I used TestDisk to recover files from an internal hard drive which I connected externally to another PC. With PhotoRec all the file names are wrong and the original folder structure doesn't exist.
What can be done?
Photorec does do that, its one of the more annoying things about it, but its meant to recover files in scenarios where its more important to get the data.It often is able to rebuild images from fragments in situation where commercial software can't. As such i tend to run recurva first (it preserves filenames) THEN testdisk in a recover scenario. (practically its "Load in another OS with a different file system driver implementation - windows for ext, linux for ntfs, testdisk, recurva then photorec)
You can't recover the folder structure, but you may be able to rebuild the filenames off other data. There's a section on photorec's documentation that has some scripts that are useful for doing this sort of recovery, using exif and other metadata.
|show 1 more comment|
One thing I personally took upon myself is to collaborate with the author of photorec to find PAR2 files. He got right on it and added PAR2, but you have to set photorec to recover incomplete files for PAR2 because you'll want to get as much of the file as possible, rather than having it ignore the file if there is a filesize mismatch. If you pre-emptively create PAR2 data, even just 1% of recovery data, with small recovery blocks, spread out over 10 files for an entire directory of files, you'll have just added an enormous advantage to recovering your date, contiguous and fragmented, and the filenames and directory structures, if you're able to recover some of those PAR2 files with Photorec. (or whatever data recovery/file carving software). This works best for media/read many, write not-so-often drives, where you can easily defrag, and not have to worry much updating PAR2 Data.
This won't help your current situation most likely, but I would try programs like "Recuva" which is free, and two commercial programs, "Easy Recovery Pro" and "Zero Assumption data recovery" are some excellent programs to help you recover data. Be careful not to write to the disk until you have made a nice mountable image of the disk with testdisk that you can play with. Depending on the problem, it may be as simple as restoring a backup copy of the file allocation table, or using one of several partition utilities to do a "recover partition" on the damaged drive.
PhotoRec is another beast. While Testdisk can often outright "unedelete" or restore entire partitions or File allocation Tables for various file systems, it doesn't actually do any "searching" for files. PhotoRec combs every sector and/or cluster the hard drive looking for headers of filetypes it it has it it's database, to try to find various filetypes, but it ignores the Filesystem. So you could be using NTFS to nearly any flavor of Linux filesystem and get pretty much the same results. Only problem is, if you use compression in your filesystem, like NTFS compression, or BTRFS compression, or whatever, it will not be able to find those lost files. Your best luck us to try to reconstruct the filesystem in that case. But the files it DOES fine, it has no reference from which to name the files, since it is doing a bare-metal search for data, independent of the filesystem which kept track of all the metadata such as filenames, the locations of files, etc..
You can try and rename files based on metadata recovered from within files, such as JPEGs, or other media. Future approaches, I would heavily recommend adding PAR2 data. MultiPAR or a recent build of Par2CMDLine is highly recommended as they both support recursive subdirectories when building PAR2 data. It's good to build around 10% recovery data, drive space pending. And to refresh the PAR2 data monthly or weekly at least. But it's well worth it. Also, An excellent idea to keep your drives defragmented so your files are contiguous and much more likely to be recoverable if a filesystem failure occurs.
If a filesystem occurs, you can use TestDisk to make a DD file and recover the data from the .DD file rather easily using the PAR2 files extracted using PhotoRec.