Putting TestDisk on a bootable USB drive

How to use TestDisk to recover lost partition
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Putting TestDisk on a bootable USB drive

#1 Post by brich »

Hello all,

I hope someone can help me with the following problem. I would appreciate any advice and please excuse my ignorance.

I have a computer that won't boot to Windows 10 or even to safe mode. While it was still somewhat workable I ran chkdsk and learned that a partition was labelled RAW. The computer's hard drive has two partitions (I think). One is for "recovery" and seems to be okay and the other one contains my data which I want to recover. The latter one is the RAW part. I think one possible solution would be to put the 64 bit Windows version of TestDisk on a bootable USB memory stick. I managed to do this with the DOS version but it didn't work because it's 32 bit. I read the instructions to create a bootable USB drive on page 11 of the TestDisk Documention pdf file. Unfortunately I didn't quite understand them. A live image of Fedora can be put on a bootable USB drive using Fedora Media Writer but how would this help me? Is TestDisk included with Fedora? If not how would I put it on the image?

Another possible solution is that TestDisk is included with some of the free bootable CDs available. It's on the Hiren's CD but is part of Lazecroft Windows Recovery which is GUI based. It's also on the UltimateBoot CD as part of GParted which again is GUI based. Can I disentangle TestDisk from those tools to run with the Command prompt so I can follow the instructions given on this site? Apologies if I've gotten some of the details wrong or haven't explained myself properly.

Well I hope someone can help me with this.


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Re: Putting TestDisk on a bootable USB drive

#2 Post by cgrenier »

It's possible to use a Live Fedora in text mode. Once it has booted, run as root "dnf install testdisk" and you will be able to run "testdisk" , menu Advanced, Boot, RebuildBS, List.
If you can see your files, choose Write, confirm, Quit and reboot.

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Re: Putting TestDisk on a bootable USB drive

#3 Post by brich »

Many thanks. I followed your instructions and ran testdisk on the Fedora bootable drive.

Unfortunately, in a way I guess, it showed the partition with an NTFS file structure and the boot sector was shown as okay. I could also list the files. There was a utility on Fedora that said the drive could not be mounted. I then shut down the computer and booted with Hiren's Boot CD in an attempt to recover the files using recuva or puran. In hindsight though the files I wanted hadn't been deleted so what I could've done with recuva or puran I don't know. Anyway all the utilities on the Hiren's Boot CD couldn't see the hard drive at all. So I shut down and booted with the Fedora USB to run testdisk again. I thought maybe I could recover the files that way. This time though testdisk found the hard drive but couldn't see any partitions. Could I find the files with photorec? If so would I run "dnf install photorec"? I'm not sure at this point if I could even reinstall Windows. I hate to pick your brains again but do you have any ideas?

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Re: Putting TestDisk on a bootable USB drive

#4 Post by recuperation »

Please read:


Gparted is the smallest CD-size (only 354.418.688 Bytes) live CD/DVD I am aware of that contains all necessary software and does not require additional installation processes.
GParted live is based on Debian live, and the default account is user, with password live. There is no root password, so if you need root privileges, login as user, then run sudo to get root privileges.
quoted from https://gparted.org/download.php

The file

Smartmontools 7.1 (date 30.12.2019) - (command smartctl)
ddrescue 1.23 (February 2018)
Testdisk 7.1 (July 2019)
Photorec 7.1 (July 2019)

It's all in there and ready to use.
It seems that the most recent Knoppix mirrors only contain DVD-sized iso files.
Another small alternative is Systemrescue-CD.

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