Recovering Data from a corrupt RapidDrive Partition

I had a Lenovo Y570 I recently had to repair. It seemed like a straightforward job to mount the HDD using my favorite LiveCD and copy the data to a secondary hard drive. I quickly found out it wasn’t that straightforward. On this model, there was a 750GB hard drive with a 64GB SSD that was hybridly merged together using something called RapidDrive. The technology dynamically copies data between the HDD and SSD so that you can get the best of both worlds in terms of performance and space. Unfortunately, recovery of such systems when the drive is unbootable is almost impossible.

I booted up to my favorite live CD to find two partitions on the SSD, 1 spanning 750 GB. cfdisk would not even run because it said that this partition ends after size of the drive. The 750GB HD had several partitions on it, the largest 700GB one with all the data on it would not mount either… (probably because half of it was on the SSD!)

I could not find any information on the internet on how to mount the hard drives or recover the data. Lenovo was unhelpful and wanted to take the laptop and probably wipe it and give it back to me. I noticed though that when you run the “OneKey Recovery System” that the virus scanner was able to read the hybrid partition of data. There was hope of recovering the data.

Unfortunately though, OneKey Recovery gives you only 2 options, scan for viruses or wipe the hard drive and restore. I wish they would give me a command prompt or something. I tried numerous things such as booting OneKey Recovery System in safe mode and other things like that. Nothing worked. I finally dived into the internals and forced a command prompt to load up.

Here’s how.

UPDATE Thanks to reader RM, you can skip the steps in modifying the lrs.wim file and just try using his pre-modified lrs.wim file. No guarantees that it will work though – there may be specific drivers for each Lenovo laptop model that may make them incompatible. As always, backup your own lrs.wim file before using his just in case it doesn’t work.

RM’s lrs.wim file

Items Needed:

  • Favorite LiveCD that can mount ntfs drives
  • External drive to backup and copy data
  • Windows AIK
  • 2nd Windows 7 Computer

Steps:

  1. Boot off your live CD. Identify the recovery partition. On my system, the SSD was /dev/sda and the HDD was /dev/sdb. The recovery system was on /dev/sdb3.
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    $ mount /dev/sdb3 /mnt/local
    $ mount /dev/sdc1 /mnt/usb # storage drive


  2. Make a backup, then copy off the wim file off the recovery partition.
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    # the filenames may be off since I am writing this from memory
    $ cp /mnt/local/Onekey/PE/lrs.wim /mnt/local/Onekey/PE/lrs.wim.original
    $ cp /mnt/local/Onekey/PE/lrs.wim /mnt/usb/


  3. Unmount your external drive and bring it to your windows machine with AIK installed on it. Mount the wim and update the boot loader file. You must run all the following commands as administrator (right click on cmd.exe and click “run as administrator”)
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    mkdir lrs-mount
    "C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\x86\imagex.exe" /mountrw lrs.wim 1 lrs-mount
    notepad lrs-mount\windows\system32\winpeshl.ini

    winpeshl.ini should be changed to:

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    [LaunchApps]
    %SYSTEMDRIVE%\windows\system32\cmd.exe
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    "C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\x86\imagex.exe" /commit lrs-mount
    "C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\x86\imagex.exe" /unmount lrs-mount
  4. Copy the lrs.wim back to the original location and shutdown and restart using the “OneKey” button. When you startup, you should get a command prompt instead of the one click install. On my computer, e: was the hard drive. There seems to be 3-4 drives, c:, d:, e:, x:, perhaps even more. You’ll have to search.

12 thoughts on “Recovering Data from a corrupt RapidDrive Partition

  1. Keithustus

    What do you mean by “Favorite LiveCD that can mount ntfs drive”? Does this mean I need to use Ubuntu / Linux? Is there a really easy, step-by-step guide for doing your process for people who only use Windows? I pulled my 750 GB drive from my Y570 and have it connected to another laptop using the Rosewill RCW 608 Hard-drive SATA/IDE-to-USB cable set because I had configured all my documents and shared folders to be on a partition on that drive separate from the OS partition spanning the SSD and part of the 750.

