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Thread: USB hard drive data recovery problem

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: USB hard drive data recovery problem

    Sorry but if niether Ubuntu or Parted Magic can see any partitons with gparted and Test disk can not see any partitions or evidence of partitions I think it is likely that the disk has died.

    I think the right approach would have been to copy the disk bit for bit with dd and then use fsck (Linux partition)or chkdisk (fat etc) and test disk to fix the disk and recover any partitions.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2012

    Re: USB hard drive data recovery problem

    Firstly, I really appreciate everyone's help and advice in their posts thus far, so thank you very much indeed.

    Secondly, one of the hard drives was as Gone Fishing accurately predicted completely useless. This drive was from an old laptop and as I can scarcely recall what data I have lost upon the drive I am no longer concerned.

    Thirdly, the other drive (160 GB) was taken from an old Play Station 3 which as I mentioned gave up the ghost after five years of service.

    Some say the Play Station 3 is formatted as FAT32, others that it is JFS, others still say that it is a proprietary format and is encrypted by the Play Station it originated from. I would suggest that the last one of these apparent possibilities is the most likely. Considering my method for accessing the data I am not convinced it is FAT32 and I personally have almost no knowledge of JFS (but I believe it is a peculiar Linux format) thus it is proprietary. However whether it is truly encrypted remains to be seen and I will let my readers judge for themselves.

    There is both good news and bad news and I hope my readers will forgive my long pre-amble.

    The good news: I managed to recover my music; my pictures and my videos id est everything that a user might wish to place upon their Play Station 3 other than games. I thus suggest that a Play Station 3 is not entirely encrypted.

    The bad news: Whilst there was certainly evidence of other data non of it was usable at an end user level. This data was obviously the saved game data. When transferred however the games I posses either did not recognise the data at all or refused to allow me to use it. The message on some games was "This is not your data" on others the game behaved as if I had no prior saved data at all.

    I can say that Gone Fishing's advice was a great help to me as was Old Fred's too, in fact all of you have been useful in my quest.

    My modus operandi was simple:

    1) I used a double power cable to power up and eventually mount the drive;
    2) Parted Magic to attempt to read it and establish the partition type;
    3) An over night bit for bit clone of the drive (as you'll know it takes hours);
    4) Repair any bad sectors using Parted Magic;
    5) Access the music; picture and video files using Linux;
    6) Copy them to the computer's Hard Drive;
    7) Copy them to the Play Station 3 via an USB drive (several journeys);

    Thus the Play Station 3 does not seem to allow you to utilise your saved game data after your Play Station 3 sadly dies, if and when it dies, on a new Play Station 3. This is how Sony presumably wish it to be and how I assume it must be.

    Note bene: I had and have no wish to hack or reverse engineer a Play Station 3 system I simply wished to access my own data. Well to some extent as I have elaborated I succeeded in that recovery.

    Thanks and best wishes.

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