I'll read up s'more on ddrescue. Thanks. We should probably take this out
of the r.p.d ng because it's off topic so I'll post a separate thread.
If you have something like Ubuntu, try "gddrescue".
The fan died on my Ubuntu 16.04 laptop, but I can torrent the Ubuntu ISO
and boot off of it or even re-install VirtualBox (although it took a long
time before I had VirtualBox working on the original HDD).
I did torrent Knoppix though and burned it to a bootable DVD image,
although even with almost 2,500 peers, it still took a long while to
The package name and the executable name, don't have
to be the same. That's what adds to the joy of figuring it out.
I think I'll try Knoppix first, and then, perhaps Recuva, where your advice
to back up the data /before/ handing the desktop tower to Microsoft is good
ddrescue is a utility that tolerates "CRC error" when reading
a disk. You can make one run after another, and the "log" file
keeps track of what sectors have not been recovered yet. Looking
at the log, you get some idea how much damage remains (in terms
of CRC errors).
Personally, I don't think there is any /damage/ to the HDD; I think it's as
simple as Microsoft Windows Update screwed up, perhaps because I had
customized the heck out of the system (Winaero, Classic Shell, etc.).
ddrescue is mechanical and captures sectors. It doesn't know
or care whether the partition is NTFS or EXT4. Doesn't matter.
Thanks for the ddrescue advice. I'm not sure yet if it's a standalone
bootable tool or something that runs inside of Windows or Linux but I'll
work it out after trying out Knoppix with the bad HDD connected via the
SATA adapter to the USB port on the desktop booted to Knoppix.