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Save documents after a interrupted "dd" command!

Posted on 2003-03-05
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Last Modified: 2010-04-03
I'd installed SuSE 8.1 prof on a 40 Gb hdd (hda), my windows xp os was installed on another 40 Gb hdd (hdb). For sercurity's sake I wanted to backup a clean SuSE install and put that image on the mounted windows drive (hdb) using the "dd" command for this.
So I did...ahum...wrong!
I typed the following in the console in Linux:
dd if=/dev/hda of=/dev/hdb1
Don't ask me why I did that...I did it...my mistake. I hit return and after a second or two I realised I didn't want to make an image of hda put OVER hdb! I just wanted an imageFILE, added on my windows hdb. In a reflex I hit control+C and interrupted the action... but the worse already had been done. When I opened the (still mounted) hdb in X-window I couldn't recognise the dir-structure, I saw a lot dirs called: "e  st d" and stuff like that. After reboot, I cant mount hdb anymore, can't boot from it (duh).
The WORSE PART of it, is that I'm a poet, a writer, without backups of my writing, and I just NEED let's say 10 Word documents, containing about 200 poems!
At this moment I'm "dd if=/dev/hdb of=/dev/hdc" (I've put a third 40 Gb hdd in my pc), but this is taking 49 minutes now...
Can anyone please help me?!? How can I get my stuff back? Can I get my stuff back?
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Question by:Vincentius
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5 Comments
 
LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:dimitry
ID: 8072780
I am not sure that it is possible to recover overwritten
NTFS disk (your Windows XP disk).
You try to buy and use Norton utilities:
http://www.symantec.com/nu/nu_9x/features.html
They have good recovery tools, but unfortunately the success depends on how many sectors you destroyed...
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:heskyttberg
ID: 8074928
Hi!

I just say one thing that many has said before at a situation like this.

Don't do anything to the disk. Your backup of hdb to hdc won't help you at all since you only copy stuff the the hd can actually read.

Professionals can go as far as 5-6 layers beyond that to recover stuff.

So as many others have recommended in situation like this I'll do the same:
www.ontrack.com

I wish you all the luck, but in order for them to succed you need to send them your hdb drive ontuched as it is right now.

They can't recover anything from your copy on hdc.

Regards
/Hans - Erik Skyttberg
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Author Comment

by:Vincentius
ID: 8166610
I've tried with an hex-prog to recover some fragments, unfortunately my hdb was too fragmented to get everything, or I need to dig out 4.6 Gb of ascii txt. Moreover, some documents were encrypted...
I've also tried some tools, but there already was too much damage been done to recover anything
Maybe a quick format will restrucure my FAT fs, but I know that's very risky.
There isn't really a solution for this I suppose...tnx anyway!

greetz
Vincentius

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LVL 8

Accepted Solution

by:
heskyttberg earned 400 total points
ID: 8177846
Hi!

There is if you are willing to spend cash to recover, it depends on how important data was.

Some companies can go through up to 6 layers of saved data on the disk. But you shouldn't touch the disk with any tools before sending it in.

A quick format will give you a new empty file system with no data at all.

Regards
/Hans - Erik Skyttberg
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Author Comment

by:Vincentius
ID: 8210412
Because of the mass fragmentation of my documents a commercial company would be able to save maybe 10%, or come up with 200 copmletely different poems ;-)
I've learned my lesson: think first, act later on. :-)
Thanks for your help, though there wasn't really an answer...
greetings,

Vincentius
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