EMERGENCY! Please Don't Tell Me My Entire USB Drive Contents Is NOT Gone!

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ChrisJNorris
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EMERGENCY! Please Don't Tell Me My Entire USB Drive Contents Is NOT Gone!

Post by ChrisJNorris »

Somebody please tell me that my 429 items I had on my USB Drive is still there? I'll be so pesi off and angry if they are gone. I had a ton of stuff on that USB Drive, valuable materials and pictures

I just download Linux Mint Cinnamon 20.1 from Linux Mint website using Linux Mint Cinnamon OS

Somehow, I needed to reload the OS because some stuff got messed up and the Windows PC I originally use to download the Linux Mint OS, the graphics card on that computer burnt out on me and quit, so I had to Google and learn has to download the OS using Linux Mint. I had trouble in the past downloading Linux Mint OS off the Linux Mint OS itself

Anyways, I add to the Linux Mint OS 20.1 to the USB though using the Linux Mint OS itself

Now I can't find my USB with the 429 different items I had on there, when I plug in the USB it shows the Linux Mint OS IOS file and that is it

Somebody please save me and let me know what is going on. Also, what I can do to recover my 429 items
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Re: EMERGENCY! Please Don't Tell Me My Entire USB Drive Contents Is NOT Gone!

Post by zcot »

You overwrote the first 1.9GB + 1GB on that usb drive (unless it was only a 2GB usb drive in which case you overwrote 1.9GB of it).

You will possibly be able to retrieve the rest of the stuff after that 2.9GB(or 1.9GB) area. There are recovery tools for this. For example TestDisk, DDRescue, SafeCopy, see here: https://www.fosslinux.com/41727/the-6-b ... ftware.htm

Carrying 429 items on a usb drive that are valuable is not a good method. A usb will go bad at any moment, you can lose it, drop it in a puddle, the dog chews it. Any info that you hold as "valuable" is always saved to at least 2 different medias.

I'm sorry to hear about this situation, it's really a bad thing when this happens.
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Re: EMERGENCY! Please Don't Tell Me My Entire USB Drive Contents Is NOT Gone!

Post by ChrisJNorris »

zcot wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 12:02 am
You overwrote the first 1.9GB + 1GB on that usb drive(unless it was only a 2GB usb drive in which case you overwrote 1.9GB of it).

You will possibly be able to retrieve the rest of the stuff after that 2.9GB(or 1.9GB) area. There are recovery tools for this. For example TestDisk, DDRescue, SafeCopy, see here: https://www.fosslinux.com/41727/the-6-b ... ftware.htm

Carrying 429 items on a usb drive that are valuable is not a good method. A usb will go bad at any moment, you can lose it, drop it in a puddle, the dog chews it. Any info that you hold as "valuable" is always saved to at least 2 different medias.

I'm sorry to hear about this situation, it's really a bad thing when this happens.
It is a 16 GB Flash Drive
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Re: EMERGENCY! Please Don't Tell Me My Entire USB Drive Contents Is NOT Gone!

Post by Lady Fitzgerald »

If your data is really that valuable, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO RECOVER IT YOURSELF! More times than not, it can permanently destroy what data is left on the drive. Instead, find a professional data recovery company to attempt to recover your remaining data for you. Be warned this will cost well north of $1k and carries no guarantees of success.

If you can't justify the expense of professional data recovery, then try to clone the drive before attempting to recover the remaining data, then try to recover from the clone instead of the original. Don't hold your breath, though.

This is second post here in as many days where someone lost their data due to accidentally writing to a drive (I wish I had a dollar for every post similar to this I've seen over the past few years). The only way to reasonably ensure data is safe is for it to exist in at least three separate places. Keep in mind that any drive, no matter its age, brand, whatever, even a backup drive, is subject to sudden, irrecoverable failure at any time with no warning whatsoever. Data loss can come from user error (such as in this case), equipment failure due to a manufacturing flaw (or plain old bad luck), theft, fire, storm, power surges, etc.

In this case, you should have had two duplicate external drives in addition to the one that got messed up. Those two external duplicate drives need to be kept disconnected from the computer and powered down except when updating the data. One of those drives should be kept onsite, the other one offsite, and the two should be swapped out as frequently as practical to make sure both are kept up to date.

Many people complain having duplicate drives cost too much and take to long to keep up to date but, when you consider the cost of losing data and the cost of recovery that may not work, believe me, it's a bargain!

