Yesterday I installed Ubuntu on my laptop, and due to my bad luck, I accidentally deleted the partition. The data on the disk was very important to me. I tried TestDisk to recover partition but that didn't work for me.

Someone suggested to try software on Windows. But if I install Windows on my laptop then it will overwrite the data, so I'm planning to clone the hard drive by using the 'dd' commands and use that external hard drive to recover data on Windows.

Will it work ?

  • Did you only delete the partition or also overwrite it (eg. creating a new partition there)? If the former, it should be relatively easy to create a new partition at exactly the same boundaries, and not having overwritten the contents, all the data would be there.
    – Ángel
    Jun 29, 2016 at 21:42
  • 1
    Actually while installing ubuntu, I chose the 2nd option ( replace windows with Ubuntu). Their was a warning also that it will delete all images and videos but I thought it would only format the drive in which windows is installed. But Ubuntu formated the data and made a single partition.
    – Danizen
    Jun 30, 2016 at 0:35
  • If you are trying to do data recovery, generally you won't do that with Windows. Since you said you formatted the computer while installing Ubuntu, I assume you pruned Windows. Therefore you should have a look at NTFS recovery. See askubuntu.com/a/776317/271 for instructions or softwarerecs.stackexchange.com/a/31377/19806 for more guidance and comparison of several tools. Jun 30, 2016 at 10:34
  • Regarding your question about dd, see also: superuser.com/a/1076597/278831 Jun 30, 2016 at 10:35
  • Can you confirm weather this dd command is correct or not.. "sudo dd if=/dev/sda1 of=/dev/sdb1" (I want to clone sda1 on sdb)...as in this link softwarerecs.stackexchange.com/questions/7424/… command are different for cloning.
    – Danizen
    Jun 30, 2016 at 16:16

1 Answer 1


Yes, dd clones every bit on the drive, including deleted files and free space.

You could also look into CloneZilla, which is a user-friendly LiveCD for cloning and restoring disks, though I'm not sure its disk-image format would be compatible with your Windows software. http://clonezilla.org/

  • 6
    Note that Clonezilla will not clone free space (deleted files). And indeed - Clonezilla images can only be restored with Clonezilla, and aren't compatible with anything else. Also note that images of Ext4 partitions (whatever way they were made) are not compatible with most Windows file recovery apps. Jun 29, 2016 at 20:13
  • 2
    @JonasCz Clonezilla does allow you to use dd to clone drives, which would in turn clone the deleted files. However, by default Clonezilla does what you state, which is to not clone the free space.
    – chue x
    Jun 30, 2016 at 0:18
  • So should I go for clonezilla or just do it with terminal ?
    – Danizen
    Jun 30, 2016 at 1:17
  • Either way should work; if you're comfortable using dd it might be simpler. However, before you do any of this, you might want to check if the Windows disk recovery software supports ext3/ext4 filesystems Jun 30, 2016 at 1:22
  • Can you suggest any windows recovery software ?
    – Danizen
    Jun 30, 2016 at 2:51

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .