Recover files after installation.

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linuxjp
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Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2020 3:19 pm

Recover files after installation.

Post by linuxjp »

Hi everyone. Any advice with this issue:

1. I had linux zorin installed
2. Certain day boot failed
3. Linux mint was installed
4. After that no further action has been taken

Question: What methods or tools could I use to recover the files i had before installing mint? Thanks for your help.
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xenopeek
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Location: The Netherlands

Re: Recover files after installation.

Post by xenopeek »

Stop using the computer immediately. Any further writes to the disk will risk overwriting parts of the disk where delete files would otherwise still be recoverable.

Do you still have the Linux Mint installation medium? If not re-download it on another computer and make a bootable USB/DVD from it again. Do you also have another large external storage device? You may need something almost as big as you the disk in your computer.

With that prepared boot your computer from the Linux Mint installation medium. Then first run the command:
sudo swapoff -a
to prevent it from using any swap space on the computer.

Then install TestDisk and use that to try and recover deleted files, or maybe even entire partition. If recovering deleted files, recover them to the external storage device as any further writes to the disk in your computer risks overwriting other deleted files. See TestDisk information on https://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk. Read the Step by Step and FAQ. It will take some reading and experimenting. If you can't get it down with TestDisk you can try with PhotoRec from the same website. These will not find just personal files but also system files, files previously deleted to trash and so on. It's going to take some time and you won't be able to recover everything (what is already overwritten by LM).

Best of luck. If you managed to recover files, afterwards set up something to backup personal files to cloud or external storage periodically.
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