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Author Topic: Unstoppable Copier -- freeware that saved my bacon  (Read 1031 times)

mouser

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Unstoppable Copier -- freeware that saved my bacon
« on: May 09, 2018, 11:54 PM »
Today I had a hard drive crash.. Not fun.

Turned out that most of the files were still readable, the problem was that the handful among the 100,000 files that were not readable were causing major troubles.. Causing windows to hang when trying to access them, and causing all attempts to backup/image the drive to fail.

These days, looking for "free" software is an utter nightmare.  As most of you know from experience, most "free" software nowadays is basically non-functional trial software whose main job is to trick you and then make you buy the full version after you install a bunch of adware.

Imagine my surprise at finding an amazing piece of real freeware: Unstoppable Copier.
Screenshot - 5_9_2018 , 11_51_50 PM.png

This wonderful savior of a program let me very quickly back a copy of all of the files on the hard drive, SKIPPING over the bad, unreadable ones, and giving me a nice list of the ones it couldn't copy.

It has some functions to try to repeatedly read corrupt files, but I have to admit that my hard drive was not having any of that.  No matter, the fact that I was able to quickly copy all of the readable files was enough to save me and let me just restore the bad ones from a separate backup.

This is a keeper.

It's donationware, and truly fully functional and free.  I made a donation.

4wd

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Re: Unstoppable Copier -- freeware that saved my bacon
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2018, 12:09 AM »
As an alternative there's always the included Windows robocopy:

Code: Text [Select]
  1. robocopy <srce> <dest> /MIR /R:0 /W:0

Mirror copy, no read retries, zero wait time.

Code: Text [Select]
  1. /MIR :: MIRror a directory tree (equivalent to /E plus /PURGE).
  2. /R:n :: number of Retries on failed copies: default 1 million.
  3. /W:n :: Wait time between retries: default is 30 seconds.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2018, 12:32 AM by 4wd »

mouser

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Re: Unstoppable Copier -- freeware that saved my bacon
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2018, 12:32 AM »
And how do you get the list of files it skipped?

4wd

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Re: Unstoppable Copier -- freeware that saved my bacon
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2018, 12:36 AM »
And how do you get the list of files it skipped?

Well, tbh, haven't looked at the logging of it since I'd just use Beyond Compare to do a directory comparison.

The verbose switch does show skipped files plus you can output to a log file, (console, log file, or both).

Code: Text [Select]
  1. :
  2. :: Logging Options :
  3. ::
  4.                  /L :: List only - don't copy, timestamp or delete any files.
  5.                  /X :: report all eXtra files, not just those selected.
  6.                  /V :: produce Verbose output, showing skipped files.
  7.                 /TS :: include source file Time Stamps in the output.
  8.                 /FP :: include Full Pathname of files in the output.
  9.              /BYTES :: Print sizes as bytes.
  10.  
  11.                 /NS :: No Size - don't log file sizes.
  12.                 /NC :: No Class - don't log file classes.
  13.                /NFL :: No File List - don't log file names.
  14.                /NDL :: No Directory List - don't log directory names.
  15.  
  16.                 /NP :: No Progress - don't display percentage copied.
  17.                /ETA :: show Estimated Time of Arrival of copied files.
  18.  
  19.           /LOG:file :: output status to LOG file (overwrite existing log).
  20.          /LOG+:file :: output status to LOG file (append to existing log).
  21.  
  22.        /UNILOG:file :: output status to LOG file as UNICODE (overwrite existing log).
  23.       /UNILOG+:file :: output status to LOG file as UNICODE (append to existing log).
  24.  
  25.                /TEE :: output to console window, as well as the log file.
  26.  
  27.                /NJH :: No Job Header.
  28.                /NJS :: No Job Summary.
  29.  
  30.            /UNICODE :: output status as UNICODE.

Main reason I guess for using robocopy is that it can copy pretty much everything to do with a file, NTFS ACLS, Owner, auditing, and probably the ADS.

Could also multi-thread it, (/MT:x), but probably not the thing to do on a suspect HDD.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2018, 12:42 AM by 4wd »

Stoic Joker

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Re: Unstoppable Copier -- freeware that saved my bacon
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2018, 12:48 PM »
How "crashed" was the hard drive? Chkdsk [drive]: /R has been good to me in the past.

mouser

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Re: Unstoppable Copier -- freeware that saved my bacon
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2018, 12:54 PM »
Interestingly the windows disk scanning/checking functions didn't seem to see anything wrong.. But a handful of files were unreadable due to hardware read failure on the hard disk.  During my recovery attempts sometimes the drive just disconnected itself from the system and disapeared.

In the end I was able to get 99.99% of everything back..   Most of the disk was still working and the files that were corrupt I had backups of -- all but one which had some mail from one account that I had to do some manual work to recover.

All in all, it was pretty painless, but I was reminded of how much worse it could have been.  The experience exposed a couple of holes in my backup plans, and reminded me how important having full drive images are to making recovery from a crash a painless process.  Because of that, I am going to increase the frequency of my full drive backups from once a month to once a week.

alsamaster

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Re: Unstoppable Copier -- freeware that saved my bacon
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2018, 02:20 PM »
And how do you get the list of files it skipped?

Well, tbh, haven't looked at the logging of it since I'd just use Beyond Compare to do a directory comparison.

The verbose switch does show skipped files plus you can output to a log file, (console, log file, or both).

