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Data recovery with TestDisk can be confusing to new users of the software. This guide will provide step-by-step instructions on how to recover unrecovable partitions with TestDisk, from installation to using the software to the rescue.
What is TestDisk?
TestDisk is a free open source data recovery software designed to recover lost partitions and make them non-bootable drives bootable again. It is often used when users run into problems such as:
- Accidentally deleted partitions
- Damaged partition table
- Accidentally overwritten the boot sector
- Rebuilt the drive's master boot record
Benefits of Using TestDisk
TestDisk offers a number of advantages for users, including:
- Supports different file systems including FAT, NTFS, EXT, as well as more modern systems like Apple HFS+ and Linux EXT2/EXT3/EXT4.
- Supports many storage devices such as USB flash drives, hard drives, and more.
- The graphical user interface (GUI) is easy and intuitive to use, making it ideal for novice users.
- Comes with powerful command line support, allowing users to bypass the graphical user interfaces.
- Has support for numerous operating systems, including major versions of Windows, Linux, MacOS, and more.
- It is free and open source.
How to Install and Use TestDisk
Step 1: Download TestDisk
To get started, you'll need to download TestDisk. TestDisk can be found on Github.
Once you have the download complete, you will need to extract it. On Windows, this can be done by right-clicking on the downloaded file and selecting
Extract All. On Linux, use the command
tar -xzf followed by the name of the downloaded file.
Step 2: Open TestDisk
Once you have extracted TestDisk, you can open it. On Windows, simply double-click on the TestDisk executable. On Linux, run the command
./testdisk_static in the same directory where you extracted TestDisk.
You will be presented with a menu where you can select from several options, such as creating a new partition table and recovering data on the selected partition.
Step 3: Choose the correct option
The first option on the menu should be “Create”, which will create a partition table on the device you have selected. This option is only used if you are creating a new partition.
If you are attempting to recover a lost partition, then you should select the “Analyze” option. This will allow TestDisk to scan the device and look for lost partitions.
Step 4: Select the drive you want to recover
Once you have selected the option you need, you will need to select the drive that contains the lost partition. This can be done by using the arrow keys on your keyboard.
Step 5: Select the partition you want to recover
Once you have selected the drive, you will be presented with a list of partitions. You will then need to select the partition you want to recover. This can be done by using the arrow keys on your keyboard.
Step 6: Start the recovery
After selecting the partition you want to recover, you will need to select the “Quick Search” option from the menu. This will start the data recovery process. TestDisk will attempt to recover the lost partition and any data that may have been stored on it.
Step 7: Verify the recovered data
After TestDisk has finished its search, you will be prompted to review the recovered data.
TestDisk can recover lost data, but there is always the possibility of data being corrupted or incomplete. Therefore, it is important to review the recovered data to ensure its validity.
If the recovered data is valid, then you should select the “Continue” option to save the recovered data.
Is TestDisk free?
Yes, TestDisk is free and open source software.
What types of devices does TestDisk support?
TestDisk supports different storage devices, including USB flash drives, hard drives, and more.
Does TestDisk work on Apple devices?
Yes, TestDisk has support for MacOS systems and is capable of recovering data from HFS+ filesystems.
Does TestDisk work on Linux?
Yes, TestDisk has support for Linux systems and is capable of recovering data from EXT2/EXT3/EXT4 filesystems.
Does TestDisk work on Windows?
Yes, TestDisk has support for Windows systems and is capable of recovering data from NTFS and FAT filesystems.
Does TestDisk have a graphical user interface?
Yes, TestDisk comes with a graphical user interface that is easy and intuitive to use, as well as powerful command line support.