Linux disc recovery tools?

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Linux disc recovery tools?

Postby SiriusHardware » Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:42 pm

I have here an (originally) NTFS formatted USB memory stick which has been corrupted (boot record damaged, perhaps). At any rate, Windows CHKDSK reports that its format is now RAW.

To see if recovery of the data on it was feasible I downloaded and ran the trial version of DiskInternals' 'NTFS Recovery' utility (again, Windows) and it seems to think there is a good prospect of recovering a few JPEG images and word documents from the stick.

Of course, to do that, it wants me to buy a key for 99usd, in order to make the programme fully functional.

Now, certainly, if the recovery of this information was a matter of life and death then 100usd would be a fair price to pay, but the information on this stick does not (I am told) fall into that critical category - it's more a case of it having sentimental value.

So I thought I might as well ask: Is there a comparable, trustworthy disc recovery tool out there in Linux-Land? A simple 'un-deleter' is not enough - it needs to be something which can trawl through the stick at sector level looking for bits of file, threading them back together and generating new names for them.

I've done a search through the forums but didn't find anything on this - apologies if I missed it. You could say that I could have just Googled this but for every genuine tool or utility out there in the wild there seem to be a dozen items of Malware posing as similar utilities - so I'd prefer word of mouth advice based on experience.
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Postby johnhudson » Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:12 pm

http://www.sysresccd.org/SystemRescueCd_Homepage will do pretty well anything you might need and has excellent documentation.
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Postby nelz » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:45 am

testdisk for recovering partition tables, photorec (part of testdisk) for recovering files. Both are on System Rescue CD.

For safety, use dd to make an image of the disk and run the tools on that to avoid further corruption.

Code: Select all
dd if=/dev/sdN of=buggereddisk.img
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Postby SiriusHardware » Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:23 pm

nelz wrote:testdisk for recovering partition tables, photorec (part of testdisk) for recovering files. Both are on System Rescue CD.

For safety, use dd to make an image of the disk and run the tools on that to avoid further corruption.

Code: Select all
dd if=/dev/sdN of=buggereddisk.img


Thanks for the responses:- As you suggested, I used PhotoRec which is indeed contained within the rescue CD recommended by the others, although I downlaoded it directly as a standalone. PhotoRec's name is somewhat misleading as it suggests that the program will only recover photos - in fact it is a lot more powerful than that and 'knows' about hundreds of different file formats including office documents, all of which it will try to recover.

The interface is typically bare-bones but it did manage to recover quite a bit of the lost data along with a lot of broken files which may simply be broken because they were on the stick and intentionally deleted / overwritten by the owner prior to his saving the files he wrote and then lost due to corruption.

What was recovered included quite a few JPEG images which are obviously of a familiy nature and so I am sure the owner of the stick will be very pleased that they have been recovered,

Thanks for the info about making an image with DD- I'll follow that up as well - maybe I can recover more if I allow testdisk to try to fix the image - I didn't dare try it on the original.

Anyway: Windows 0, Linux 1 :D
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Postby nelz » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:37 pm

The name is historical, the program was originally developed to recover lost photos frm a memory card. In fact, it recovers all types of files, not only the large number of supported types.
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Postby Ram » Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:50 pm

TestDisk also runs in Windows. So I'd say it was a draw.

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Postby SiriusHardware » Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:56 pm

Ram wrote:TestDisk also runs in Windows. So I'd say it was a draw.


It does, but it looks like a Linux programme even when running under Windows and refers to the drives by linux-style names, so I think that makes it a 89th-minute strike for Linux. :)
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Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:39 am

Ram wrote:TestDisk also runs in Windows. So I'd say it was a draw.


From a windows liveCD?
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Postby Ram » Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:04 am

wyliecoyoteuk wrote:
Ram wrote:TestDisk also runs in Windows. So I'd say it was a draw.


From a windows liveCD?


Yes, if you can find it.

But in this case it was for a USB stick so didn't need a LiveCD.

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