Can't select external drive as destination with TestDisk

Using PhotoRec to recover lost data
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asmadking
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Can't select external drive as destination with TestDisk

#1 Post by asmadking » 03 Oct 2017, 03:04

I saw this thread on here: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=938
And am experiencing the same problem.
My situation is a little different. Encountered a virus that rendered the hard drive unbootable. So I went over to Ultimate Boot CD and downloaded the files and got it working as a bootable CD. For some reason, Parted Magic doesn't run the graphic interface on the newer laptop the hard drive failed in, but when I changed things up just for grins and put the corrupted hard drive in an older machine, I got the parted magic interface.
No matter, because with both machines I can't get TestDisk to allow me to choose an external hard drive as my destination.
I know the instructions say to use the left arrow button to go back to select where I want to copy the files to, but it never lets me that far up. It only lets me back out to a list of folders similar to the screenshot in post #10 of the thread cited above. (I can't do screenshots at the moment.)
I know other people are having trouble with this, but why? And I can't do the "fix" the OP of that other thread reported about because I can't boot from anything other than a USB drive.
At the moment, I'm running UBCD from a stick drive in one USB drive and attach a WD passport to another USB drive. I've tried formatting the passport as both NTFS and exFAT to see if that made any difference. It didn't.
Also, I DON"T get the option as the tutorial on http://http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/P ... be_written page shows where it says it asks you to Select where recovered files are to be written and then get to pick a drive. It doesn't do that for me at any point.
I CAN get into the corrupted hard drive, the data partition and then see all the lovely files just waiting to be rescued... but have no way to actually do it. I don't want to clone because of the virus. HELP! THANKS!

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Re: Can't select external drive as destination with TestDisk

#2 Post by cgrenier » 03 Oct 2017, 06:11

You have to mount the filesystem of the external disk.

Assuming the filesystem is /dev/sdb1, if you are in command line, you can use
- "mount" to list the actual mounted partition
- "mkdir /mnt/data" to create a directory
- "mount /dev/sdb1 /mnt/data" to mount the partition /dev/sdb1
After that you can choose in PhotoRec /mnt/data as the destination.

asmadking
Posts: 6
Joined: 03 Oct 2017, 02:51

Re: Can't select external drive as destination with TestDisk

#3 Post by asmadking » 03 Oct 2017, 15:34

(BTW, I also need to clarify I made a typo in initial post, saying I made a bootable CD, when it is in fact a USB, just FYI.)
Last edited by asmadking on 03 Oct 2017, 20:28, edited 3 times in total.

asmadking
Posts: 6
Joined: 03 Oct 2017, 02:51

Re: Can't select external drive as destination with TestDisk

#4 Post by asmadking » 03 Oct 2017, 18:24

I am deleting this particular message as it is outdated and will waste time. The saga continues below.
Last edited by asmadking on 03 Oct 2017, 20:29, edited 3 times in total.

asmadking
Posts: 6
Joined: 03 Oct 2017, 02:51

Re: Can't select external drive as destination with TestDisk

#5 Post by asmadking » 03 Oct 2017, 19:29

Using mount as a command by itself didn't do anything. Just returned the prompt again. See below for update. :?:
Last edited by asmadking on 04 Oct 2017, 04:33, edited 3 times in total.

asmadking
Posts: 6
Joined: 03 Oct 2017, 02:51

Re: Can't select external drive as destination with TestDisk

#6 Post by asmadking » 03 Oct 2017, 20:05

As I continue my monologue :D I tried again in RoxTerm:
mkdir /mnt/data
mount /dev/sdc1 /mnt/data

I even tried sdb1 for grins, but that's already mounted because it's the UBCD flash drive. I don't get a confirmation of the mkdir or the mount, unless it's already mounted. So it seems a bit like feeling around in the dark.
No matter what I do, my destination in both Test Disk and PhotoRec puts me to the root directory of my UBCD flash drive and I can't go left out of it.

In all but one instance, the utilities are recognizing the external drive as sdc. It is a blank, formatted storage hard drive, but I've also tried a flash drive with the same result.
Sda is the corrupt internal drive, and sdb is the flash drive running ubcd.