I'm sorry to sound so harsh but this is the stark reality and sometimes it takes something like this to impress upon people the importance of making and maintaining multiple backups.
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Re: EMERGENCY! Please Don't Tell Me My Entire USB Drive Contents Is NOT Gone!

Post by deepakdeshp »

Lady F has given a nice backup strategy.
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Re: EMERGENCY! Please Don't Tell Me My Entire USB Drive Contents Is NOT Gone!

Post by ChrisJNorris »

Can I just delete the Linux Mint OS off the flash drive and everything should come back is that a possibility?

I am trying TestDisk, but the program is dizzying to try and figure out
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Re: EMERGENCY! Please Don't Tell Me My Entire USB Drive Contents Is NOT Gone!

Post by ThaCrip »

zcot wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 12:02 am
Any info that you hold as "valuable" is always saved to at least 2 different medias.
Exactly. becase this is a very basic BARE MINIMUM standard of data loss protection. if people fail to adhere this, they are asking for trouble.

so no offense to the OP, but if your keeping important files on a USB stick without another backup copy, your rolling-the-dice and this time you got burned.

but a lot of people always seems to ignore this basic bare minimum standard of backing up data and then they panic once they get burned. but it's usually too late at this point.

NOTE: I am of the mindset that for any higher importance data that one cannot afford to lose is to have at least two copies on two different hard drives (i.e. DATA1 on HDD1 and DATA1 on HDD2) at the minimum (I trust hard drives more than a USB stick since with a hard drive you more likely to get some sort of warning before outright failure and I just trust data on hard drives or optical media(CD/DVD etc) more than I would on flash memory like USB stick etc). but on top of that, for extra insurance, it's a good idea to burn that data onto a DVD (Verbatim or TY(Taiyo Yuden) media. optimally even both. but Verbatim is probably the overall better option since it's cheaper and still good quality media). also, depending on how much data you have, even uploading some of it online (encrypt it if it's sensitive data with a secure password) can offer further protection but I would never rely solely on online data backup as it's best to have a physical copy of it locally etc. also, with the two hard drives backup stuff... it's best to have one hard drive externally connected and only connect it occasionally to transfer your important data to it and then disconnect it. doing stuff like this should give you a pretty good level of protection against data loss without too much effort. even for the lazy types... what zcot said is a absolute minimum (although I would recommend hard drives over flash storage since it's less likely to just fail out of no where).
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Re: EMERGENCY! Please Don't Tell Me My Entire USB Drive Contents Is NOT Gone!

Post by ChrisJNorris »

It's not about being stupid or careless, this didn't happen when I use Yumi bootable drive on a Windows PC. I could add and delete Linux OS, everything else wouldn't be touch. I do have a Seagate External Hard Drive that I used all the time, I'm very O.C.D., I have the flash drive for years now I'm very protective of it and it never failed me. I would use it to transfer stuff to my OneDrive, since there is no OneDrive option on Linux.

I did run PhotoRec and from the looks of it so far, my stuff is there. Except it looks like the folders that I had stuff organize in are gone and the pictures have been completely rename so I stop it. I contacted a local PC Repair place here in my city of Shreveport.

Are there any programs I can run that can bring back my stuff exactly how I had it before this Linux Mint screw up? If so, please let me know.
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Re: EMERGENCY! Please Don't Tell Me My Entire USB Drive Contents Is NOT Gone!

Post by Pierre »

you can use PhotoRec / TestDisk for those recovery purposes.
- - it will Take some Time .. you do need to be very patient - -

you can load either program from your LinuxMint Live Media,
or even get an dedicated Linux System, to recover those files.
:|
ChrisJNorris wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 1:42 am
Are there any programs I can run that can bring back my stuff exactly how I had it before this Linux Mint screw up? If so, please let me know.
NO - - that won't work, either.
:arrow:
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Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] - when your problem is solved!
and DO LOOK at those Unanswered Topics - - you may be able to answer some!.
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Re: EMERGENCY! Please Don't Tell Me My Entire USB Drive Contents Is NOT Gone!

Post by Lady Fitzgerald »

ChrisJNorris wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 1:42 am
It's not about being stupid or careless, this didn't happen when I use Yumi bootable drive on a Windows PC. I could add and delete Linux OS, everything else wouldn't be touch. I do have a Seagate External Hard Drive that I used all the time, I'm very O.C.D., I have the flash drive for years now I'm very protective of it and it never failed me. I would use it to transfer stuff to my OneDrive, since there is no OneDrive option on Linux.

