What is Disk Recoup™?

Disk Recoup™ is a disk copy utility for faulty hard drives that are not completely dead. It can clone hard drives with bad media spots (bad sectors), Cyclic Redundancy Check (CRC) errors, IO errors and other non-critical hardware faults that may cause other data recovery utilities to hang. Disk Recoup™ uses both hardware-level disk commands and intelligent algorithms to copy the raw data from the source drive to another hard drive. Disk Recoup™ accesses the source drive strictly in read-only mode and presents no risk to the source drive except for normal wear and tear.

For Disk Recoup™ to work, the drive must still be detected by the computer BIOS at boot time and respond to basic disk commands.

In the best-case scenarios, the newly-cloned destination drive will be accessible normally in Windows® Explorer after the copy operation is complete and the computer is rebooted. In other scenarios, the drive is not directly accessible but the files and folders it contains can be recovered using a file recovery utility such as File Scavenger®. See "What is copied?".

While copying a faulty hard drive, Disk Recoup™ and even Windows® may hang on reading a bad spot on disk. That usually requires a reboot. When it is restarted, Disk Recoup™ will intelligently avoid the bad spot and continue to copy other parts of the hard drive. A badly damaged drive may require a few reboots. Eventually Disk Recoup™ will copy all readable data.

Disk Recoup™ can be used in the following cases:

  • A hard drive contains many bad media spots (sectors) which cause other data recovery utilities to hang.
  • A hard drive is accessible after the computer is booted up but may go offline later with Cyclic Redundancy Check (CRC) errors, I/O errors, etc.
  • A hard drive is detected by the computer BIOS at boot time but may cause the computer to hang later.
  • The drive electronics have partially failed and only respond to basic disk commands.

Disk Recoup™ does not work in the following cases:

  • A hard drive has a mechanical failure and does not spin up.
  • The drive electronics have completely failed and do not respond to any disk commands.
  • A hard drive is not detected by the BIOS when the computer is turned on.

In other words, Disk Recoup™ can copy a faulty hard drive that is not completely dead. A dead hard drive must be sent to a clean room facility where it is read with special hardware equipment. Sometimes faulty components must be replaced. Fortunately, a large majority of faulty hard drives can be copied. See "Determine the status of a hard drive".

Disk Recoup™ is not required when a hard drive has no hardware faults but data is not accessible in Windows® Explorer due to corruption or accidental deletion of partitions. In this case use a file recovery utility such as File Scavenger® to recover files.

Disk Recoup™ supports the following types of storage devices, listed in the order of Disk Recoup's effectiveness:

  • IDE drives and SATA drives.
  • SCSI, SAS and USB drives.
  • Zip drives, CD, DVD, memory cards (such as Memory Stick, Compact Flash, MMC, SD, xD, etc.), and other removable devices.

The following table shows common hard drive symptoms and our suggested remedies.

  Hard drive symptoms   Suggested remedies
  Hardware working normally or with minor faults.
  Corrupt or deleted partitions.
  Inaccessible data.
  File Scavenger®.
  Many bad media spots (bad sectors).
  Other non-critical hardware faults.
  Causing the computer to hang.
  Still detected by computer BIOS.
  Responding to basic disk commands.
  Disk Recoup™ and possibly
  File Scavenger®.
  Mechanical failure (e.g., drive not spinning up).
  Critical drive electronics failure.
  Other critical hardware faults.
  Not detected by computer BIOS.
  Not responding to any disk commands.
  Clean room facility.