    Reply
    1. jonathan Post author

      Hi Keithustus, sorry for the late reply… I don’t check out this blog as often as I’d like. Yes, the instructions that I posted is for use with Ubuntu or linux. Both of which you can get for free.

      You can do this exclusively in Windows, you just need to copy the lrs.wim off the hidden partition. I just used linux because it is easier to read those hidden partitions. In windows, you might not even be able to access or see those partitions because Windows marks them hidden.

      I just advise caution whenever you’re working with anything like this, you could corrupt your partition so you can’t access any data anymore and that would be very terrible! Best of luck with your data recovery!

      Reply
  2. RM

    Hello, I just wanted to thank you, I managed to pull the data from my rapiddrive with this guide when it wouldn’t boot. I couldn’t have saved my data without you. So thanks. Also, there were some peculiarities with the command prompt I had wished you mentioned, but for any amateur users like me, I’ll list what I learned.

    The quotes in the above code specify the location of the imagex application, but the syntax of /mountrw (which allows you to read and write your mounted image, as opposed to /mount) also needs a destination. I don’t recall /mountrw working until I specified the location of the image and created a destination folder for the mount and specifying it like so:
    "C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\x86\imagex.exe" /mountrw C:\lrs.wim 1 C:\img\
    assuming you put your lrs.wim straight into C:\
    Also, you can just navigate to Winpeshl.dll and edit it with notepad manually. Same dif. Also also, make sure to record what was in there initially if you intend to OneKey Restore afterwards.
    Once you’ve plugged your lrs.wim back into your computer, and have your command prompt, you can list drives with the “wmic” command. Example.
    wmic logicaldisk get deviceid, volumename, description, size
    Yes, I looked that up. Also, “cd” command to change directory to the specified location did not work between drives for me. This:
    X:\Windows\System32> cd E:\
    Did not get me to E:\, nor any directory within E:\ specified. Remove “cd” from that code, and just the drive letter should get you there. Also, the “dir” command will list all directories within your current directory (or specified one).
    The “chkdsk” command will check that disk, in case you’re worried about exploring it due to damage. That said, the chkdsk command itself may worsen the problem (probably not), and it may be better to just copy all you can right away. Use in the place of ‘cd’ in the faulty code line above.
    Lastly talking about copying in command line, the “copy” command is not likely the best solution. “robocopy” is better, with modifiers. /e or at least /s for certain and /copyall, called on the main drive will be much more convenient.
    I recommend reading the optional modifiers to see what you need. Some useful ones are /np, /W: and /R: set low unless you like waiting, /b, and maybe adjusting the log (especially if you want to avoid writing to disk).

    And lastly, consider bloody separating the rapiddrive next time! There’s a rapiddrive tool out there to decouple it, assuming you don’t have it already. Also, Ubuntu is a godsend, run off the usb. Make sure in bios (f12 for the y570) to select usb on a regular boot, and don’t close your laptop while running ubuntu, because it will ask for a password you probably don’t remember if you just downloaded it for this job. Personal Experience.
    Good Luck to others, it is possible!
    Thanks again Jonathan

    Reply
    1. jonathan Post author

      Glad to hear that the instructions helped you RM! Yeah, the first thing I did after getting the data off was getting rid of RapidDrive. It is way too proprietary and unsupported for my liking. If anything ever goes wrong with it, everything most likely will be gone.

      Reply
  3. Randy

    Well, I’ve been searching for a solution and this is the closest I’ve come to one but with no success. I was able to follow all the above steps, but for my situation, the one key recoverey does not even launch as everytime it says “no bootable device”. So I am not able to ever boot into a scenario where the RapidDrive is in tact. It seems they have somehow been decoupled and I have searched tirelessly to see what can be done. All my data is trapped and I cannot get to it without a raw data recovery tool like photorec.exe which is messy and renames every file. I just want to be able to repair the RapidDrive so I can get all my files off. Any ideas?