I did run PhotoRec and from the looks of it so far, my stuff is there. Except it looks like the folders that I had stuff organize in are gone and the pictures have been completely rename so I stop it. I contacted a local PC Repair place here in my city of Shreveport.

Are there any programs I can run that can bring back my stuff exactly how I had it before this Linux Mint screw up? If so, please let me know.
Any recovery program you use will only recover files, usually renamed, and will not have the original folder structure. It's the nature of the beast; deal with it.

You apparently haven't been paying attention to what people have been telling you here. I don't give the north end of a south bound furry little rodent how long you have had the drive or how protective you have been with it. Again, all drives are subject to sudden, irrecoverable failure at any time without any warning, no matter the brand, type, age, or how well you take care of it. In case you still missed it, here it is one more time:

All drives are subject to sudden, irrecoverable failure at any time without any warning, no matter the brand, type, age, or how well you take care of it. As drives get older, they are more likely to die. It's like the line in an old Irish drinking song, "And always remember the older you get, the sooner you'll bloody well die."

I've had brand new drives arrive DOA. I've had a few die with in the warranty period. I've had others seemingly last forever until I retired it (the longest running drive, a 60GB Maxtor IDE, ran for seven years before I retired it.

Drive failure is not the only way you can lose data. Your unfortunate situation is a prime example of one of the most common causes of data loss: user error. It happens to all of us sooner or later. It's happened to me except I had my data backed up so each time was only an embarrassing inconvenience, not a fatal catastrophe.

USB flash drives are not as durable as SSDs or even HDDs. I use mine mostly for transferring data from one computer to another. I've had more USB flash drives die than all the SSDs (over 40) and HDDs I've had combined. Again, it's the nature of the beast.

Again, if your data is valuable to you, it needs to exist in at least three different places. Otherwise, you're playing Russian Roulette with your data, except only one chamber is empty.
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Re: EMERGENCY! Please Don't Tell Me My Entire USB Drive Contents Is NOT Gone!

Post by ChrisJNorris »

Pierre wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 1:50 am
you can use PhotoRec / TestDisk for those recovery purposes.
- - it will Take some Time .. you do need to be very patient - -

you can load either program from your LinuxMint Live Media,
or even get an dedicated Linux System, to recover those files.
:|
ChrisJNorris wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 1:42 am
Are there any programs I can run that can bring back my stuff exactly how I had it before this Linux Mint screw up? If so, please let me know.
NO - - that won't work, either.
:arrow:
What program between Testdisk and PhotoRec can I run that will keep the original file names for the pictures & files once I recovered them? Also, I wonder if I delete the Linux Mint OS from the flash drive, would the flash drive revert back to the way it was before I add the Linux Mint OS to it?
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Re: EMERGENCY! Please Don't Tell Me My Entire USB Drive Contents Is NOT Gone!

Post by ChrisJNorris »

Lady Fitzgerald wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 2:09 am
ChrisJNorris wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 1:42 am
It's not about being stupid or careless, this didn't happen when I use Yumi bootable drive on a Windows PC. I could add and delete Linux OS, everything else wouldn't be touch. I do have a Seagate External Hard Drive that I used all the time, I'm very O.C.D., I have the flash drive for years now I'm very protective of it and it never failed me. I would use it to transfer stuff to my OneDrive, since there is no OneDrive option on Linux.

I did run PhotoRec and from the looks of it so far, my stuff is there. Except it looks like the folders that I had stuff organize in are gone and the pictures have been completely rename so I stop it. I contacted a local PC Repair place here in my city of Shreveport.

Are there any programs I can run that can bring back my stuff exactly how I had it before this Linux Mint screw up? If so, please let me know.
Any recovery program you use will only recover files, usually renamed, and will not have the original folder structure. It's the nature of the beast; deal with it.

You apparently haven't been paying attention to what people have been telling you here. I don't give the north end of a south bound furry little rodent how long you have had the drive or how protective you have been with it. Again, all drives are subject to sudden, irrecoverable failure at any time without any warning, no matter the brand, type, age, or how well you take care of it. In case you still missed it, here it is one more time:

All drives are subject to sudden, irrecoverable failure at any time without any warning, no matter the brand, type, age, or how well you take care of it. As drives get older, they are more likely to die. It's like the line in an old Irish drinking song, "And always remember the older you get, the sooner you'll bloody well die."

