Data Recovery Needed! Willing to share recovered archives

zoroasterthecat

Zooville Settler
I mentioned this in another post, but I had an encrypted hard drive that died in a power surge. I've tried to recover the data, but so far have had no luck. I think the drive itself is okay, but some of the inner parts just got fried. I even went so far as to buy an identical drive and swap out the parts, but so far, nothing. If anyone can help me get the drive working again, I would be happy to share all the material I have on it.


To give you an idea of the value of the data, my collection was made over 8 years, and I spent an inordinate amount of time downloading, curating and categorizing it. For a while I was the top uploader on BeastTorrent, and archived large amounts of data from Beast Forum. I had complete collections from ArkAfterDark, JAV, ZooSkool and it's various iterations, mostly in high def where available, lots of vintage and hard to find material. I was the head mod of /r/sexwithdogs on reddit before that was quarantined and ultimately banned.

If anyone thinks they could be of assistance, please get in touch!
 

caikgoch

Esteemed Citizen of ZV
I can't find anything in a quick search but all of the other brands that I am familiar with have hardware encryption on the controller board. There is a code number on the board itself that reveals the key. It must be replaced by a controller with a matching key. The booby trap is that if you try to read the drive without the correct hardware key, the data will be corrupted to the point of requiring high level forensics to recover it.
 

caikgoch

Esteemed Citizen of ZV
I know that you will be screwed if you try to mount the drive directly (I've done it). I've never tried wrong code board.
 

Zoo50

Citizen of Zooville
Normally, I would say "send it to a repair person", but considering the contents of the drive, that is probably not a good idea.

When you connect the external hard drive to a computer, does it show up as a device on that computer? If so, you could try running a Windows data recovery program.

There are devices called "enclosures" (in which a hard drive can be put into a working device which then connects to a computer), but I am not knowledgeable enough to give information about that.

I think it was probably not wise to tamper with the machinery of the device itself, as doing so may have made it even harder to recover the data.
 

caikgoch

Esteemed Citizen of ZV
I know that you will be screwed if you try to mount the drive directly (I've done it). I've never tried wrong code board.
Frey's or Newegg will sell you a kit for very little money that contains a power supply and generic adapter. With it you can attach any naked drive to your computer via USB. Making the drive part of your filesystem so you can see/copy what is in it is called "mounting the drive". Using an "enclosure" is a more permanent version of the same thing. Because all of the drive, even the index, is encrypted you won't be able to read it that way and your computer will write to it trying to make sense of the structure. That will destroy existing index data.

I fear that any attempt to mount the drive without a functional key to the encryption will have the same effect. But it is possible that the manufacturer included a block against it in their code. Most controllers can be ordered by key for $50 t0 $80 so it might be wise to try that but it is always possible that the drive mechanicals failed. That would require a lab to even think about.
 

zoroasterthecat

Zooville Settler
So I actually DID just manage to get the Truecrypt encrypted container volume to mount, and an error message came up saying the header was damaged. Opening the container volume showed no data, and displayed another error message. I dismounted the container volume, but was not able to get it to mount again. The hidden volume I cannot get to mount at all.

The weirdest thing is, this was on a completely different hard drive than the one I believe to have my encrypted volume on it. I would normally delete the drive letter through Disk Management, so the drive wouldn't show up, and this drive didn't show up with a drive letter. It did show up in Disk Management with a letter unassigned, so I definitely did use this drive as encrypted. So now I'm just very confused. The one I BELIEVED held my data acts and functions as a normal drive.

If the whole drive has been encrypted, is there any way to determine if it actually does contain a Truecrypt volume? Just to know I am working with the correct drive?
 
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zoroasterthecat

Zooville Settler
Okay, I restored the volume header as suggested in the first screenshot I posted, and I CAN get the outer volume to mount, and all the data stored there is accessible. I still can't get the hidden volume to mount. I could be mis-remembering the password, or there could still be a problem with the volume being corrupt, but I can't figure out which.
 

zoroasterthecat

Zooville Settler
Now, here is my conundrum. I did say I would share the material, and I fully intend on doing so. Howeverrrrrrrr my beastforum picture collection is 24.4 GB. And that doesn't even include the videos. And that's ONLY my material from Beastforum. I don't have any idea how to go about sharing a collection this large...
 

