Jump to content
Piriform Community Forums
debschanebs

It says it unable to read boot sector, so I cant recover my pictures, help please?

Recommended Posts

Hi debschanebs, and welcome to the forum.

 

Some background information would help. :)

 

Which Operating System are you running? How big is the memory stick, and what happened to it in the first place, as Recuva being unable to read the boot sector usually means it's been screwed up somehow?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Debs, this can occur for a variety of reasons:

_____

 

- Maxell USB flash drives sometimes flip partitions & end up with "missing" data. Which can be fixed via downloadable utility from their website.

- If the drive is in RAW mode, Recuva cannot read it, & must be accessed with a data recovery that can.

- Try a new USB slot. Sometimes (dust/insecure connection/other) can cause the drive to be "unreadable" as it is not making proper contact.

_____

 

Currently, Recuva does not support partition or RAW mode recovery, or didn't last time I tested it.

_____

 

Edit: These things would greatly help to know

 

- Size of memory stick

- Brand of memory stick

- 32/64 Bit OS + version of it

- A/V used

- Approximated length of time it has been "corrupted"

- Error messages received when viewed through Windows Explorer (Does it state drive must be formatted, or is unrecognized, etc. DON'T format it if Windows asks you to. If it shows this error, it would appear because either the drive must be re-inserted & isn't making proper contact, or the MFT has been scrambled in a way that Windows no longer recognizes, causing it to appear as blank or RAW. If this happens, you can get it back, but you need a data recovery utility that recognizes & reads "RAW" mode.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay some more infromation:

 

Its a Lexar Memory stick pro duo 2GB. Well just last week I decided to eject my memory stick the proper way by going to "my computer" and right clicking and pressing eject, usuallt I just take it out when i'm finnished with it . I might have turned off the computer without actually taking out the memory card! I'm using Windos Vista and the message was not from internet explorer. I would say it been courrupted for about a week or too.

 

Thanks for the help :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi again debschanebs.

 

Just to add to Super Fasts observations.

 

You could have a look at TestDisk (and it's partner in crime PhotoRec), which can recover data from a RAW drive which I believe is the way Windows will see your drive.

 

If you haven't used it before, it looks like command line, but isn't. It does have a structured dialogue to follow, and although may seem daunting at first glance, is a powerful utility and well worth the effort of getting to grips with, and there are very good help files.

 

If you get lost with it, post back, and I'll try and give you some guidance.

 

http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk

 

Documentation is down the page.

 

It also has the ability to repair drives, but leave that aspect of it alone unless you know what you're doing. If your data is irreplaceable we can go down that road if all else fails.

:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi DennisD, I downloaded TeskDisk and I went though the whole procedure and got as far as 'no partitions found' after doind the quick search. Beacuse there was no partition found I could not progress. Is there anyway you could help?

 

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're prepared to try a few things, I'll do my best, and toward that end can you download and install this useful tool, which can make an Image Backup of your flash drive, which can be restored if any of the "fixes" we try make things worse.

 

USB Image Tool: (Freeware)

 

This is assuming you have space on one of your drives for the image.

 

This tool has been well tested both by myself and another member Rob, who had a similar problem to you, but his was compounded by his flash drive having U3 software installed on. Long story, but if you want to have a look at some of the attempts we made to get data off that drive, the threads here ...

 

http://forum.pirifor...opic=34355&st=0

 

Once you have your drive backed up, we can try to either get the data from it, or try to fix it.

 

There's an example of TestDisk successfully fixing a corrupt boot sector here ...

 

http://neosmart.net/...35427#post35427

 

Scroll down the post to the "Addendum". You can safely try this once you have a back up to fall back on.

 

Did you try "PhotoRec" by the way, which is downloaded with TestDisk?

 

It can recover files from a Raw drive, opposed to trying to find a lost partition. And if you're not sure about using these tools, don't hesitate to say so, as they can be daunting and I'd be happy to guide you where I can.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello again DennisD, actually because all these programs are new too me I would like to ask you what you think is the best thing to do from here, I am yet to try PhotoRec and any other program mentioned. Do you think It will be better to recover the files or try to find the lost partition? Thanks :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The best thing to do is to try and recover your files, starting with PhotoRec.

 

I've had one or two things on the last couple of days, but I would be happy to do you a "how to" if you can't get your head around how it works.

 

Let me know if you need that, and I'll do it for you. Also, getting hold of that "USB Image Tool" (link above), and making a back up Image of that drive is well worth doing, as it's possible to either extract files from an Image, or mount the Image as a drive, open it as a drive, and get at the files that way. That's provided of course that you have space somewhere for the Image.

