TestDisk

TestDisk

TestDisk is a free data recovery utility. It was primarily designed to help recover lost data storage partitions and/or make non-booting disks bootable again when these symptoms are caused by faulty software, certain types of viruses or human error (such as accidentally erasing a partition table).

Summary

TestDisk queries the BIOS or the operating system in order to find the hard disks and their characteristics (LBA size and CHS geometry). TestDisk does a quick check of your disk's structure and compares it with the partition table for entry errors. If the table has entry errors, TestDisk can repair them.

However, it's up to the user to look over the list of possible partitions found by TestDisk and to select the one(s) which were being used just before the drive failed to boot or the partition(s) were lost. In some cases, especially after initiating a detailed search for lost partitions, TestDisk may show partition data which is simply from the remnants of a partition that had been deleted and overwritten long ago.

TestDisk has features for both novices and experts :

  • Recover deleted partition
  • Rebuild partition table
  • Rewrite Master boot record (MBR)
  • File Allocation Table, FAT
    • FAT12 and FAT16
      • Find filesystem parameters to rewrite a valid boot sector
      • Use the two copies of the FAT to rewrite a coherent version
      • FAT file undelete
    • FAT32
      • Find filesystem parameters to rewrite a valid boot sector
      • Restore the boot sector using its backup
      • Use the two copies of the FAT to rewrite a coherent version
      • FAT file undelete
  • NTFS
    • Find filesystem parameters to rewrite a valid boot sector
    • Restore the boot sector using its backup
    • Restore the Master File Table (MFT) from its backup
    • NTFS file undelete
  • Extended file systems, ext2 and ext3
    • Find backup superblock location to assist fsck
    • ext2 file undelete
  • HFS+
    • Restore the boot sector using its backup

For those who know little or nothing about data recovery techniques, TestDisk can be used to collect detailed information about a corrupted drive which can then be sent to a tech for further analysis.

Supported operating systems

TestDisk supports these operating systems:

File systems

TestDisk can find lost partitions of these file systems:

Popularity

TestDisk and PhotoRec have been downloaded more than 150 000 times in July 2008 from the primary website. In fact these utilities are even more popular as they can be found on various Linux Live CD:

They are also packaged for numerous Linux distribution

References

See also

External links

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