Well, the place in Studio City kept my hard drive for weeks, then finally gave me a quote of $1200 to recover the data. The catch was that there would be no directory structure, and they’d all be renamed, retaining only the file extensions.

I told them that I had no budget to pay someone what I could do for free with photorec, so I went back up to get them Wednesday. I ran photorec overnight, and am now the proud owner of a bazillion numbered files with extensions. Fortunately, one of the main files I was looking for was the VMDK for my virtual Windows installation, and “find” grabbed it quickly. I moved it into the Virtual Box directory, and renamed it Windows10. But when I try to start the machine, I get the message “No bootable media found.”

Any ideas?

[Update a few minutes later]

When I try to add the VMDK to the VM, it “fails to open.”


[Afternoon update]

I wonder if the file was corrupted by the failing drive? And if so, if there is any way to repair it?

[Saturday-morning update]

In looking at the file, it seems to be three orders of magnitude smaller than it should be. It may be that it was either corrupted by the failing drive, or that the photorec recovery was incomplete. Fortunately, it didn’t have much data in it, so I guess I’ll just create a new Windows machine from my existing product key.

3 thoughts on “Recovering”

  1. I have a fairly old VMware setup (it’s running Ubuntu 11.04 on a Windows 7 box, and I haven’t used it actively for several years), but looking at the VMDK files for one of my projects, I see a collection of VMDK files (due to a 2G filesize limit you’re probably not dealing with), and several others. The ones that look to be actively in use are .vmx and .vmss.

    I don’t know which of those would be critical, but at least one probably acts as an index for the rest.

    Perhaps you could set up a “small” Win10 install and get it running, then see what sort of files you’d be looking for.

      1. No, it should be 60G (that’s how much of my drive I allocated to the machine). It’s only about 60M. I wonder if photorec had a problem recovering a file that size.

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