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Recovering sdb files

Recovering sdb files

Recovering sdb files

(OP)
My hard drive crashed and I am trying to recover the various sdb files (the cardfiles).  I have had limited success (part of each file is perfectly readable but part of the file is gibberish).  I am using EasyRecovery but there is also an option to look for specific file types--however, you need to include a "file signature" and offset, in addition to the extension.  Anyone know what these are for the sdb files?

Alternatively, I guess I can do a raw dos-level scan of clusters to try and retrieve the missing parts of these files but that would really be tedious.

Thanks.

RE: Recovering sdb files

Dear Doug,
The following is a few lines taken from a file called FindHdr.sdb sfter being opened in a Hex editor called XVI32 available from:
www.chmaas.handshake.de
Then Printed to file

If you want the entire file which has only one card in it(check the label and envelope settings that are in the file too as yours might differ), it is posted at my friends website and you can download it at:
http://siderealb0x.250free.com/XVI32FindHdrSDB
The offset here in this post is in decimal with the text underneath but it is in Hex on the website with the text interspersed.
The original Sidekick95/SKW2 file
FINDHDR.SDB is also on the site at:
Click the links to download the files.

http://siderealb0x.250free.com/FINDHDR.SDB

File: FINDHDR.SDB
Output by XVI32 - www.chmaas.handshake.de


Offset dec. 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15
000000000:  53 4B 57 32 30 30 00 00 00 00 01 00 00 00 00 00
             S  K  W  2  0  0                              
000000016:  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
                                                           
000000032:  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
                                                           
000000048:  00 00 00 00 C6 96 D3 2E 4D 03 B3 3F 11 06 00 00
                         Æ  –  Ó  .  M     ³  ?            
000000064:  00 E5 06 00 00 E8 08 00 00 00 00 00 00 03 00 06
                å           è                              
000000080:  00 41 64 64 72 65 73 73 20 4C 61 62 65 6C 00 00
                A  d  d  r  e  s  s     L  a  b  e  l      
000000096:  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
                                                           

Regards Jim
Check the FAQ area of this Forum for answers (If there are any FAQs!) , it could save you a lot of time and effort and means that links are more likely to be current. Please 'Comment' on them if they are not!

RE: Recovering sdb files

(OP)
I already snooped at a few sdb files and noticed they all began with SKW200.  When EasyRecovery asks for a "file signature" and "offset", I am not sure what these mean.  What would you guess using the file example above?

RE: Recovering sdb files

Dear Doug,
Short answer I don't know!
Maybe check help in EasyRecovery...
Get the hex editor that I mentioned before and open one of your own files in it, it would give you an idea anyway.

The first line is the offset in decimal
Offset dec. 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15


Sorry I don't know much more than you, maybe you should check some of the programming forums here at Tek-Tips.
You could use the above(in bold) and mention easyrecovery and then go from there.
Do post back or put a thread number if the thread that you post in helps you out as it may help someone here out in the future if they end up with the same problem.
HTH

Regards Jim
Check the FAQ area of this Forum for answers (If there are any FAQs!) , it could save you a lot of time and effort and means that links are more likely to be current. Please 'Comment' on them if they are not!

RE: Recovering sdb files

(OP)
Actually the problem is a bit worse.  The recovery programs I tried using actually partially reconstruct the sdb files I need but they are all scrambled part way through the data.  Seems like the files were cross-linked or something.  The only way to completely recover each file is with a dos-based utility like Norton diskedit and the process of reading through the disk cluster by cluster to rebuild the files would be excruciating.  The files I need are my contact card files and since I have some backup (although older) versions of these, it will be easier to just use those (they are intact) and update them over time.  Still an annoyance but another hard-learned lesson to frequently backup important data files.

RE: Recovering sdb files

(OP)
For anyone interested there is a happy resolution to this tale thanks to two utilities--Acronis DiskEditor and Norton Disk Edit.