UR20Z

Dumpster Diver
Your very first step before doing *ANYTHING* further is to clone the drive to another one. Once that's done, tinker, reorganize or whatever all you like, but if you want the data back, *DO NOT* do *ANYTHING* with the drive before you clone it to a different physical device. Don't play a video, don't view an image, don't save anything to it - NOTHING. Get that clone copy made first!

Once you've got the cloned over copy, you can play as much as you like, but until you do, you're basically asking - no, BEGGING - for everything to go "poof" on you again.

And just in case I haven't said it strongly enough, *CLONE THE DRIVE TO A DIFFERENT DEVICE BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING ELSE WITH IT!*
 

caikgoch

Esteemed Citizen of ZV
Now, here is my conundrum. I did say I would share the material, and I fully intend on doing so. Howeverrrrrrrr my beastforum picture collection is 24.4 GB. And that doesn't even include the videos. And that's ONLY my material from Beastforum. I don't have any idea how to go about sharing a collection this large...
The most efficient way to share large amounts of data is bittorrent. Now all you need is a tracker.

PS, Be very damned sure to use a VPN.
 

zoroasterthecat

Zooville Settler
Yeah, still though, a torrent for 25gb? I guess I would need to break it up in chunks into different torrents, but still, I can't leave my encrypted drive mounted for periods of time long enough to seed it properly.... I do feel kind of morally obligated to share this data though, so that it's not permanently lost, you know?
 

dogluver101

Give a dog a bone
Staff member
Yeah, still though, a torrent for 25gb? I guess I would need to break it up in chunks into different torrents, but still, I can't leave my encrypted drive mounted for periods of time long enough to seed it properly.... I do feel kind of morally obligated to share this data though, so that it's not permanently lost, you know?
Its best to just get it copied to another drive. Unless you want to make the torrent from that current drive... The best way is using beasttracker.dog. I can help with seeding once its up. So you don't have to leave it on 24/7. If its not zipped, just upload it as an all in one torrent.
 

caikgoch

Esteemed Citizen of ZV
You need to use a VPN because ISPs use algorithms to spot torrent activity and just assume that all torrents are sharing stolen goods. Thank RIAA and MPAA for that.

You can seed part time as long as you state a schedule on the torrent. Then leechers can set their client to the same schedule. If you have a fat enough pipe it doesn't matter anyway. Assume that you need a time equal uploading your files straight 2 times then it's safe to take a break.

BTW, if you want to do much torrenting, you need a SSD. Torrents tend to hammer mechanical drives.
 

zoroasterthecat

Zooville Settler
Would either of you consider helping me torrent the data? If we could exchange a drive, I could copy all my data to it for you.
 

dogluver101

Give a dog a bone
Staff member
Once you create the torrent and you have it posted to say beasttracker.dog I can get it downloading to my seedbox. Depending on your internet speed, it may be a bit. As long as you keep it uploading. Or upload partime and my seedbox will grab it once you get back online. Along with anyone else that wants to try and grab it.
 

caikgoch

Esteemed Citizen of ZV
Any recommendations on a good modestly priced VPN?
Choose one based in another country. That complicates things for anyone wanting to trace you. Expect to pay less than $10/month for premium service on up to 5 devices. Their functionality tends to change with time and location so take a month's trial and see. Some, like torguard, specifically tweek for speed on torrents.
 

Zoo50

Citizen of Zooville
Choose one based in another country. That complicates things for anyone wanting to trace you. Expect to pay less than $10/month for premium service on up to 5 devices. Their functionality tends to change with time and location so take a month's trial and see. Some, like torguard, specifically tweek for speed on torrents.

I've heard that Tor Browser shouldn't be used for torrents, but would Tor provide better anonymity than a VPN?
 

dogluver101

Give a dog a bone
Staff member
I've heard that Tor Browser shouldn't be used for torrents, but would Tor provide better anonymity than a VPN?
A torrent client isn't going to go through a tor browser. So you would need a VPN. Plus tor gives a little more due to how its setup.
 
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