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Old 11-13-2008, 10:58 AM   #1
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Registered: Oct 2001
Location: Bristol UK
Distribution: Slackware Ubuntu
Posts: 1,043

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recover directories & files from ext. HDD using testdisk or photorec

My 320gb external HDD stopped working properly. I can mount it but there is only an empty "lost & found" directory on it. I am 99.9999999999999% sure that I did not format the drive when doing a reinstall of Kubuntu on my system's internal HDD.

Testdisk shows :

Disk /dev/sdb - 320 GB / 298 GiB - CHS 38914 255 63
Partition Start End Size in sectors
* Linux 0 1 1 38912 254 63 625137282

This partition mounts but it only contains a "lost & found" directory, which is empty. I have done a deep search with testdisk and can't find anything else.

Photorec instantly lists all of my missing directories and I am sure that I could recover everything but this will take a long time (over a 100 hours) .... I am not unhappy about the time but it seems silly to do this if I can recover everything on the disk and keep it as is. I would then transfer what I need from the ext. HDD.

Where do I go from here?


Old 11-13-2008, 11:48 AM   #2
Registered: Oct 2007
Posts: 31

Rep: Reputation: 16

Firstly, I would image it to another device using dd.

You can then attempt data recovery from that image and avoid further damage to the HDD.

I have no experience with ext3 undeletion tools, but they do seem to exist!

Looks like you might have some luck with that one, otherwise its back to file-system independent recovery tools such as Magic Rescue

HTH, Good luck!



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