I am not (yet) convinced that "everything" is lost.
You are certainly optimistic. When I did the search for "46494C45" from 20848 I do notice that there is a lot of data there so the backup (& drive) still holds data.
Also, you should check the USB enclosure, it is possible that the "always lit" is the symptom of a problem .
I rebooted the XP and when it came back, the lit hdd light had stopped. After I opened the drive in drdd, the lit light was constant again. I rebooted again, it's fine now.
Also, it may help me if you could gather (from your cousin) as many details on the "story" of this disk as you can get (like which OS was there, how many parittions, if he changed something, etc, etc.)
She cannot recall all that much, and at this point she said, all she cares about is the photos on the drive.
I can tell you the OS was always the Vista that came w/ the laptop. Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit Edition.
Very sorry, I didn't think it was 64-bit, I thought it was 32-bit.
She also said that one day it just stopped working probably due to the laptop overheating, she cannot be sure if there was a virus or not, the drive was probably not encrypted unless it was a default setting. It should've been a standard Vista OS as a single partition, unless HP had a hidden recovery partition.
and if you would provide a (synthetic) list of the actions you attempted on the disk (again with as much detail as you can remember) before making the image with datarescuedd, including the actual name of the apps you have used, and anything that you can remember about what they did or how they behaved.
Again, I'm very sorry. I did try a few things w/o success before I posted here.
Tried Bootrec commands from Win7 w/ failing disk as enclosure..
- /fixmbr /fixboot, but this must have been run on the PE partition because I could not access the single partition w/ Vista OS on it.
Next, I tried the Vista PE w/ the failing drive in the laptop
- /fixmbr /fixboot, also on the PE partition because I couldn't access the OS partition.
Next I tried a few apps w/o success like MbrFix, EasyBCD, Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery - Home, EASEUS Data Recovery Wizard Professional 4.0.1, Kernel for Windows Data Recovery.
MbrFix /drive <num> fixmbr /vista
I tried the BCD Backup/Repair w/o success
I even tried am ubuntu LiveCD to access and restore the boot record but I couldn't download the MS-SYS program to do anything so I scraped the idea. http://www.ehow.com/...mbr-ubuntu.html
Please do not be upset, I know I s*ck because I didn't know how to make a backup of the drive before using these tools. This is when I saw your posts on msfn.org and decided to post here. Thank you for all your help w/ this and for not giving up.
The backup is still scanning at 203000
EDIT: found boot sectors?!?
Edited by d8apzl, 27 July 2012 - 05:03 PM.