 

With a screwed up drive, that's not guaranteed to work, but the utility programs used are all freeware, and very small. Well worth having in anyone's "tool bag".

 

Let me know about PhotoRec, and we'll take it from there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I tried the usb Image tool and no device was recognised, even though my memory card was in.I tried taking it out and starting the program again. Should I just go on to start using photorec?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The best thing to do is to try and recover your files, starting with PhotoRec.

 

I've had one or two things on the last couple of days, but I would be happy to do you a "how to" if you can't get your head around how it works.

 

Yep.

 

The other suggestions (USB Image Tool), are simply another way to tackle the problem if recovery software like PhotoRec can't get your files.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I managed to save all my files but I cant find where they are saved, I tried to get a screenshot on here but its not working anyway is says its saved in cygdrive/c/windows/system32/recup_dir recovery. But when I go into system 32 there is no recup_dir. Any help?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

cygdrive? sounds like you recovered it to a linux terminal emulator. Are you running http://cygwin.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think it's anything like that Nergal. PhotoRec sticks that name onto the start of the recovery folder address, but it actually creates the folder in the displayed location.

 

That will be shown in the screenshots I'm doing here for debschanebs.

 

@debschanebs

 

I can't understand why the folder can't be found, so initially I would suggest rescanning and doing the following.

 

You can choose the recovery folder location, but if you haven't used PhotoRec before it can appear to be a bit tricky.

 

When you get to this screen ...

 

 

 

Leave the highlighted line as is, and press the left arrow key until you see your other drives listed as shown here ...

 

 

 

Use the up/down arrow keys to choose the drive, and press enter. That will give you a list of the folders inside that drive ...

 

 

 

Just choose one, press enter and then press "c", which will save the recovered files to that location, and as shown here, the location is the yellow highlighted section, ignoring the "cygdrive" bit.

 

 

 

After doing this exercise, I had 7 "recup_dir" folders. Without trawling through the help files I have no idea why the number of folders, but that's not important. The files were recovered and that's the main thing.

 

Post back how you get on, and we'll try after to find that missing folder.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Without having your computer sitting in front of me, I can't really say what you're doing wrong, if anything.

 

Do you have other drives attached or installed?

 

Have a look at the step by step guide here, and see if you can suss out yourself how to choose the recovery location. It's pointless my even trying to go through the process again as my set up isn't the same as yours.

 

http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/PhotoRec_Step_By_Step

 

I'm sure you'll get there, but if not post back what info you can, and screenshots are a big help if you can suss those out as well.

:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have tried to do the process again using the step by step guide and I cant find the location and I do have other drives installed, It has saved it somewhere maybe one day I'll find them. I also took it into Jessops and they did something similar but couldn't find where the photos were. Thanks for your help and patience through this process though, it has been greatly appreciated.

:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you still looking for cygdrive/c/windows/system32/recup_dir ?

 

These tools take less than 1 minute to scan my entire system into a database,

after which they tell me where all instances of "recup_dir" are held on any NTFS partition.

 

Everything

http://www.voidtools.com/download.php

and

Locate32 (both 32 bit and 64 bit)

http://locate32.net/files/daily/

 

NB

Everything cannot search FAT32 partitions

I do not know if Locate32 can

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have tried to do the process again using the step by step guide and I cant find the location and I do have other drives installed, It has saved it somewhere maybe one day I'll find them. I also took it into Jessops and they did something similar but couldn't find where the photos were. Thanks for your help and patience through this process though, it has been greatly appreciated.

:)

 

Going back to when you first saved off your recovered files to system32, did you actually get to search system32, because if I remember rightly that's a hidden part of windows. My computer has had everything unhidden for so long, I can't remember.

 

I'm wondering if PhotoRec could have saved that folder to system32 as "hidden" for some reason. I've actually had a program do that to me some time ago, so it would be worth searching with the following folder settings ...

 

 

 

Check the "Show Hidden Files and Folders" box, and uncheck "Hide protected operating system files", which you get to by opening any windows explorer window and go to "Tools\Folder Options".

 

You probably already know that, but just in case.

 

It would be criminal if all your files are just lying there and we can't find them.

 

Besides the suggestions by Alan, there's also "Treesize" which will list every folder/file on your computer including hidden files and folders. As it's name suggests it will give you a tree view which will enable you to navigate to "Windows\system32" and have another look.

 

Treesize: (Free portable version) Unzip into a new folder as there's more than one file in the zip.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×