Tag Archives: rapiddrive

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.