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Need help to clone disk with damaged directory

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Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 4

I have very good experience using True Image to clone "good" NTFS-formatted Windows HDDs and SSDs for backup and upgrading purposes, but my question is regarding the need to clone a Windows HDD whose volume information became corrupted due to a drive ID conflict with another device in my computer. This HDD is fully functional and there are about 4TB of files that I need to recover and access.

I plan to use a 3rd-party software to repair or recover the drive's volume and stored files as I know this is not the function of True Image. I would prefer to work from a copy of that drive that has been cloned onto another (at the bit level), and this is what I hope to accomplish. However, it seems that even in the manual mode True Image does not support a bit-level or sector copy cloning of a drive that has a corrupted directory. Is there a work-around for this so that I can create a bit-level clone of the drive and then work on that clone to recover the files from it? Thank you for any ideas on how to do this.

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Legend
Posts: 109
Comments: 28196

Warren, your best option here may be to make a sector-by-sector backup image of the damaged drive, but this will require that you have another spare drive to use to store the image being created, especially if using the options to include all sectors, including unused, as this will create an image the same size as the original source drive!

The options for this type of backup are in the Options > Advanced panel.

Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 4

Steve, Thanks for the suggestion, however, I neglected to mention in my post that I already was using the advanced option with the sector copy selected. Unfortunately, when I try to select the "bad" drive as the source for cloning, True Image won't allow that choice as a valid source for the clone, indicating the reason being that the MBR is missing. I was hoping there was a hidden option beyond the advanced sector-copy choice to allow a bit-level "hardware" cloning without the requirements for the source disk to have a valid MBR. I guess I'll need to look at some other software options to try to accomplish this task. Thanks again.

Legend
Posts: 109
Comments: 28196

Warren, have you actually tried making a Backup (not a Clone) of the problem disk as the two are very different tools (see the description of the differences in my signature)?

Otherwise, you may need to try an alternative tool such as Clonezilla which works with a range of different drive formats.

Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 4

Steve,

I don't think it would be possible to "backup" at the file level from a HDD with directory / volume information missing since the standard software that does that would not be able to find the files to be backed-up, Rather, I think it needs to be software that is only concerned with mapping the state of each bit in each physical location of the disk and then making an exact copy of that onto another HDD. I have since tried an older version of Data Rescue PC3 and found that it seems to be doing what I want (so far). However, it looks like it will be a long process due to the large size of the disks and the need to read and copy every bit in every sector, whether there are files there or not.

Legend
Posts: 109
Comments: 28196

Warren, my mention of doing a Backup was not intended as meaning a Files & Folders backup but rather doing a full Disks & Partitions backup using sector-by-sector method which should be able to make a copy of the disk without needing to reference the Master File Table etc, i.e. it could potentially be used on an encrypted disk.

If you have found a program that is able to copy the data from the disk to a second drive, then I suspect that it will take a similar time to any other operation trying to access that same data.