I've had brand new drives arrive DOA. I've had a few die with in the warranty period. I've had others seemingly last forever until I retired it (the longest running drive, a 60GB Maxtor IDE, ran for seven years before I retired it.

Drive failure is not the only way you can lose data. Your unfortunate situation is a prime example of one of the most common causes of data loss: user error. It happens to all of us sooner or later. It's happened to me except I had my data backed up so each time was only an embarrassing inconvenience, not a fatal catastrophe.

USB flash drives are not as durable as SSDs or even HDDs. I use mine mostly for transferring data from one computer to another. I've had more USB flash drives die than all the SSDs (over 40) and HDDs I've had combined. Again, it's the nature of the beast.

Again, if your data is valuable to you, it needs to exist in at least three different places. Otherwise, you're playing Russian Roulette with your data, except only one chamber is empty.
Look for 1, there is no need in being disrespectful. I fully understand what everyone is saying and trying to say.

Two, this is not a case of user error on my part. This is a issue and error on Linux side. When I add Linux Mint OS from a Windows computer using Yumi USB boot, this doesn't happen. I can add and delete Linux OS using Yumi, it doesn't touch anything else stored on the flash drive and it doesn't change or interfere with anything I have stored on the flash drive.

I've reached out to a local PC Repair place here in Shreveport. Cause trying to work with Testdisk and PhotoRec, trying to work the terminal and command line, is frustrating
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Re: EMERGENCY! Please Don't Tell Me My Entire USB Drive Contents Is NOT Gone!

Post by absque fenestris »

.
Using a 16 GB USB stick with important data on it as boot media...

???

That's absolutely your own fault.
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Re: EMERGENCY! Please Don't Tell Me My Entire USB Drive Contents Is NOT Gone!

Post by ThaCrip »

ChrisJNorris wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 2:42 am
Two, this is not a case of user error on my part. This is a issue and error on Linux side.
Still, one could argue that if you had two copies of that data, then what happened to you would not have happened ;)

basically the bottom line is this... if your going to be upset if you lose data, regardless of how it happens (whether it's your fault or not), you should always have at least two backup copies regardless of what you prefer to store it on be it HDD/SSD/Flash/DVD/Online etc.

but like Lady F basically said, USB flash storage is generally not something I would rely on to store important data (because no matter how well you take care of it, it can fail out of no where. like you might be okay many years with it, but it could fail next week on you out of no where). it can be okay as a additional backup to say a two hard drive sort of backup setup, but it's not really something I would want to rely on for long term data storage as I would definitely at least have a copy of that data on one hard drive even if your other copy is on flash drive.

so in terms of physical local storage options here is how I would backup my data which should be quite unlikely one will lose data with this setup short of house fire or natural disaster types of situations...

-Hard Drive 1
-Hard Drive 2
-Verbatim DVD
-TY (Taiyo Yuden) DVD (NOTE: these typically cost more than Verbatim. so if a person is only going to use one optical DVD media, I would default to Verbatim brand since it's a quality media and the price is better. I still have a high percentage of my TY 8x rated DVD-R media (TYG02 media code) that I bought in the late 2000's)

the odds of all four of those failing at the same time should be slim as I have Verbatim/TY media over 10 years old and they are going strong as I don't think it's a stretch for quality DVD media to last at least 15-20 years and could be well over that. even if someone gets around 20 years out of them, that's still 20 years or so with peace-of-mind and 20 years is roughly 1/4th of someones lifespan.

although ill admit I do slack a bit when it comes to burning some of my higher importance data to DVD's as while I got a portion of it backed up on those, not all of it is even though I definitely make sure I keep up with the two hard drives at minimum standard (and leave at least one of the two external and not connected all of the time) which is a bare minimum. NOTE: I think some of the reason I slack a bit on DVD backup is I generally prefer to tweak the data bit (like with family pictures etc) before burning which is further time consuming etc.

or a alternative in my example above... while I get burning DVD's can be a bit time consuming and is not convenient etc, even if you wanted to swap the DVD burning out with flash based storage it might not be too bad of a idea especially if you got the two hard drive standard also. but personally if I am trusting long term data storage to a Flash Drive or quality DVD media, ill definitely choose DVD media as while Flash Media has the convenience/speed/easy-of-use factor going for it, quality DVD media can't accidentally be erased and is less likely to fail out of no where etc (especially if your using two different quality brands it's probably not likely both will fail at the same time).

