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 Post subject: Disk editors, data recovery tools and related utilities
 Post Posted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 5:46 pm 
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Unless data is overwritten or the drive or media is physically damaged, there is almost always a chance for recovery. I've been both performing as well as teaching data recovery since the mid-'80 through my training, consulting and repair business, and even turned the Data Recovery seminar I taught in the '80s into a book that was used by the Department of Defense for training. In most cases, data recovery requires the use of one or more specialized software tools and utilities, which is the topic of this post.

The single most powerful and versatile type of disk/data recovery utility is a disk editor, which allows you to manually edit sectors on disks or in files. Several that I have used over the years include the following:



*Although Symantec hasn't specificially mentioned the DISKEDIT program in any product descriptions, marketing material or packaging since the Norton Utilities v7.0 for DOS came out in 1993, later versions of both the Norton Utilities and Norton SystemWorks usually include DISKEDIT. At least this is true for all versions up through 2007 (SystemWorks 10), where the DISKEDIT files can be found buried in a "\NU" folder in the distribution media. However, few people know that you can also download DISKEDIT from Symantec for free! To do so, first download the Norton Emergency Disk file called ned_2001.exe from the Symantec FTP site. Then open it using a file archive/extract tool like 7-zip and extract the Disk2.img file contained within (which is a 1.44MB floppy disk image containing DISKEDIT). Finally, open the floppy disk image file using an image extract tool like WinImage and extract the DISKEDIT.EXE and DISKEDIT.HLP files, which make up the actual DISKEDIT program. For documentation, see the online Disk Editor Tech Manual published by Symantec (note: many of the links on that page are broken, so here are some alternative links that work).

While a disk editor is extremely powerful, it is also an entirely manual (and potentially dangerous) tool that requires fairly extensive knowlege and expertise in order to use effectively. In many cases a more automated or function specific tool is desirable instead. The following is a list of useful free and/or user supported data recovery or file system repair tools:


Many of the free editors, tools and other utilities listed above are included on the following bootable diagnostic discs:


There are also commercial data recovery tools, most of which offer free trial versions you can download and use to see if they will work for you:


If the data is extremely important and you are not confident in your skills, understanding, or the ability of these software utilities, then you may want to consider recovery by data recovery experts like ActionFront (now Seagate Data Recovery). Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Disk editors, data recovery tools and related utilities
 Post Posted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 5:17 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2009 2:32 pm
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Hi Scott and Mike.Firstly, thanks for the superb books, videos and website - all have helped me more than I can begin to tell you ( well I could, I guess - but it would take a long time ! ).
I would really like to learn more about Norton DiskEdit, but unfortunately the links to documentation on the Symantec website indicate that the files are no longer available.
I know it's probably a tall order, but - do you know of any other source for that documentation ? I have googled it, but without success.No problem if you don't.
Hope I am posting my 1st post in the right place.
Regards, Andy.


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 Post subject: Re: Disk editors, data recovery tools and related utilities
 Post Posted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 1:25 am 
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I just checked it again, the link works for me. Scott.

PS: Thanks for the kind words!


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 Post subject: Re: Disk editors, data recovery tools and related utilities
 Post Posted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:13 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2010 2:54 am
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Location: Italy
Hi Scott and Mike,
I also found (as Andy did) that the Symantec website links reported in your preceding post dated Sep 13, 2009 are not working.
I mean not the link http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/su ... e50056c8c9, which is perfectly working, but the links http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/nu ... enDocument,
http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/nu ... enDocument
http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/nu ... enDocument
and so on, listed in the page http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/su ... e50056c8c9 and that actually are those relevant to find Diskedit help and documentation. Have you any suggestion about it? I've also tried to google search for them but I've had no luck: the results too pointed to location doesn't exist.
Thank you for your attention.
Kind regards
maxz222


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 Post subject: Re: Disk editors, data recovery tools and related utilities
 Post Posted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:56 am 
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Ahh, yes, I see that now. I misunderstood the initial report about which links were bad. All of the links contained in my post are currently working, however as you guys stated, several of the links on the Symantec DISKEDIT documentation page appear to be dead. I was able to find some alternative links that do work, and have updated my initial post accordingly. Thanks to both of you for the tip, Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Disk editors, data recovery tools and related utilities
 Post Posted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 6:21 pm 
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What about Search and Recover, Scott? My dad bought the software at Fry's Electronics, but it becomes free in his case after all the rebate forms are processed. Is it too bloated or whatever?


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 Post subject: Re: Disk editors, data recovery tools and related utilities
 Post Posted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 8:15 pm 
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I haven't used that software so there isn't much I can say. I recommend the software listed in the first post, especially the free applications. Scott.


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