Recovering bad data

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Frequently we wish to recover data from a disk drive that is malfunctioning. In these cases it is necessary to use techniques that can recover bad data.

One popular program for recovering bad data is SpinRite. This program works by turning off the disk drive's own data recovery technology and repeatedly re-reading each bad sector, with the hope that a good read may eventually happen.

The dd_rescue program can't recover from bad sectors, but it can skip around a disk and recover data that is still mostly good. dd_rescue reads the disk forwards until it finds an error; it then goes to the end of the disk and reads backwards. The aimage advanced disk imager implements a similar algorithm.