Tuesday, 19 May 2015 00:00

Hard drive copying through the network

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A copying the hard drive is an operation performed as first after getting back the drive from the user. Drives are cloned for a few reasons. It can finish its life; we are modifying the content of the HD (we are never doing it on the source drive). Much easier is to work with the image of the hard drive, than with the physics drive.

None of professionals will perform any activities on the hard drive before he's make a backup. Even truly efficient hard drive should be copied. We don't know, maybe the hard drive will be damaged during the data recovery. A backup is a first and most important activity - unfortunately, many forgets about it.

The case with the standard hard drive is trivial - it should be to connect to the computer andcopied. But copying drives untypical or being in devices which we cannot open is a little bit more problematic. Since we cannot remove the hard drive from the device, We should force the device to copy data from the hard drive. A Linux system and any network is helpful. If we are able to start the system on the device witch Linux (practically on every device it is possible), that we are close to our goal. Attention: of course we aren't installing the system on the hard drive, from which we want to copy data, and we are booting from the plate, pen drive or other HD - the copied drive should be installed on the read-only mode!

We need two programs, dd and netcat. dd is an advanced program for the data copying - of not only for hard drive. Netcat is a network version of Linux program cat. Netcat will be used as the tool for the data transfer, and dd as the tool for reading and saving data. Some people are defining the dd as "delete date" - inappropriate use of this program (mistaking the source file from target) effectively will overwrite copied data. I am recommending to check before making it - otherwise it is possible that the attempt to recover data is failed!

Dd tools and netcat have their versions for the system windows (dd and netcat for windows) and what is most important, they are matching with Linux tools. The computer with the copied hard drive can work under control of Linux, and the computer used for coordinating the copy under the windows. Checking, whether both machines see themselves through the network is the first activity - ping command. We are also checking, whether nc and dd are in a computer.

A further step is checking and starting listening on a computer with windows. Port is 1234, output file like in the picture below.

We are starting the copying of the hard drive with linux and we are sending readed data to listening netcat on a computer with windows - IP 192,168. 0.1 and port 1234. We should of course determine the source drive individually - not in every machine it will be sda.

We are waiting patiently and we are watching, how the image grows.

After the finished operation of the copying summaries will be shown.

The perfect copy of the hard drive was carried out.

With the image it is possible now to work with any tools, it is possible to install it on the local computer and to look partitions through (if the logic of the HD is untouched).

PS: this way is also good, when some of our computers is answering on pings. We can log in through ssh, but we cannot find him ;)

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Last modified on Tuesday, 19 May 2015 18:49
Data Recovery Expert

Viktor S., Ph.D. (Electrical/Computer Engineering), was hired by DataRecoup, the international data recovery corporation, in 2012. Promoted to Engineering Senior Manager in 2010 and then to his current position, as C.I.O. of DataRecoup, in 2014. Responsible for the management of critical, high-priority RAID data recovery cases and the application of his expert, comprehensive knowledge in database data retrieval. He is also responsible for planning and implementing SEO/SEM and other internet-based marketing strategies. Currently, Viktor S., Ph.D., is focusing on the further development and expansion of DataRecoup’s major internet marketing campaign for their already successful proprietary software application “Data Recovery for Windows” (an application which he developed).

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