Data recovery


Hall of Famer
Nov 24, 2014
Scott Depot, WV, USA
I have a 1TB drive that I accidentally started to format during a Linux upgrade, then realized I had selected the wrong drive from the pick list. I immediately stopped the process, but the partition table was already gone. I can use freeware data recovery software to scan the drive, and I can see all of the folders and individual files sitting there. I tried to recover some of the files using the same freeware, but it has a limit of 1G, and I have about 700G worth of files. I even purchased EaseUS for my wife's Win10 laptop, and tried recovering data with that. What is weird is EaseUS shows thumbnails of all the recovered files, but when I try to open them, they are almost all badly pixelated or corrupted. I also consulted with a commercial data recovery outfit, but they wanted $900 USD, without guarantee of success.

I know some of you are much more computer savvy than I. Can anyone recommend a good data recovery app, preferably for Linux Ubuntu? I know it will take a lot of time to scan and recover data, but I'm OK with that. I know it's probably a pipe dream, but is there any way to rebuild the partition table so the drive is directly accessible again, or is that just asking for permanent loss of files?
Apr 2, 2018
Those tiny pixelated pics are some cached thumbnail pics. When I run photorec on an usb stick I usually get all my deleted shots in duplicates, one is the tiny thumbnail and the other is the full size image.

Photorec I can recommed but it's tuned towards JPEG/PNG/TIFF images IIRC and is not going to be a general recovery solution. Photorec is free and is going to do as well as the best of the tools but it may be hard to use as it's a command-line tool. (But what comes to commad-line tools, photorec is among the easy-to-use ones.)

I believe your pipe dream is also possible but extremely finicky and requires expertise.
Apr 2, 2018
Another free solution, I think matches somewhat closely your problem...

TestDisk is powerful free data recovery software! It was primarily designed to help recover lost partitions.
Available for windows and linux: TestDisk - CGSecurity

This answer indicates the software is somewhat straightforward to use but I'm not sure.

There's at least plenty of documentation to peruse before trying to perform any operation. :)

And additionally I might add that EaseUS that you already purchased probably does a good job also, maybe it didn't finish scanning the drive or it presents the results in a confusing way.

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