Code: Text [Select]
  1. :
  2. :: Logging Options :
  3. ::
  4.                  /L :: List only - don't copy, timestamp or delete any files.
  5.                  /X :: report all eXtra files, not just those selected.
  6.                  /V :: produce Verbose output, showing skipped files.
  7.                 /TS :: include source file Time Stamps in the output.
  8.                 /FP :: include Full Pathname of files in the output.
  9.              /BYTES :: Print sizes as bytes.
  10.  
  11.                 /NS :: No Size - don't log file sizes.
  12.                 /NC :: No Class - don't log file classes.
  13.                /NFL :: No File List - don't log file names.
  14.                /NDL :: No Directory List - don't log directory names.
  15.  
  16.                 /NP :: No Progress - don't display percentage copied.
  17.                /ETA :: show Estimated Time of Arrival of copied files.
  18.  
  19.           /LOG:file :: output status to LOG file (overwrite existing log).
  20.          /LOG+:file :: output status to LOG file (append to existing log).
  21.  
  22.        /UNILOG:file :: output status to LOG file as UNICODE (overwrite existing log).
  23.       /UNILOG+:file :: output status to LOG file as UNICODE (append to existing log).
  24.  
  25.                /TEE :: output to console window, as well as the log file.
  26.  
  27.                /NJH :: No Job Header.
  28.                /NJS :: No Job Summary.
  29.  
  30.            /UNICODE :: output status as UNICODE.

Main reason I guess for using robocopy is that it can copy pretty much everything to do with a file, NTFS ACLS, Owner, auditing, and probably the ADS.

Could also multi-thread it, (/MT:x), but probably not the thing to do on a suspect HDD.

Hello there,

Im new here. First I would thank you for this nice site and the tools and advise you provide to the others.

I also wanted to suggest a freeware tool dubbed Robomirror, which basically is a GUI for the robocopy tool.  :Thmbsup:
https://sourceforge....projects/robomirror/

Cheers.

mouser

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Re: Unstoppable Copier -- freeware that saved my bacon
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2018, 04:50 PM »
Thanks for that, Robomirror looks useful.

Shades

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Re: Unstoppable Copier -- freeware that saved my bacon
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2018, 09:34 AM »
Interestingly the windows disk scanning/checking functions didn't seem to see anything wrong.. But a handful of files were unreadable due to hardware read failure on the hard disk.  During my recovery attempts sometimes the drive just disconnected itself from the system and disapeared.

In the end I was able to get 99.99% of everything back..   Most of the disk was still working and the files that were corrupt I had backups of -- all but one which had some mail from one account that I had to do some manual work to recover.

All in all, it was pretty painless, but I was reminded of how much worse it could have been.  The experience exposed a couple of holes in my backup plans, and reminded me how important having full drive images are to making recovery from a crash a painless process.  Because of that, I am going to increase the frequency of my full drive backups from once a month to once a week.


CHKDSK moves files around whenever it encounters a file that is stored in a location on the hard disk that has been marked as bad. That is like fixing the symptom, and then forgetting to apply the cure. If you have a spare computer that can boot from pen drive or CD, use the MHDD tool to really find out what is really wrong with your hard disk, possibly even adjust the capacity if the error(s) are located near to the beginning or end of the hard disk. By doing that, you can repurpose the disk again (for non-essential stuff) for years to come.

You have to boot from the MHDD disk and tests can take a long time (hours!), depending on the storage capacity of the disk and the speed of the onboard hard disk controller from the computer you use to run MHDD on. However, afterwards you will have a very good idea what is really wrong in a way that no Windows based tool and/or S.M.A.R.T. technology can ever compare with.


4wd

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Re: Unstoppable Copier -- freeware that saved my bacon
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2018, 07:40 PM »
By doing that, you can repurpose the disk again (for non-essential stuff) for years to come.

This is still spinning it's wheels after an additional 6 years, when it first occurred I just told it to initiate what passes for a Low Level Format these days to map out the bad blocks.

mwb1100

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Re: Unstoppable Copier -- freeware that saved my bacon
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2018, 12:46 AM »
Today I had a hard drive crash.. Not fun.

Weird coincidence - I had a similar drive crash earlier this week, The disc was largely usable, but apparently some bad areas had grown to the point where important files were becoming unreadable and programs started crashing.

I used robocopy to get a new disk set up that allowed me to get working again, but I didn't get a list of the problem files.  I wish I had known about unstoppable Copier.

One thing I don't understand is that the Windows Event log was mostly useless in figuring out what the problem was.  Nothing at all in the log until the very day that things got so bad I had to immediately replace the drive. Until then, the problem manifested mainly as browser crashes which are normal enough that it didn't occur to me the hard drive was the problem.  When it go to the point that I was sure there was a serious problem, all I saw in the event log were two ATAPI errors after I rebooted. I had rebooted thinking that maybe a reboot might be all that's needed to get the systme stable again, as is so often the case with Windows.

Anyway at least those two errors clued me in a little bit about what the problem was:

    event 11 atapi: The driver detected a controller error on \Device\Ide\IdePort2

But I had little idea which drive was \Device\Ide\IdePort2 - as far as I can tell, that doesn't match anything in Device manager or the properties for any of the drives in device manager.  I finally figured it out by trial and error, but it seems to me *something* should just tell you which disk \Device\Ide\IdePort2 is.

Anyway, if you ever see ATAPI event 11, take it seriously.

Nod5

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Re: Unstoppable Copier -- freeware that saved my bacon
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2018, 03:55 AM »
Today I had a hard drive crash.. Not fun.
Sorry to hear that. Glad you recovered the files. Thankful for the useful software suggestion!

reminded me how important having full drive images are to making recovery from a crash a painless process.  Because of that, I am going to increase the frequency of my full drive backups from once a month to once a week.
-mouser
What tool do you use for full drive backups?

mouser

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Re: Unstoppable Copier -- freeware that saved my bacon
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2018, 05:58 AM »
What tool do you use for full drive backups?
Macrium Reflect.