myrescue harddisk rescue

See also our Sourceforge Project Page


myrescue is a program to rescue the still-readable data from a damaged harddisk. It is similiar in purpose to dd_rescue, but it tries to quickly get out of damaged areas to first handle the not yet damaged part of the disk and return later.


This tools is no replacement for a professional data recovery service! If you do have the latter option, don't even think of using myrescue, as it may further damage your disk. This tool is provided only for the case that you are absolutely desperate and definitely cannot afford a professional data recovery. Or in case you know what you are doing, e.g. if you know that it is the aging of the magnetisation layer that is causing your problem.

The usual GPL disclaimer applies. Especially the NON-WARRANTY OF FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. Don't blame (or sue) me if it fails to recover or further damages your data.

How it works

The program tries to copy the device blockwise to a file and keeps a table ("block bitmap") noting whether a block has been successfully copied, not yet handled or has had errors. This block bitmap can be used in successive runs to concentrate on the not yet rescued blocks.

The program has a special skip mode to handle read errors. Usually harddisk surface defects cover more than just one block and continuous reading in defect areas can damage the surface, the heads and (by permanent recalibration) the drive mechanics. If this happens, the chances of rescuing the remaining undamaged data drop dramatically. So in skip mode, myrescue tries to get out of damaged areas quickly by exponentially increasing the stepsize. The skipped blocks are marked as unhandled in the block bitmap and can be retried later.

Finally, the program has an option to multiply try to read a block before considering it damaged.

Share your experiences

The developers are glad to hear about your experiences. Please post them to the Experiences forum. Thank you!

The project has already had beta status for quite a long time now. I have not received any bug reports, but also very little positive feedback. If it worked for you, please let me know, so I can promote the project to "stable".


The (beta) release 0.9.4 can be downloaded from the Files Section on our Sourceforge Project Page.

The package still lacks ./configure && make && make install-style installation and any portability considerations. Volunteers?

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