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Olive
Tail-Wagger
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Joined: 04 Mar 2001
Posts: 2753
Location: chicago

Post Posted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 3:16 pm   Post subject: Drive works, the data is accessible, but PST is corrupt. Reply with quote Back to top  

So I have a user who actually filled the entire hard drive. I was not there to witness it, but I walked into the Windows boot menu safe mode with networking, safe mode with command prompt, start Windows normally.

Booting Windows into any mode proved fruitless.

So bust out my recovery tools and boot off a USB stick. In my recovery tools I can see the drive, I can see the OS partition, and I can see the manufacturer recovery partition. When I click on the OS partition, it's empty. When I click on the recovery partition I can see files. The available disk space on the OS partition is zero, there is 10 MB of unallocated disk space after the OS partition, and there's two gigs of available space on the recovery partition.

When I run my recovery software, I was able to retrieve all of his desktop, documents, and other miscellaneous files, including but not limited to his Outlook PST's.

I retrieve these files, stick them on an external drive, and transfer them to his new computer. Word documents open just fine, same with Excel PDFs JPEG's etc. however when I go to open up his PST files, Outlook screams at me that these are not in Outlook data file.

In years past I have used advanced Outlook recovery to repair corrupt PST's. However in this event, even AOR tells me that is not an Outlook data file. I scour the web for other PST recovery programs, all of which tell me the exact same thing. I searched for solutions to Outlook's error message, and making sure is not read-only, and removing all personal information, I still get the same results from all recovery programs.

I know nothing, or at least enough to be dangerous, about how hard drives manage partition tables. I'm thinking that because his other files were recoverable and completely usable, there has to be a way to adjust something on the drive allow me to boot back into it, or at the very least, allow me to recover his PST is in a usable state.

So tell me, oh great wisdom of littleblackdog, am I dreaming, or is my client screwed, and the data within his PST is gone forever.

Other useful information:

It was Outlook 2007. He had three PST's, one was 100 meg, one was one gig, one was seven gig. All three I tried to repair, all three were allegedly not Outlook data files. The file extension is indeed PST, none of them were read-only (but for good measure I click read-only, apply, uncheck read-only, and click apply again. I also viewed properties, went to details, click remove properties of personal information, and created a copy with all possible properties removed. Even these were allegedly not Outlook data files.

_________________
i'd never join an organization who'd have me as a member
Thawte Web of Trust Notary
365 Movies - 365 Days
The Olive Estate
--wonko "I really dont know what to say exept the purpose of a lake is not to kill someone."
--maple_shaft "I AM AN ATTENTION WHORE!!!!! "
--OhioArt2 "TOMaxwell did a pregnant zebra"
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fear_nothing
Site Admin
Site Admin


Joined: 07 Nov 2001
Posts: 4809
Location: The end of the internet

Post Posted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 3:41 pm   Post subject: Re: Drive works, the data is accessible, but PST is corrupt. Reply with quote Back to top  

Olive wrote:
So I have a user who actually filled the entire hard drive. I was not there to witness it, but I walked into the Windows boot menu safe mode with networking, safe mode with command prompt, start Windows normally.

Booting Windows into any mode proved fruitless.

So bust out my recovery tools and boot off a USB stick. In my recovery tools I can see the drive, I can see the OS partition, and I can see the manufacturer recovery partition. When I click on the OS partition, it's empty. When I click on the recovery partition I can see files. The available disk space on the OS partition is zero, there is 10 MB of unallocated disk space after the OS partition, and there's two gigs of available space on the recovery partition.

When I run my recovery software, I was able to retrieve all of his desktop, documents, and other miscellaneous files, including but not limited to his Outlook PST's.

I retrieve these files, stick them on an external drive, and transfer them to his new computer. Word documents open just fine, same with Excel PDFs JPEG's etc. however when I go to open up his PST files, Outlook screams at me that these are not in Outlook data file.

In years past I have used advanced Outlook recovery to repair corrupt PST's. However in this event, even AOR tells me that is not an Outlook data file. I scour the web for other PST recovery programs, all of which tell me the exact same thing. I searched for solutions to Outlook's error message, and making sure is not read-only, and removing all personal information, I still get the same results from all recovery programs.

I know nothing, or at least enough to be dangerous, about how hard drives manage partition tables. I'm thinking that because his other files were recoverable and completely usable, there has to be a way to adjust something on the drive allow me to boot back into it, or at the very least, allow me to recover his PST is in a usable state.

