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Recovering Deleted Data on Ubuntu Linux Server

Posted on 2014-07-19
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Hi folks!

Got an Ubuntu Linux 12.04.3 LTS server that is acting as a network file server using Samba.

While connected from a Windows machine using a mapped network drive, I accidentally deleted a bunch of files that shouldn't have been. Too many for me to know the exact file names.

Assuming there is not an easy solution, like going to a backup, what is the best way to go about trying to recover or "undelete" these files? I'm a bit of a novice when it comes to Linux file systems.

Thanks,
Ithizar
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Question by:Ithizar
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by:ThomasMcA2
ID: 40206801
Testdisk can undelete files in Linux. See here for step-by-step instructions.
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by:Ithizar
ID: 40206807
Would you install TestDisk on the server where the deleted files are? That's what the instructions seem to apply, but I always understood you should not do any disk writes on a drive you're trying to recover data from.
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by:ThomasMcA2
ID: 40206811
No, I would not install it on the same system - I'd run it from a LiveCD or LiveUSB.
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Author Comment

by:Ithizar
ID: 40206840
This is a machine sitting in a data center about an hour away from me, so I'd like to avoid physically going there if I could. :-) Do you know of a way to install and run TestDisk from another partition/location other than a LiveCD? Or, alternatively, do you know of any other product or technique that could be accomplished without physically accessing the server?

Thanks again!
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by:ThomasMcA2
ID: 40206854
Can you mount the remote drive across the network? Testdisk can work on mounted drives, so you could just install it locally to fix the remote drive.
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by:Ithizar
ID: 40206870
Yes, I can. In fact, the machine I'm trying TestDisk from already has this particular share mounted. However, when I run TestDisk, I see nothing in the list of available disks that matches that mount point.

For example, if I run the "mount" command with no parameters, one of the entries I see is this:

//datastore02/mainwwwroot on /network/datastore02/mainwwwroot type cifs (rw,mand)

That is the network share in question. However, when I run TestDisk, I see this:

Select a media (use Arrow keys, then press Enter):
>Disk /dev/sda - 644 GB / 600 GiB - VMware Virtual disk
 Disk /dev/mapper/easynas01-root - 642 GB / 598 GiB - VMware Virtual disk
 Disk /dev/mapper/easynas01-swap_1 - 1073 MB / 1024 MiB - VMware Virtual disk
 Disk /dev/sr0 - 64 MB / 61 MiB (RO) - VMware Virtual IDE CDROM Drive
 Disk /dev/dm-0 - 642 GB / 598 GiB - VMware Virtual disk
 Disk /dev/dm-1 - 1073 MB / 1024 MiB - VMware Virtual disk

(The machine I'm running from is a virtual machine, hence all the VMware Virtual disks.)

From there, how do I get it to look at a mounted drive and do recovery on it?

Thanks.
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ThomasMcA2 earned 2000 total points
ID: 40206883
Since it sees other mounted disks, I was hoping it would work for your network disk. It even sees my encrypted /home, and a mounted TrueCrypt container.

Another option is a tool called foremost. The linked article says the package manager for Ubuntu can install it. I can't test it, since foremost is not in my package manager (openSUSE.) Good luck.
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