Soma's Blog

December 27, 2009

Data Recovery with TestDisk

Filed under: Linux,Ubuntu — somanov @ 12:28

After several days of frantic picture-taking my mom yesterday managed to delete all the pictures from her digicam (instead of copying them to the computer’s hard drive). Desperation ensued. Luckily 2 minutes of googling for “file undelete on linux” turned up the name of the TestDisk utility. On Ubuntu it can easily be installed via apt.

This little gem offers a variety of functions including file undelete and can work with a great number of file-systems:

TestDisk can

  • Fix partition table, recover deleted partition
  • Recover FAT32 boot sector from its backup
  • Rebuild FAT12/FAT16/FAT32 boot sector
  • Fix FAT tables
  • Rebuild NTFS boot sector
  • Recover NTFS boot sector from its backup
  • Fix MFT using MFT mirror
  • Locate ext2/ext3 Backup SuperBlock
  • Undelete files from FAT, NTFS and ext2 filesystem
  • Copy files from deleted FAT, NTFS and ext2/ext3 partitions.

TestDisk worked flawlessly, was easy to use and made restoring all the deleted pictures (even ones deleted over half a year ago) a breeze. A big thanks to the developers and happy holidays šŸ™‚

PS: I just browsed around the TestDisk site and found a second tool called PhotoRec . This is a specialized tool for recovering video and photo files. In contrast to TestDisk this utility ignores the file system and goes after the underlying data, so it will still work even if your media’s file system has been severely damaged or reformatted. Luckily I did not need it to recover my photos but if using TestDisk fails, this tool might be worth a try.


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