Another issue I just found is that when I look in File Manager and click on the sda2 partition, it says undevil error 64: unable to determine device fstype - specify with -t.
When I run fdisk -I, it shows sda2 as system type "HPFS/NTFS/exFAT" and all the sda partitions are listed that way. It also says the partition table entries are not in disk order. Test Disk reports partition 1 to be EFI system, 2 as MS Reserved, 3 and MS Data, while 4,5 and 6 Unknown, whereas File Manager shows sda1 as Dellsupport, sda2 as just "--", sda3 as Winretools, and sda4 as image (nothing displayed for 5 and 6). Not sure if this discrepancy is normal since it's two different utilities, as the data is on partition 3 in Test Disk but sda3 in File Manager is instead winretools. I'd guess the sda2 partition that is just "--" is the one with the data? When I right click on sda2 in file manager it gives me a remount option, but given the warning type language about the options noexec, nosuid, and noatime, I didn't do it.The hard drive is spinning. Perhaps this all has to do with the fact that I put the bad Win10 drive into a machine that normally has a drive with Win7? That's the only machine I could get to use parted magic fully. I'd have to swap out my drives again to do anything different, and if I did that, I wouldn't have access to parted magic desktop user interface and almost all of the utilities, including a terminal, which I apparently need to mount the external drive. And I'm limited by the fact that I'm not slaving or anything - I'm having to do full uninstall/reinstall of single hard drives inside laptops to do anything. Or could it have to do with the fact that I formatted the external drive from Win7?
But this should be a second, separate issue, as it wouldn't have anything to do with the correct destination drive pretending to be mounted but then not being found, I would think. And honestly, if I could just get a destination on my external hard drive to use in photorec or test disk without worrying about this second issue, then I'll be good.

I tried to use clonezilla to clone the partition to the external drive, but it said warning: filesystem.squashfs not found! No idea where is LIVE MEDIA!!! Assume this is running DRBL client" then "The disk contains mismatched GPT and MBR partition: /dev/sda it will confuse Clonezilla and might make the saved image useless or fail to clone the disk. You can use gdisk or sgdisk to fix this issue. E.g. if you are sure only MBR partition table is the one you want, you can run this command to destroy the GPT partition table while keep the MBR partition table: sudo sgdisk -z /dev/sdx //NOTE// (1) replace /dev/sdx with the above hard drive name. (2) all existing data on the disk will be lost if giving wrong command. use this command carefully. etc.
So given my lack of familiarity with Linux, I'm stuck in yet another way.

Please help. I can't get this close only to fail. Obviously I'm not a Linux person, but I could get this done with a little more help. I care nothing for the drive - only the data. If someone would please respond it would really help me out a lot. I've tried registering over at the UBCD forums and the Parted Magic forums and haven't gotten activation emails yet.

asmadking
Posts: 6
Joined: 03 Oct 2017, 02:51

Re: Can't select external drive as destination with TestDisk

#7 Post by asmadking » 05 Oct 2017, 20:16

Well, whatever was happening, I gave it one last ditch effort this morning and it actually started working. I changed one thing, and one thing changed for me, and maybe those two things made the difference. For whatever reason, the external drive finally started getting recognized as sdb instead of sdc. Don't know if that really matters, but it was a change as of today for some unknown reason. The other thing was that instead of having a blank formatted hard drive, I put a folder in it just to have something to see and look for beyond /mnt/data so that I would know I was in the right place. It made a difference for some reason because when I just selected data as the destination (a billion times I tried), it wouldn't work.

So far, I've recovered all my lost photos and transferred them separately.

I'm now working on recovering documents and am keeping my fingers crossed.

Many thanks.

BTW, does the sdc vs sdb really matter? I don't know why that switched. I was glad to see it when I did the command lsblk and hoped for the best. I think what made the most difference was putting a folder on the drive. When I just left it as "data" it wouldn't go in. But it would go in and land on the external drive when I made that change in strategy.

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