Technology at Geneseo Community School District 228
The open source community offers a variety of tools that offer real value to any IT Support personal working with Data Recovery. One tool the Ubuntu Rescue Remix is perfect for restoring files and fixing broken Partition Tables on NTFS (or Unix /ext) volumes. If you find yourself in a bind and chkdsk /r is not able to repair a NTFS volume then Unbuntu Rescue Remix might be perfect. Simply download the iso and burn a disk, boot off the disk, then run a variety of recovery tools from the command prompt.
In many cases you will only need to know two commands.
1. sudo testdisk
This command will analyse disks and attempt to fix broken or damaged partitions. If this does not work and you need to recovery documents, photos, etc then try the next command. With testdisk if it is able to find a partition read the prompts and choose the write option to repair the partition. Sometimes you may need to do a deeper search to location missing partition info – if this is the case you will most likely be looking at using option 2 below.
2. sudo photorec
This command will allow scour the drive looking for any recognizable file type and dump it to a location of your choice. I would recommend putting in an external usb harddrive, then when asked which folder to dump files to locate the directory /Media/usb0 (most likely will be the add on hard drive).
Screenshot of Photorec working
The commands work well together – sometimes you can recover the paritiions, but they may be damaged beyond full repair, so then launch photorec and recovery what you can.
Often when you take your computer to Bestbuy or Office Max for repair – you are told that the hard drive is shot and data cannot be recovered. Although this is true in some situations I cannot tell you how many times I have been able to recover data off a drive with these tools, and in fact find that the repair outfit is the one who “Accidently” repartitioned a drive or damaged the file system.
These commands offer the same functionality as commerical NTFS and FAT data recovery tools and are free. No they do not have nice Graphical menus but the Rescue Remix boots quickly and the tools work great.