It appears to me that hard disks are more reliable than in former times. However, hard drives still crash. The best way to rescue the data from a damaged disk is to create a raw image on a second disk. The longer you mess with a damaged disk drive, the more likely it becomes that you lose even more data. Once you have a raw image of your data, you can check out what is valuable.

Latest posts by Michael Pietroforte (see all)

Roadkil's-RawCopy

Raw Copy is a portable Windows tool that copies data directly at the individual byte level instead of through the file system. This means less stress for the damaged disk and ensures that no more data will be destroyed while you try to rescue what is still readable. If important parts of the file system have been damaged, it can be the only way to access a disk.

Raw Copy doesn't have many options, but it has all the features such a tool needs. All you have to do is select the source disk and the target disk where the raw image will be created. Everything on this destination disk will be erased, so be careful to choose the correct one. The target disk can be a raw disk, that is - it doesn't have to be formatted. The size of the target disk should be at least equal to the size of the source drive. Raw Copy won't complain if the destination disk is smaller, but the drive will appear as unformatted after all bytes have been copied. If the target disk is at least as large as the source, you will get an exact clone of the source disk including the file system. I recommend rebooting after the cloning process.

You can also choose where you want Raw Copy to start, whether at the end of the disk or at the beginning. In most cases, it makes sense to start with the end because valuable data is more likely to be found there. If your disk finally dies during the copy process, then you have saved at least some of the data.

Raw Copy was originally designed for NT/XP/2000 but it also appears to work on Vista and Windows 7. I also tried Raw Copy 1.2 on Windows PE 3.0.

Raw Copy ^

8 Comments
  1. RoninV 12 years ago

    Can never have enough portable apps in my toolkit. Based on the website, user chooses the OS and version of app (installer, standalone) prior to downloading. Is there a different download for each OS? That's odd, since carrying one app, for all problematic Win OS, is better that having to carry a different app for every OS since NT.

  2. I think there is only one tool for all Windows versions. The download section is the same for a tools on this site. This why you can choose the OS version.

  3. VRS 10 years ago

    Does Roadkill's Raw Copy clone all operating system files
    or only data files?
    If it is cloning operating systems files also byte by byte
    can the cloned disk be used as substitute for the operating
    disk? I am using XP Pro O.S.
    Please clarify. Thanks

  4. Dairyboy 10 years ago

    RE: Does Roadkill’s Raw Copy clone all operating system files?

    YES it does! It is a complete sector by sector copy of the entire disk (or partition, which isn't mentioned above)
    The clone will include any defects (apparently it tries to fix errors), but it will operate as a substitute.

  5. VISailor 10 years ago

    Beautiful, just what I need to clone a failed RAID disk.

  6. chaitanya 9 years ago

    hi
    thanks for the detailed explanation
    i am using raw copy 1.2
    can you please tell how to retrieve data once its done copying ?
    will data the be stored .iso image format in the target disk.

  7. Diavolo28es 7 years ago

    I'm testing raw copy 1.2 .. is a 160GB hard drive in raw format, I'm doing copy HDD 1TB, I had another, I just want to save the data .. but I've been like 3 hours, and this at 16.80% and does not go there, because wearing a 1561read Error ... and says 128H are sometimes more and sometimes less. Speed ​​2.15 megs / s .. this is normal? I have to leave it? or source hard disk is wrong and will not let me?,,. I say to remove the program or not .. not .. Could you inform me as soon as possible? thanks

  8. Victor 7 years ago

    Hi, just a question, when it shows copy complete, but a number in write errors, like 15, did it succed or not? I mean, error count is the amount of errors that happened but it got to correct them, or actual errors..

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