Archive for the ‘Tips and Hints’ Category

Is Doing Data Recovery Easy?

Friday, December 14th, 2007

I recently stumbled upon a review of our software in the December edition of “Smart Computing In Plain English” by Jennifer Farwell. Her bottom line is that our software is not so simple and even gives some ill advice on how to use our software differently than suggested.

Data is very easy to damage and in the “Caveat Emptor” section of her article she complains that you can not install the program on the problematic drive, even if it is functional. She then says if the drive is not crashed, then you can use the software to recover corrupt or deleted data by just installing it to a secondary drive or be prepared to be disappointed. Let me explain this to you right now, DO NOT DO THIS. By doing this, most people assume that they will not write any data to the drive and everything will be fine, just as Jennifer has assumed. However Windows is still working and writing data to the drive. If you do not have enough memory to store all of GetDataBack’s findings, then it will increase the swap file which could destroy GigaBytes of data easily. When you get to step 3 of the software and start to test files, they are being written to the boot drive as temp files, yet destroying more data. Installing the software to a secondary drive is not the correct way and can damage any chance of recovering your data.

Do not take the fast and easy approach or else there is a chance you will not be able to recover your data correctly. It is easy to make the drive a slave in a working system in order to recover the data correctly. We know everyone does not have a hardware background and it may seem overwhelming when you look at it. We will be releasing some video tutorials over the next few weeks on how to open an external drive and install it internally or how to remove your internal drive and install it as a slave in a working secondary machine so you can see how easy it really is. We will post them here when they are available.

The New Captain Nemo Pro…

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

We have now released Captain Nemo Pro version 4.0. This is not the Nemo you are used to. You can now mount a reconstructed RAID in seconds, saving many hours over scanning the image in GetDataBack. Captain Nemo can still mount Linux and Netware devices.

Lets take a quick walk through the process.

You will need to start with RAID Reconstructor.

Now you will need to start Captain Nemo Pro Version 4.0.

Open a few files in order to test them. The fact that you see the folders, files, file names, the right file size, etc. is a good sign but does not necessarily mean that the file content is there and those files will be usable. You will not be able to test huge files or files that need to be imported correctly into their native application, like for example, Outlook PST files.

Select files that are easy to check – for example Word documents, pictures, or mp3. Open these files by double clicking them or by using the built-in viewer(F3). Please note: To open files by double clicking them, their associated application needs to be installed on the recovery computer.

Do the files open fine. meaning you can see the file content, the text, picture?
If so repeat the same process with a couple of more files in different folders.
If all or at least the majority of files open okay, your recover is looking good.

You should purchase the software from our website and copy the data to a different drive.

Running RAID Reconstructor

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

Reconstructing a RAID is not a trivial task. There are many things that can cause the software to not produce the correct settings to ensure a properly constructed array. There are a few steps you will need to follow.

1. You will need to attach all the drives to a non-RAID controller so that the operating system can see all the drives as single drives inside of Windows.

2. You will need to start the software and choose your type of array at the top of the screen with the number of drives included in the array. If you have a RAID-0 with more than 2 drives or a RAID-5 with more than 11 drives, you will need to use our RaidProbe service. You can find more information about this service at http://www.runtime.org/raid.htm#raidprobe. If you have a 2 drive RAID-0, be sure to watch our tutorial about this type of recovery at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWNq5rAhZ9Y.

3. You will then need to enter all these drives into RAID Reconstructor by right clicking on the white space next to the drive number and selecting the drives that belong in the array. If your RAID is a RAID-5 with one drive missing, leave one field empty. Once this is done, open the drives by clicking the open button at the bottom of the drive list on the right hand side.

4. You will now need to analyze the drives in the step 2 box at the top right hand side of the software. When this finishes, you must look at the bottom of the analysis screen to see if you received a RECOMENDED ENTRY. If you received a RECOMMENDED ENTRY, then click finish and go to step 5 of this article. If it says RESULT NOT SIGNIFICANT, then the software did not properly put the array together because it does not have all the information needed. If you are unable to produce a RECOMMENDED ENTRY, do not make an image of this RAID because it will just produce non-working files. You should then consider letting us do a RaidProbe which will allow us to put the array together by hand. Once it is completed, we will send you all the parameters and detailed instructions on how to rebuild the array for you. You can find more information about the RaidProbe at http://www.runtime.org/raid.htm#raidprobe.

