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Raw Data Recovery Suggested


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I would feel incredibly stupid but hey... everyone does it sooner or later. I backed up my drives to a huge USB drive and I formatted the system. It was late by then, do I did the inevitable... I forgot to turn off the backup disk and deleted the NTFS partition with my life's work on it. I didn't realize my error till I tried to restore. Oh POOP!!


By now, the Sun was coming up and did I take a sleep break? Heck, no! I had this Partition Recovery utility someone had recommended called TestDisk that offers WAY too many options and is not intuitive at all. Somehow, I ended up sticking a FAT partition header on my previously NTFS partition. Now I'm ready to kick myself. Too late, I retired.


Now, I come to my senses and try a nice straightforward approach like Recuva. Well, Recuva sees the Fat header and tries to go for the Fat files. Surprise! It only sees garbage. I can't tell it to ignore the Header and go directly to the raw data or to look for NTFS data no matter what the header says. That would save my life right now.


I know almost all of the data is still there because several expensive utilities (who shall remain nameless) can see it just fine with their demo versions. Is my request too extravagant? I don't know how close to this functionality you guys are but if you can do this, I'll put you in my will. That's better than trying to give you money now because I've been out of work since my programming job went overseas a few years ago.


See? You provide an irreplaceable service to so many indigent programmers who just deleted their resumes. We'll remember you when we're rich again.


Thanks for all the great software, though. I know it isn't easy and I appreciate the sweat.




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Hi Michael, I'm sorry to hear of your problems, and I know the TestDisk program you refer to as I suggested it as a possibility to someone a week ago who had completely lost his D: drive.


It appears to be an extremely versatile piece of software, but is most definitely the most user unfriendly thing I've looked at.


I've been looking at it for the past week, and have managed to get it to extract data from different drives (one a flash drive), as an Image file. But an Image File of a type I haven't seen before, an Image.dd. There was of course the option to simply copy the files off the disk.


I also found the options to change the disk from Fat16 to NTFS or whatever else you would want to make it.


If you copy the data as an Image.dd file, I've also managed to find Free Software that will open and extract the data/program from an Image.dd file.


We're now getting into the realm of "forensic retrieval" with this combination of software, and I managed to extract any file I required from the flash drive as an Image, and retrieve the program I Imaged using a program called FTK Imager.


TestDisk is available here: (In case it's a different download to yours), and there are help files on the page.


Once downloaded, the simple exe file is inside the "win" folder.


FTK Imager 2.5.4, and 2.5.4 Lite are available here: Downloads are well down the page, and there are help files.


However I put together a few screenshots of the process, which was easier than it looked. Although it appears to be command line, it has a fixed option process as opposed to having to input commands.




















This last Image is the "Change Type" window, which gives the option to change the file type, i.e. NTFS, Fat, Linux etc..


I hope this will be some use to you Michael, and if I can help any further, please post back.

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