The best data recovery software by far!

genetic

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Apr 26, 2008
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I had the file system of one of my 8TB exFAT dives go corrupt. That dreaded "You need to format this drive" message when you plug the drive in. I did a chkdsk /f command, and it found a lot of corrupt indexes. After chkdsk did the repair, all of my data was gone, a clean empty 8TB drive. The drive was full before.

I tried TestDisk, Disk Drill and EaseUse data recovery, and although a deep scan of all these programs found data, it wasn't in the original folder structure of what was stored on the hard drive, it just organised the recovered files by file type.

After a lot of Googling, I discovered DMDE. This program is fantastic! It did a deep partition scan, and was able to retrieve the exact folder structure of the disk, and recover all the data as if the drive wasn't touched at all. Folder and file structures in tact! It's the only recovery tool I've used that is able to retain the original folder structure of your corrupt hard drive.

Can't sing this programs' praises enough for data recovery! Especially for maintaining the folder structure and not renaming files. The free version lets you recover 4000 files, but the paid version of only R900 for a lifetime license is well worth the price for fully recovering a corrupted drive with all the folder structures in place.

https://dmde.com/
 
I had the file system of one of my 8TB exFAT dives go corrupt. That dreaded "You need to format this drive" message when you plug the drive in. I did a chkdsk /f command, and it found a lot of corrupt indexes. After chkdsk did the repair, all of my data was gone, a clean empty 8TB drive. The drive was full before.

I tried TestDisk, Disk Drill and EaseUse data recovery, and although a deep scan of all these programs found data, it wasn't in the original folder structure of what was stored on the hard drive, it just organised the recovered files by file type.

After a lot of Googling, I discovered DMDE. This program is fantastic! It did a deep partition scan, and was able to retrieve the exact folder structure of the disk, and recover all the data as if the drive wasn't touched at all. Folder and file structures in tact! It's the only recovery tool I've used that is able to retain the original folder structure of your corrupt hard drive.

Can't sing this programs' praises enough for data recovery! Especially for maintaining the folder structure and not renaming files. The free version lets you recover 4000 files, but the paid version of only R900 for a lifetime license is well worth the price for fully recovering a corrupted drive with all the folder structures in place.

https://dmde.com/

Recuva can do that too. Well, not to the same drive, but still good IMO if a drive is starting to misbehave anyway.
 
Recuva can do that too. Well, not to the same drive, but still good IMO if a drive is starting to misbehave anyway.
I tried Recuva too! It doesn't keep the folder structure. It recovers everything to a single recovery folder, just like all the other programs. Maybe it works better with NTFS as NTFS has journaling which helps keep the table of contents in tact. exFAT has no journaling support, which makes data recovery a mess.

The only reason I used exFAT was for PC / MacOS cross compatibility, but exFAT has no redundancy for the file allocation table, so the file system and table of contents is easily corruptible. NTFS and MacOS Journal are pretty robust in comparison.

All data recovery programs I tried could read the files on the drive, but not the folder structure. It took me weeks to find a program that actually worked and that kept the folder structure in place.
 
Ah, I had missed the exFAT part
Yeah exFAT is the devil. Don't ever use it for critical storage. Stick to NTFS / MacOS Journaled. exFAT WILL eventually go corrupt on you, and you WILL eventually cry. :ROFL:
 
So every folder and subfolder was recoverable with DMDE - as if the drive was reading as normal;

Screenshot 2024-05-25 213135 copy.png

It takes about 40hrs to scan a 8TB drive, but once done, you can just right-click and specify a location you wish to recover to.

All the other data recovery programs just group the material by file type into a single recovery folder, and don't have the original file of folder names, so you will see Folder0001, Folder002 and File001.PDF and File 002.PDF etc.

This is just a PSA for anyone looking to recover a corrupted exFAT drive.
 
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