Acronis is faster since it runs under Windows and I started by doing a search of the hard disk space for "SKW200" since this is the beginning of every cardfile.  The program shows hex and text of what is in each sector of the drive so I was then able to move forward sector-by-sector until I found garbage.  I would save all sectors up to that point and write to a file.  Then I would move onward until I found the sector with "good" data that continued from the end of the previously found good data.  I then appended this next group of good sectors to the file that I had created, etc.  

In one of my card files, this process included six separate groups of sectors and in another card file the data was split between two groups of sectors.  I was able to fully recover both card files in fairly short order.  Of course it helped that I had not written anything to the drive that I was working with.

Needless to say I am frequently backing up the card files now so that I don't have to go through this nonsense again.

RE: Recovering sdb files

Dear Doug,
Well done!
It would be an idea if you could spare the time, to quote the following (after an explanation of the problem) in a FAQ as it would be a great solution for anyone who has the same problem.
Call it the same as the question you put for this thread and people will find it easier in the FAQ area than here.

Acronis is faster since it runs under Windows and I started by doing a search of the hard disk space for "SKW200" since this is the beginning of every cardfile.  The program shows hex and text of what is in each sector of the drive so I was then able to move forward sector-by-sector until I found garbage.  I would save all sectors up to that point and write to a file.  Then I would move onward until I found the sector with "good" data that continued from the end of the previously found good data.  I then appended this next group of good sectors to the file that I had created, etc.  

In one of my card files, this process included six separate groups of sectors and in another card file the data was split between two groups of sectors.  I was able to fully recover both card files in fairly short order.  Of course it helped that I had not written anything to the drive that I was working with.

Once again anything that one person finds a solution to can increase our knowledge and helps all.
The bit about back-ups would be good to include too!
Good luck

Regards Jim
Check the FAQ area of this Forum for answers (If there are any FAQs!) , it could save you a lot of time and effort and means that links are more likely to be current. Please 'Comment' on them if they are not!

RE: Recovering sdb files

(OP)
What do I need to do to post a FAQ--any special membership status or just post?

Also in the various FAQs for Sidekick, where do you think this should go?

RE: Recovering sdb files

Dear Doug,
You are a member of tek-tips (not a visitor) which makes it ok for you to post a FAQ.
The method is to go down the bottom of the FAQ page and in the Category section I would suggest a new Category and type it into the txt field, I would also suggest that you call it
Recovering files
The question would probably be:
How do I recover *.sdb files
Then just write out the answer in the Answer field and Preview it and
if you are satisfied with the preview,
submit it.
It may take a Day to be released (as someone in tek-tips will check it out first).
Once it has been released, you can return as many times as you like to edit it (if you have logged in) and it will show the latest date it was edited at the top of the FAQ.

There appears to be no way to delete a FAQ which I guess is quite sensible, especially if you have referred to it in several threads
HTH

Regards Jim
Check the FAQ area of this Forum for answers (If there are any FAQs!) , it could save you a lot of time and effort and means that links are more likely to be current. Please 'Comment' on them if they are not!

RE: Recovering sdb files

(OP)
Thanks James--I wrote a FAQ that is somewhat longwinded and probably of use only to other idiots like myself who neglected to backup their important data files before screwing around with disk management programs.

RE: Recovering sdb files

Dear Doug,
10 out of 10 for the explanation, it tells it as it is, which for most people who end up in that situation is the way they need to hear it.
Data recovery is tedious, which is why we back it up

So if there is anyone else who needs to recover their *.sdb files, I suggest that they go to Dougs FAQ at:
FAQ807-4549
and see the answer.

If you wish to point anyone to the FAQ just copy & paste the FAQ number, as I have done above into the thread and when someone clicks on the link they will be taken directly to the FAQ.

Thanks for taking the time Doug.

Regards Jim
Check the FAQ area of this Forum for answers (If there are any FAQs!) , it could save you a lot of time and effort and means that links are more likely to be current. Please 'Comment' on them if they are not!

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