So tell me, oh great wisdom of littleblackdog, am I dreaming, or is my client screwed, and the data within his PST is gone forever.

Other useful information:

It was Outlook 2007. He had three PST's, one was 100 meg, one was one gig, one was seven gig. All three I tried to repair, all three were allegedly not Outlook data files. The file extension is indeed PST, none of them were read-only (but for good measure I click read-only, apply, uncheck read-only, and click apply again. I also viewed properties, went to details, click remove properties of personal information, and created a copy with all possible properties removed. Even these were allegedly not Outlook data files.


What products have you used in your attempt to recover the files? If all else fails I know of an excellent data recovery expert.

_________________
-Fear

Remember when it comes to Information Security only the paranoid will survive.





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Olive
Tail-Wagger
Tail-Wagger


Joined: 04 Mar 2001
Posts: 2753
Location: chicago

Post Posted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:06 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top  

I used O&O DiskRecovery to pull the files off. All but the PST's work fine.

For PST recovery, I tried.

Advanced Outlook Repair http://www.datanumen.com/outlook-repair/

Recover My Email http://www.recovermyemail.com/inbox-repair-tool-download.php

Recover Outlook Tool http://www.pcvita.com/recover-outlook.html

Outlook PST Repair http://www.repair-outlook-pst.com/

Outlook Recovery http://www.cimaware.com/main/products/outlookfix.php

Kernel for PST Recovery http://www.kerneldatarecovery.com/download-pst-email-recovery-software.html

Diskternals Outlook Recovery http://www.diskinternals.com/outlook-recovery/

All of them say that the PST is not a valid Outlook data file.

_________________
i'd never join an organization who'd have me as a member
Thawte Web of Trust Notary
365 Movies - 365 Days
The Olive Estate
--wonko "I really dont know what to say exept the purpose of a lake is not to kill someone."
--maple_shaft "I AM AN ATTENTION WHORE!!!!! "
--OhioArt2 "TOMaxwell did a pregnant zebra"
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Yahoo Messenger
fear_nothing
Site Admin
Site Admin


Joined: 07 Nov 2001
Posts: 4809
Location: The end of the internet

Post Posted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:31 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top  

Olive wrote:
I used O&O DiskRecovery to pull the files off. All but the PST's work fine.

For PST recovery, I tried.

Advanced Outlook Repair http://www.datanumen.com/outlook-repair/

Recover My Email http://www.recovermyemail.com/inbox-repair-tool-download.php

Recover Outlook Tool http://www.pcvita.com/recover-outlook.html

Outlook PST Repair http://www.repair-outlook-pst.com/

Outlook Recovery http://www.cimaware.com/main/products/outlookfix.php

Kernel for PST Recovery http://www.kerneldatarecovery.com/download-pst-email-recovery-software.html

Diskternals Outlook Recovery http://www.diskinternals.com/outlook-recovery/

All of them say that the PST is not a valid Outlook data file.


Safe to assume you did a bit for bit copy of the offending drive before you attempted to recover any data? You've obviously done your homework on reviewing the PST recovery software suites. My knowledge on this subject matter stops at the forensic/investigative type tasks. The handful of times I've recovered PST files it was done using one of the tools you mentioned. PM me if you would like more info about professional data recovery services. I've got no skin in this recommendation its just happens to be someone I know through a good friend.

_________________
-Fear

Remember when it comes to Information Security only the paranoid will survive.





Worried about printing this Post? Forest products are a renewable resource that when properly managed provide sustainable jobs and wages for the benefit of all citizens, without a detrimental effect to the environment. So Print 10 copies!
View user's profile Send private message
Olive
Tail-Wagger
Tail-Wagger


Joined: 04 Mar 2001
Posts: 2753
Location: chicago

Post Posted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 6:30 am   Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top  

The version of O&O Recovery on my stick was 6 or 7, have have 8 on my workstation.

I pulled the drive yesterday afternoon, brought it back to my office, and ran 8 against it.

As i was typing the OP it was still running. Low and behold, i can open all the PSTs now.

I'll bring them to the client and see if it's all he was missing.

_________________
i'd never join an organization who'd have me as a member
Thawte Web of Trust Notary
365 Movies - 365 Days
The Olive Estate
--wonko "I really dont know what to say exept the purpose of a lake is not to kill someone."
--maple_shaft "I AM AN ATTENTION WHORE!!!!! "
--OhioArt2 "TOMaxwell did a pregnant zebra"
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Yahoo Messenger
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