Linux and Technology blog

August 28, 2006

How to recover lost files after you accidentally wipe your hard drive

Filed under: Tutorials — rakeshvk @ 4:19 pm

Recently I wanted to make sure I had enough space to back up my home digital videos and pictures, so I purchased a new hard drive to add to my home Linux server. I moved all the files I wanted to save onto a single hard drive and repartitioned the old hard drive so I could upgrade to a newer version of Linux. After going through the process of reinstalling the operating system, I mounted the backup hard drive and discovered that it was empty. I had some how mixed up the hard drive I used to back up all the data with a hard drive that I wanted to wipe. Because I had done such a poor job of retaining backups on external media, I did not have any backups of my pictures and videos.

After the overwhelming feeling of dread passed, I started to look into file recovery options. I demoed a variety of commercial products to see if any of them could find my lost files or partitions. Nothing seemed to work. Finally, I discovered TestDisk and PhotoRec, and was able to use the latter to recover my lost files.

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