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Have I lost my entire Windows drive and all the files?

Do you know of any good data recovery software on linux platform that would work on windows drive.

I had some really important stuff deleted and then my windows crashed so i need to get it back.

Please suggest any that may help .

Or should i go and run them on wine ? I also want to know if i can run any of those exe on wine and if somebody has tried that.

Thanks a lot...


I would download an burn to a CD/USB Ubuntu Rescue Remix.

It has many data recovery tools such as TestDisk, Photorec, Sleuthkit amongst others + other software to directly mount windows disks etc.

  • +1 for this!, First time I hear about it!:D , Nice work! – Binarylife Jul 14 '11 at 12:33

If you are looking for recovering files that are just been deleted then ntfsundelete utility might help you. I use this utility to recover my accidentally deleted files on NTFS drives.

This utility is present by default. Please make sure your OS has it too.

xyz@xyz-desktop:~$ which ntfsundelete 

To recover the files, you would need to unmount the drive.

sudo ntfsundelete <DRIVE_NAME>

Now type the following command and replace with actual drive. For example, /dev/sda5

sudo ntfsundelete <DRIVE_NAME>

Above command will show you all the recently deleted files. There are several ways to recover the file. Fastest way is to identify the inode and recover it.

xyz@xyz-desktop:~$ sudo ntfsundelete /dev/sda5
Inode    Flags  %age  Date           Size  Filename
16       F...     0%  2009-07-18         0  <none>
19       F...     0%  2009-07-18         0  <none>
20       F...     0%  2009-07-18         0  <none>
21       F...     0%  2009-07-18         0  <none>
22       F...     0%  2009-07-18         0  <none>
23       F...     0%  2009-07-18         0  <none>
40       D...     0%  2011-07-24         0  random.tmp
46       FN..   100%  2009-10-04    600207  random-library.zip
47       FN..   100%  2009-10-04    600207  random-15-cs-library(2).zip
107      FN..   100%  2009-07-29   4015365  own.exe

So if you observe, random-library.zip has 100% age which means it is fully recoverable. So in order to recover it, you can identify the inode number(46) of random-library.zip file and recover the same.

xyz@xyz-desktop:~$ sudo ntfsundelete /dev/sda5 -u -i 46
Inode    Flags  %age  Date            Size  Filename
46       FN..     0%  2009-10-04    600207  random-library-library.zip

Undeleted 'random-library.zip' successfully.
amey@amey-desktop:~$ ls random-library.zip 

Note: This utility works only for NTFS filesystem. Please visit this tutorial page in order to know more ways to recover files.


There is Testdisk. Install testdisk

Where you can use PhotoRec, which is file data recovery software designed to recover lost files including video, documents and archives from hard disks, CD-ROMs, and lost pictures (thus the Photo Recovery name) from digital camera memory. PhotoRec 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.

See here for more info.

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