just some thoughts and hope you get it sorted out so you don't pay too steep of a price (and next time it won't happen) ;)

p.s. another bonus with optical media like DVD burning is one can't accidentally erase it like is possible on a hard drive. but I get in terms of convenience, burning DVD's is not all that popular anymore especially given it's actually cheaper to use hard drives for storing data at this point and they are faster/more convenient. but like I say, it just depends on how much data you got and how important it is on what kind of measures you should take to protect that data.
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Re: EMERGENCY! Please Don't Tell Me My Entire USB Drive Contents Is NOT Gone!

Post by Moem »

ChrisJNorris wrote:
Sat May 15, 2021 11:16 pm
Anyways, I add to the Linux Mint OS 20.1 to the USB though using the Linux Mint OS itself
Was it the USB Image Writer that you used for this? During this process, was there any input prompt or message that mentioned formatting?
As far as I know, making a USB stick into a bootable medium will usually involve formatting it (unless you are using a tool that is specifically meant to make multiboot media, such as Yumi). And yes, that is in your case probably bad news.
ChrisJNorris wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 1:03 am
Can I just delete the Linux Mint OS off the flash drive and everything should come back is that a possibility?
That does not seem likely to me at all.
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Re: EMERGENCY! Please Don't Tell Me My Entire USB Drive Contents Is NOT Gone!

Post by ChrisJNorris »

I'm thinking, would be unfortmating my USB Drive from the Linux Mint Cinnamon 20.1. Would that help me regain access and control to my USB and the contents on it
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Re: EMERGENCY! Please Don't Tell Me My Entire USB Drive Contents Is NOT Gone!

Post by gittiest personITW »

If you start playing with it you will lose more data.

Either accept that any data that is recoverable is now on the way to oblivion and the resting room has no directory structure or original file names, or don't.
If you don't, then anything you write to the drive will eventually overwrite whatever is in the resting room.

If you try unformatting, you won't gain any more files back but quite possibly lose the ability to recover what you can at the moment.
Anyway, whatever you try, let us know how it goes as it could help someone else in the same situation.

One thing I will add though.
I've had more luck in data recovery using Windows software than I have with Linux recovery software.
That is just my opinion and I'm sure other people have had it the other way round. What was your usb formatted in before you wrote the image to it? NTFS/FAT/EXT?
Last edited by gittiest personITW on Sun May 16, 2021 4:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: EMERGENCY! Please Don't Tell Me My Entire USB Drive Contents Is NOT Gone!

Post by Lady Fitzgerald »

ChrisJNorris wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 3:21 pm
I'm thinking, would be unfortmating my USB Drive from the Linux Mint Cinnamon 20.1. Would that help me regain access and control to my USB and the contents on it
:roll:
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Re: EMERGENCY! Please Don't Tell Me My Entire USB Drive Contents Is NOT Gone!

Post by Moem »

ChrisJNorris wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 3:21 pm
unfortmating my USB Drive
I don't think unformatting is a thing that exists. It's like unboiling an egg.
And yes, as said above, any and all write actions on that disk will make thing worse, not better. The more writing is done to your disk, the more data gets overwritten, making it unrecoverable.

So did you or did you not see a prompt or a warning about 'formatting'?
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Re: EMERGENCY! Please Don't Tell Me My Entire USB Drive Contents Is NOT Gone!

Post by ChrisJNorris »

gittiest personITW wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 3:56 pm
If you start playing with it you will lose more data.

Either accept that any data that is recoverable is now on the way to oblivion and the resting room has no directory structure or original file names, or don't.
If you don't, then anything you write to the drive will eventually overwrite whatever is in the resting room.

If you try unformatting, you won't gain any more files back but quite possibly lose the ability to recover what you can at the moment.
Anyway, whatever you try, let us know how it goes as it could help someone else in the same situation.

One thing I will add though.
I've had more luck in data recovery using Windows software than I have with Linux recovery software.
That is just my opinion and I'm sure other people have had it the other way round. What was your usb formatted in before you wrote the image to it? NTFS/FAT/EXT?
To be honest, I don't know. I'm thinking if the FBI can sweep hard drives and such to get lost contents, shouldn't the general public be able to locate and recover lost data
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