5. Once you have your settings, in step 3 of the software, you have the choice to make a virtual image, an image or write the data back to a drive directly. You would usually choose the virtual image. (If you are using a file system other than FAT or NTFS, there is no sense in making an image as we do not make data recovery software for file systems other than FAT and NTFS.) If you choose to write the data directly to a drive, this will only work if the reason for the RAID failure was a controller failure. Otherwise there is something wrong with the file system or partition table that has caused the array failure in the first place and you will need to run GetDataBack to recover the data at that point.

6. Once you created the virtual image or the image, there are two options to recover your data.

Option 1: Mount the image with Captain Nemo
You should use Captain Nemo if there is little or no file system damage. The advantage of Captain Nemo over GetDataBack is that Captain Nemo gives you immediate access to your files while GetDataBack will need to scan your image first. Download Captain Nemo (http://www.runtime.org/nemopro.zip) and mount the image you just created. You can now copy the files to another location.

Option 2: Scan the image with GetDataBack
If there is significant file system damage or Captain Nemo does not bring the results you expect, you will need to download GetDataBack for NTFS (http://www.runtime.org/gdbnt.zip) to process the image you just created. We have also created a tutorial on how to do this at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQBprGyy_Ko.

If you run into problems with any of these steps, let us know right away so we can help you.

What Now?!?

Friday, July 27th, 2007

You have recovered your data successfully, but what now?

If the drive was a data drive, you can just format the drive and continue using it if the drive is not physically damaged.

If the drive was your boot drive with your operating system on it, then you will need to reload the operating system. Once the OS has been reinstalled, you can copy the data back to the drive, however you will need to reinstall your programs and you should only copy the data for the programs, not the programs themselves.

If you are not sure of how to format a drive, please read the following (click the pictures for a larger version).

The first thing you will want to do is open Windows Disk Management. To do this, Right Click on My Computer and select Manage. Then find your drive that you need to format.

You will need to right click on the drive and select new partition, or if there is a partition already there, delete it first, then create the new partition, click Next.

This will take you though the New Partition Wizard. When this pops up, click Next.

It will ask you if you want a primary or extended partition. If this is a single drive, you will want a primary, if it is a secondary partition on a single drive, then you will want to make it extended. Since this is a single drive, we will make it a primary partition, click Next.

It will now ask you the size of the partition. We will choose the full size, however if you want more than one partition, you will select less, click Next.

You will now decide what drive letter to use. You can just leave it at the default or choose a custom one, click Next.

You will be given some options here about the file system to use, The allocation unit size and the drive name. The only thing you should change here is the Drive Name. Give it a drive name so you will know what drive it is, like external, or the size of the drive. You should also select to just do a quick format unless you have a reason for doing otherwise, click Next.

The wizard will now show you all the options chosen and ask you to verify them. If everything looks ok, click Next.

The drive will format and show you the drive letter, the name of the drive, the size of the drive and that it is a healthy partition. You can now close the Disk Management window.

If you go to Windows Explorer, you will now see the drive letter and be able to open the drive. If this was your data drive, you can now copy the data that you recovered back into this drive.


There you have it, your drive is now formatted and ready to use again. If you have any questions regarding what you have read, you can contact us by phone at 775-884-3922 or email us at support@runtime.org.

DriveImage XML – Could not flush write buffer

Friday, July 6th, 2007

We get email all the time about DriveImage XML. One of the main ones is the error “Error – Could not flush write buffer …..”.

Users say that they have more than enough room on the drive but the backup fails every time after copying about 4GB. The problem is that you are copying to a FAT32 drive. FAT32 does not allow files to be larger than 4GB.

You can find more information about this at Windowsitpro.com. You have two solutions to this problem, the first one is to format the drive to NTFS which is preferred by Windows XP, or you can just turn on the Split Large Files option in the software.

If you have any DriveImage XML issues you would like to see answered, let us know by emailing us at support@runtime.org.

Testing your files in the demo version of GetDataBack…

Friday, May 18th, 2007

We cannot stress how important it is to test your files in the demo version of GetDataBack before you purchase the software.

From step 3, open a few files in order to test them. The fact that you see the folders, files, file names, the right file size, etc. is a good sign but does not mean the file content is there and that those files will be usable. You will not be able to test huge files or files that need to be imported correctly into their native application, like for example Outlook PST files.

Select files that are easy to check, for example Word documents, pictures or mp3 files. Open these files by double clicking them or by using the built in file viewer(F3). Remember that before you can open a file that you double click on, the application associated with that program must be installed.

If you have any questions, feel free to email us.