The basics, first:
I have a dual boot setup on my laptop: Windows 7 and Mint. Both work fine. In order to be able to access fies from both, I have a 1TB external hard drive, formatted NTFS, onto which I save almost all my data/files.
(Comment - hindsight is a wonderful thing: I had saved all my files on to an external drive because I reckoned that was safer, and would preserve the data if, as I feared more likely, the Win7 or Mint on the main internal drive crashed... So my vital files were there, not on the Mint or Windows partitions.)
A few days ago I had a trial run with Timeshift in Mint (because I was thinking of a kernel upgrade). This resulted in an absolutely huge (maybe 200GB) 'timeshift' folder on that external drive - possibly because I had not adjusted the Timeshift settings? Anyway, I decided to disable Timeshift, postpone any kernel change, and delete those backups in the folder on my external drive. I did so, freeing up a lot of space. Should have left it at that....BUT...
As the external HDD was NTFS, and as I had just deleted a massive amount of timeshift data, I thought it might be sensible to go into Win7 and defrag that drive. I did so. But the defrag seemed to hang at about 10%. So I decided to cancel the defragging.
Having tried ( I thought) to 'clean up' that external HDD, I then booted back into Mint to have a look at it. The HDD could not be mounted. A lengthy error message came up. I did not copy it all. But the key point was that the disk was corrupted, and that I should run chkdsk /f (in Windows) and reboot twice, and/or run ntfsfix... and then it had a lot more stuff about RAID etc which I did not understand and presumed was irrelevant.
So.... I went back into Win7, and ran
Code: Select all
chkdsk F: /f
So I then looked at the drive (both in Win7 and in Mint - where it mounted fine). But - shock, horror - the disk now appears to be empty. All my (about 500GB) data - all my docs, photos, personal files, spreadsheets, correspondence, everything - gone. No folders, no files, nothing.
This is apocalypse. Desperate situation.
What to do? I have the (free) Recuva program in Win7. So I am currently running that. It says it will take some 6 hours. But I have no idea what, if anything it might deliver (though I have my fingers crossed).
I also have Hirens Boot CD. Obviously I have no 'system' or boot problems. All I have lost (and it's almost worse) is all my data and flles. Could I - should I - try any other rescue attempt if Recuva doesn't work? This is clearly a major "data recovery" task. I'd appreciate any - sympathetic - help (I'm traumatised!)