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I'm running Suse Linux and just upgraded my motherboard, and had to reinstall everything. Linux works from the command line, but naturally the graphics system is messed up. So I ...
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  1. #1
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    Windows erased FAT32 over 32 GB


    I'm running Suse Linux and just upgraded my motherboard, and had to reinstall everything. Linux works from the command line, but naturally the graphics system is messed up.

    So I re-install Windows on my IDE drive, and copy the old files from the IDE to a FAT32 partition on my SATA drive. My old windows drive (IDE) is NTFS, 60 GB. So, naturally, I create a FAT32 partition of 60GB (readable in Linux and Windows) to house all this data. All goes well, I verify that everything was copied correctly, and it was. So I proceed to format the IDE with NTFS for my new Windows install. All is well.

    I go to boot my windows system, and CHKDSK comes up telling me that my FAT32 drive is corrupted. So, I let it. BAD MISTAKE. It decided to turn some of my directories into files, I assume because the FAT table pointed to a directory location that was over the 32GB limit. I now have no way of getting to or reading my data. Linux now shows these directories as files. I know the data is still there, but I can't seem to get it.

    I have tried many many different windows programs to recover this data, but none seem to want to read over the 32GB limit. The one exception is R-Studio, but it only found a subset of my files and it's 50$.

    Is there a way to reverse what CHKDSK did? My first thought was that the directory files should still be pointing to the file locations, and that there must be some linux utility out there to help restore that, or to just find some files...

    Also, when I look at the drive in linux, I can see many files that Windows can't. I assume these files are located on the > 32GB section, and Windows refuses to see the m. So I'm *sure* there's a way to reconstruct the FAT so that my directories can point to their original locations... am I right? Please tell me I'm right!

  2. #2
    Linux Guru lakerdonald's Avatar
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    You could try dd'ing the last 32 gigs to a spare drive, and then reading it from Windows

  3. #3
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    I finally have time to work on this now...
    How will doing a direct partition copy help? The problem is that I can see the files on the partition, but CHKDSK erased the directory pointers (changed them to files), so I can't cd to those directories. I'm looking for a way to reverse this, and change those files back to directories. I'd be willing to try 'dd', but it would mean trying to find another hard drive to copy to, and I'm not convinced it will work.

    On the plus side, I used photorec and testdisk to get some files back, but it only recovers the files, not the directory structure, so I now have like 30,000 files all named sequentially, which is pretty useless. I've been able to recover some files by doing some fancy file header searching and grep, but other than that, it's a major pain.

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