 GB SATA drive with minor faults may take a few hours to copy. One with moderately severe faults may take half a day. One with very severe faults may take a few days because of the numerous timeout errors and reboots.

When the copy operation file is complete but with some unreadable sectors, you can click on Copy again. Disk Recoup™ will try and copy the missing sectors and usually will successfully read some more. You can keep doing this until no more sectors can be read.