    Reply
    1. jonathan Post author

      Hi Randy, very sorry to hear! The very first thing I did after recovering the data was to remove rapiddrive – so you should know how much I hate it. The only thing I can think of at this point is to find a system (make sure it is the same exact model) with one key recovery working and try to image the onekey partition on to your system and see if it will boot from there. I would definitely make a backup image of both the SSD and the HDD before you modify anything just in case you corrupt any of your data.

      Photorec would not work too well in this situation. The data for a single file is on both drives in an almost random fashion. I wish rapiddrive spec was published somewhere because someone could put together a tool to recover data from it.

      Please share here if you come up with anything that works.

      Reply
    2. RM

      I’m not sure this’ll help, but consider maybe you can get a copy of onekey working outside of the partition. Maybe copying all data from the onekey partition to an external hard drive with your live cd and then pressing power key, then f12 to bring up bios and boot to that external will work. I can’t tell you if having the recovery partition on a new hard drive would help or hinder. But the next step after that would be possibly attempting to do the same, except install onekey from here. No guarantees it’ll work, and I’d definitely try an externally booted onekey before replacing the one in your partition. So, you can try a copied one, or a fresh one.

      Of course, if you’re rolling in memory, you could copy the entire computer’s memory into a 1 tb ssd, and replace the onekey inside that. Even more audacious and maybe slow would using your live cd to install a virtual machine Windows 7 with a simulated ssd ( link 1 , link 2 ) on that external hard drive (unless you have a spare ssd sitting around), and then installing windows 7 with rapiddrive and onekey as per option C in the forum above with as identical as possible partitioning , and then replacing the partition with the corrupted one and seeing if the new virtual machine’s onekey can open the corrupted partition. Be sure to replace the lrs.wim, and I have a spare from a y570 in case your’s is corrupted or lost (May have to check it with AIK to see if it’s before or after the above steps). Beyond that, aside from googling “restore onekey recovery”, I don’t have any other advice. I don’t know if each rapiddrive partition is unique, such that you cannot use an external onekey or external installation of rapiddrive os. Either way, getting tricky with external hard drives and installs of onekey is probably your last bet before doing what jJonathan said and bringing another okr in, which must be immaculately matched cause you only have one shot. Alternatively, you could try my old lrs.wim if yours is unbootable and causing the “no bootable device” message, doubtful as it is. My lrs is link 3.
      Good Luck

      Reply
      1. jonathan Post author

        RM – Thanks for posting the lrs file!! I wish I saved that file I recovered my computer, but I was too hasteful to get rid of the RapidDrive, I didn’t save it! I will update the post with your link!

        Reply
  4. Sergey

    I ran into the same problem with my y570. Fortunately I had a working MacBook air which I used to make a WinPE flash (with boot camp utility). After that i booted lenovo, used some tools to mount the okr partition. Then I copied lrs.wim and edited it according to your instruction (the only difference was that my WinPE flash had the tools like 7zip so it was possible to open wim like a regular archive). after editing it I replaced the .wim file on usb with lrs.wim (you’ll have to rename it to whatever the old one was called)
    I also added some soft (explorer and far manager) to lrs.wim so it was easier to copy my files.

    Reply
    1. Allan

      hi Sergey,

      I used “AOMEI PE Builder” to boot instead of winPE flash. What is the okr partition? How did you mount the okr partition? If possible, can you give somewhat detailed step-by-step instructions of how you did it? Would greatly appreciate all the help as I have very important files which my business relies on in the rapiddrive partition. Thanks!

      Reply
  5. JB

    Man…Jonathan…. You are a life savior….thank you for this tutorial… you just saved part of my life’s work… (6.25% considering an optimistic linear life-span of 80 years :) )! I am sending you a virtual box of beer or a good bottle of wine and my gratitude… :)

    Reply

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