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What is the best tool for recovering deleted data from a flash drive (pen drive)?

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How did you delete the data? What did you do AFTER you deleted them? – arrange Mar 22 '11 at 11:22
up vote 26 down vote accepted
  1. TestDisk

find lost partitions and data for External and Internal Drive for all of these file systems, ext2, ext3, ext4 and encrypted partition. for windows FAT12/FAT16/FAT32 and NTFS boot sector.

For Recovering data from external Hard drive
Type testdisk on your terminal and follow this well written step TestDisk Step-By-Step

For Recovering files from internal and External hard drives there is PhotoRec which comes with TestDisk.

type photorec on your terminal

enter image description here

Select your drive and hit enter to proceed and follow the instruction.

  1. Extundelete

    extundelete is a utility that can recover deleted files from an ext3 or ext4 partition

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PhotoRec is not just for internal hard drives. I regularly use it to recover files from corrupted flash drives. – ændrük Mar 22 '11 at 17:25

The Ubuntu Wiki has an excellent page on Data recovery.

I've recently used the command line tool foremost for recovering 9000 photos off a SD card.

  1. Install foremost: sudo apt-get install foremost
  2. Mount and create the target directory for storing recovered data, make sure it's large enough to hold the data. I assume it's located at /media/backup/recover now.
  3. Assuming your flash drive to be named /dev/sdb, run:

    sudo foremost -i /dev/sdb -o /media/backup/recover
  4. Do something else, it might take a while to read and recover the data over USB.

(source: DataRecovery - Foremost)

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