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I am trying to recover a 200 GB directory that was accidentally lost and "converted" to a 32kb file. It was on a FAT32, 500 GB external hard drive. Only this folder got corrupted, on a Windows machine, and I do not know how.

I suppose the files are still there but unlinked. The "Folder" permissions, when listed on linux, are
-rw-r--r-- where it used to be drwx------.
This "Folder" is openable as a file and seems to contain information (maybe the links to files? I don't know how this works exactly).

So my questions are:

  • Is there a shell command to set that "d" flag so I can open this as a directory and see if it still contains something ? Or another way to do this?
  • If not, can I recover files that are present on the disk but not accessible?
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migrated from May 16 '12 at 21:39

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sounds like the drive wasn't cleanly unmounted. – Baarn May 16 '12 at 21:49
How did you recover the directory? Normally you run chkdsk in windows and it recovers lost files and saves them under names like CHKDSK.000 iirc. If that is how you got the directory back, then then it should have also recovered any unlinked files. If not, then your only hope is photorec from the testdisk package. – psusi May 17 '12 at 0:23
@psusi I didn't have to recover the directory, it got like that after removing the drive from a friend's computer. I didn't try chkdsk though, as I don't have Windows installed on my computer, but it sounds like this could help, so I'll try that soon. And thanks for pointing me to photorec and testdisk ! Now I have some hope of getting those files back even if chkdsk fails... – in_the_sun May 17 '12 at 12:00

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