My Story (Or, Trying to Save a Data Drive Borked by Linux! Help, Please1)

How to use TestDisk to recover lost partition
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cubdukat
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My Story (Or, Trying to Save a Data Drive Borked by Linux! Help, Please1)

#1 Post by cubdukat » 17 Feb 2018, 15:44

I recently attempted to do a dual-boot system with WIndows 10 and Fedora 27. It was successful, but unbeknownst to me, it made one of my drives into an LVM volume. That drive is now invisible to Win10. I downloaded Active Partition Recovery (sorry!) and it's seeing the old NTFS file system (fortunately, nothing was written to it to hamper recovery). It's like the old disk is still there, but everything is hidden to Windows.

What I want to know is how to return this drive to its old self (it was formatted in GPT, and it identifies as such in WIndows), if this is something that can be done with Testdisk, and if so, how would I go about doing it? And will it require me to have a second drive to copy the data to (it's a 4TB drive, and I don't have a spare on hand).

Any help anyone could give me would be greatly appreciated.

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cgrenier
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Re: My Story (Or, Trying to Save a Data Drive Borked by Linux! Help, Please1)

#2 Post by cgrenier » 18 Feb 2018, 09:10

It's usually a bad idea to boot from the same disk you are trying to repair. It's better to boot from another disk or even an USB key.
You can search for the NTFS partition using TestDisk.
Read https://www.cgsecurity.org/testdisk.pdf chapter "Recovering deleted partition using TestDisk".
Note that Linux filesystem ext4 by example) creates backup superblock a little bit everywhere so a lot of files from your NTFS partition may be corrupted.

cubdukat
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Re: My Story (Or, Trying to Save a Data Drive Borked by Linux! Help, Please1)

#3 Post by cubdukat » 21 Feb 2018, 01:44

I'll take a look.

The disk in question isn't the boot disk. It's actually a drive I keep in my system where I keep video files I've downloaded from my Tivo and convert to Blu-Ray compatible files. If I have to, I'll reformat and just count it as a wash, but I'd really like for that not to happen. The linux install shouldn't have even done anything with that drive, and I have no idea how this happened, but it never should have even looked at it.

The deeper scan should be done in a couple hours, then we'll see what's what.

Lesson of the day: Apparently I'm going to have to physically disconnect every drive in my system but the target drive before I install Linux.

cubdukat
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Joined: 17 Feb 2018, 15:32

Re: My Story (Or, Trying to Save a Data Drive Borked by Linux! Help, Please1)

#4 Post by cubdukat » 21 Feb 2018, 07:20

Well, it turns out that Testdisk didn't find everything., so I decided to try Photorec set to filter out video files, since that was the majority of what was on the drive. It appeared to work quite well, except that it seemed to dump all the files in one area with no specific way to identify what's what unless I play them. I had at least five or six years' worth of complete seasons of a lot of shows, and having to go through them, renaming them and transferring them to their proper places is going to be a nightmare.

Is there some way to get Photorec to save the recovered files by their original names, or include the directories they were found in in the recovery directory?

cubdukat
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Joined: 17 Feb 2018, 15:32

Re: My Story (Or, Trying to Save a Data Drive Borked by Linux! Help, Please1)

#5 Post by cubdukat » 11 Mar 2018, 07:05

Slight update...

My computer was laid low by hardware problems, but it's back up and running now with much more processing power.

I have also gotten a 5TB hard drive to copy the old LVM/NTFS drive onto. I've been running qtphotorec, and it's picking up fragments of files, but nothing I could easily make out.

As I said before, when the Fedora install attempted to turn it into an LVM, it doesn't seem to have touched anything else and nothing was written to it after, so it looks like the NTFS and GPT metadata is still intact, as are all the files. After I copy everything to the new drive, how should I proceed first? Is it as simple as switching it from LVM to GPT?

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