Linux Data Recovery

Now many data storage devices operate under the Linux operating system. Apart the from common storage devices, like memory cards and hard drives, most complex devices, like NASes operate under Linux. This is in large part due to the Linux flexibility and its open source nature. Despite the Linux reliability, failures happen and important data can still be lost.

The main Linux filesystems used in modern storage devices are ext3/ext4, XFS, and btrfs. From the recovery point of view, each of these filesystems has its own specifics:

Ext3 – is recovered well except for the cases involving deleted files. Undelete on ext3 is of poor quality due to the strong fragmentation.

Ext4 – the recovery of the deleted files is usually of poor quality but better than on ext3. Fragmentation is less as compared to ext3. All other recovery cases are typically recovered well.

XFS – is the most well-recoverable Linux filesystem.

Btrfs – files are often fragmented. The recovery is often slow, but generally, chances to recover data successfully are high. Thanks to the copy-on-write function, the deleted files are recovered well.

Linux file recovery with ReclaiMe

  1. Connect disks from a Linux device to a Windows PC. If you deal with a RAID, disconnect disks from a controller first, if you recover data from a NAS – pull the disks out of the unit.
  2. Download, install, and run ReclaiMe File Recovery.
  3. Select your device under the Linux LVM volumes or Linux MD volumes and click Start.
  4. Linux data recovery
  5. Wait till ReclaiMe starts to bring data. Note that often you do not need to wait till the end of the scan: 2-3% is usually enough.
  6. Check the quality of the recovery and proceed with copying data.

If you are not satisfied with the quality of Linux data recovery, most likely Linux metadata is destroyed significantly. It is still possible to try to recover data but before using ReclaiMe File Recovery, first you need to recover the configuration of a Linux device with ReclaiMe Free RAID Recovery. Refer to this site for more information about Linux RAID recovery.

Other Linux data recovery solutions

In Linux data recovery, sometimes it is possible to recover data for free. For this, you need to have a Linux computer and use special Linux tools like Ddrescue or Testdisk.

Ddrescue scans a device and copies data from the “bad” device to a “good” one. Typically, there are several stages – first only healthy sectors are read, then areas containing a few bad sectors, and finally, the tool tries to read severely damaged regions. It should be noted that all the actions are done through the command line.

TestDisk allows you to recover data from lost partitions given that the user partitions are OK but some Linux metadata is slightly damaged.

Both these tools are recommended for use only for those users who already have experience with Linux due to non-user friendly interface and the possibility to make things worse.

Still have questions?