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Data Recovery

Note: This page is a work in progress. I'm thinking of offering my data rescue skills or tools, and this is where I "advertise" for them for now. Until I've decided what to do I am not eager to help every sorry person on this globe with a data loss problem, yet if you can afford to pay a decent hourly rate, I'd consider it.

I am a concerned computer user and software developer. Concerned with all the things that can go wrong, I'm good at spotting a lot of that. I've always put a lot of effort into preparing for failures and data loss, both in my programming and my use of computers and other tech tools.

I've written a lot of tools over the past 25 years to deal with data recovery, mostly from hard disks. Current examples are:

  • A block-level disk editor that understands file system structures (partitions, file systems such as FAT, UDF and HFS), with the option to view and repair hard disks even over the internet (I've recovered a few classic iPods that failed to install Linux in the past this way), and which works on OS X, Linux and Windows.
  • A "raw" disk backup tool that saves as much data as possible from a drive with defective sectors (most rescue and backup tools choke on bad sectors and then usually stop their operation instead of gracefully ignoring such problems).
  • A "Find File" tool that uses the techniques from pre-X Mac OS to file any file on a HFS(+) formatted disk by name, much more reliably than Spotlight.
  • A tool to repair damaged .zip files. I had an incomplete .zip file containing video data, and knew that I could, in theory, use the partial movie file if I'd only get it extracted from the .zip file. "Normal" Zip tools would, of course, not go anywhere near that. I found then a few Zip recovery tools for MS Windows, but none of them succeeded in this particular task, either. So I ended up writing my own, and that solved it.
  • Several tools for REALbasic, to analyse, compare, repair and update project files.

Page last modified on 2012-12-04, 11:20 EST
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