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External hard drive data disapeared. Cannot see files on external in windows.

August 20, 2011

A customer came in yesterday and had a data backup done by our data recovery center.  She was a teacher and had all of her school’s lesson plans and such on her hard drive, so she had no choice other than to pay out the rear to have it recovered from her dead hard drive. Our data recovery center put in on an external and sent it back. Yesterday she plugged it in to pull data off for the start of the school year and then proceeded to delete a few things. She said the next thing she knew, most of her stuff inside the folders was gone.

After plugging the drive into our windows machine, the data didnt appear to be in the folders. The drive still said that there was 160 gigs of data but we just couldn’t see it. I decided to plug it into our linux box (aka some beat up comapaq running ubuntu)

The folders that we couldn’t see on the windows machine showed up in ubuntu, but they were write protected. Here is how we got it back.

1. Plug the drive into a machine running ubuntu (or a linux live cd)

2. Press alt and f2. Then type gksu nautilus

3. Navigate to the drive that you need to recover data from and make sure its all there.

4. Plug in another hard drive, or make sure you have enough space on your main hard drive.

5. Press alt and f2 and type gksu nautilus

6. Navigate to the folder you want to back up the data to.

7. Copy all of the data from your external or flash drive to another directory (both windows must be opened with the gksu nautilus)

8. Once all data is moved over to another drive, reformat the external and then copy the data back. (i would suggest using gparted. It is usually included in most linux OS. You can download gparted live disk if you want)

**This is only a fix if the files on the flash drive have become write protected. If you deleted the data, you need to check out testdisk, photorec, or any other program of your choice. If you google those programs there are good guides on how to recovery the data.

***If anyone has any questions on data recovery, let me know.



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