Windows

A tool running in Windows can save data lost in Linux

Recovering data from a hard drive with a corrupted partition table created by Linux is not something you do every day. However, DiskInternals makes a tool, which runs under Windows, called Linux Reader that can recover your data. Jack Wallen shows you how to install, configure, and use this tool.

Recovering data from a hard drive with a corrupted partition table created by Linux is not something you do every day. However, DiskInternals makes a tool, which runs under Windows, called Linux Reader that can recover your data. Jack Wallen shows you how to install, configure, and use this tool in this How do I entry in the Windows blog.

The nice thing about this tool is it does not allow you to write to the ext2 or ext3 partitions. It only allows read access. This is crucial in keeping your data from being overwritten or completely lost (without the help of high-cost, third-party solutions.) Another nice thing about this tool is it has very low system requirements:

  • Windows 9x/ME/NT4.0/2000/XP/2003/Vista
  • At least 16 MB of RAM
  • Free disk space for recovered files

For more details check out the How do I article in the Windows blog.

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

11 comments
xobserver
xobserver

Ext2 Installable File System For Windows offers full R/W access to Ext2 and Ext3 volumes under WXP and works like a charm. Question is if it would work on a corrupt partition. Any experience?

FewClues
FewClues

Why would I ever use a Windows tool to repair a linux box? That would be making the erroneous assumption that I had a box running Windows. Second bad assumption would be that I don't know how to use any of the dozen Linux recovery programs. It is apparent that somebody became miffed at all of us using Knoppix to repair windows and chartered this program. No cigar or gold star on this one.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I'm glad I wasn't the only one to wonder about this, although I don't see any "apparent" chartering of a program. Windows users don't feel insulted when a Linux tool is used to fix their systems; why should Linux users?

Jaqui
Jaqui

at windows based apps repairing? nope, only at the lack of coverage of any of the linux tools, included with the distros, that will do the same job.

seanferd
seanferd

A little water on the back of the neck, and the code please, Jack. ;)

Jaqui
Jaqui

only if you have an e2fs or ext3fs. if youwent iwith the 64bit journalised file system xfs you would want xfsfsk. [ xfs is also faster access than e2fs, ext3 or reiserfs. and less likely to go bad without notification, since it is fsked every time a system boots. 212GB xfs partition fsk is about 3 seconds, so not a big time concern. ]

Jaqui
Jaqui

it's time? those tools are the ones nobody has covered, and would be of interest to a lot of people. apache? done in spades, all over the web. mysql / postgresql, same thing. sendmail / postfix/ ezlm ... well covered. it's the common tasks that get coverd, the rarely used tools needed when dealing with failure in some bit of the system that need covering for a lot of people.

buzon
buzon

At Windows environment almost FAT32/NTFS partition/formating utilities works loading Dr-DOS !! (including big-size disk). The genuine Linux powered user read too much and learn to use the internal Lx utilities.

pgit
pgit

My distribution (Mandriva) adds easy access to single user mode in grub, which they call "recovery" mode. Single user dumps you into a root terminal quickly, bypassing almost all services and ignoring file system errors. (it doesn't mount partitions, only a RAM drive) Problem is once you get there, you're staring at a blinking cursor. To do anything you need to be familiar with whatever command line tools appropriate to the task. For instance in this article you'd want to use e2fsck. And forget Knoppix, it's OK as a 'pocket OS' but it's too bloated for quick recovery work. Slax is where it's at for that. I have a USB stick with the extra modules I may need for a given task, and they "install" (more like insert) live into the file system in seconds. So I can boot Slax and load gparted, if the mission is partitioning. Slax is probably the most under rated Linux distribution out there. I like to remind folks that it's maintained by the man who invented the whole concept of "live CD" systems in the first place. His pet project Slax is about the most full featured of the "thin" variety of live OSs, the class including DSL and Puppy. Yet it fits on a mini CD, at around 180MB you get a complete KDE desktop, but more important the ability to add any module you might need at the moment. As for this windows tool, I'm happy it's out there. I know I'll never use it, I don't have any windows machines in my stable. But the implication is there's a need for recovering messed up Linux systems, and for most shops which are windows based, there's a tool available. As an aside, joining Tech Republic as been the most helpful thing I've done in recent memory. One day I saw a couple posts that solved a couple age-old problems that had eluded me for years.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I did wonder why a Windows-based tool was being used, requiring physical movement of the drive from one machine to another. I assumed there must be Linux-based tools to do this job, probably ones that could be run from a boot CD, but I wondered why Jack didn't even mention them. As for me, when I need to perform similar operations on a problematic Windows drive, I use a Bart-PE CD.

jlwallen
jlwallen

you're right. those linux tools get very little coverage. maybe it's time.