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I had a WD Netcenter with a 160GB drive that kept dropping off the network. I opened up the enclosure and removed the hard drive, connected to a Windows box without knowing the drive used ReiserFS....

When mounting on the Windows box, I chose "MBR" as filesystem. 70GB of data corrupted: 90% of data is word documents, excel spreadsheets, and jpg's - all mission critical.

  • Attempted recovery on Linux box (ubuntu) using TestDisk: I could see the container, but couldn't get anything out – according to TestDisk this was because I chose "none" as filesystem.

  • Attempted recovery using Nucleus Kernel Recovery for windows: 98% of what was recovered is incomplete and/or unusable.

I need to know if a way exists to recover or rebuild original ReiserFS MBR, or what tools/techniques might give me the best results in recovering the data.

Found a Windows version of TestDisk and I ran it yesterday - here are the results:

TestDisk 6.14-WIP, Data Recovery Utility, May 2012
Christophe GRENIER <>

Disk /dev/sda - 160 GB / 149 GiB - CHS 19457 255 63

The harddisk (160 GB / 149 GiB) seems too small! (< 519 GB / 483 GiB)
Check the harddisk size: HD jumpers settings, BIOS detection...

The following partitions can't be recovered:
     Partition               Start        End    Size in sectors
>  ReiserFS 3.6            62 241  8 19458   0 18  311581568
   ReiserFS 3.6            62 248 55 19458   8  2  311581568
   ReiserFS 3.6            62 254 37 19458  13 47  311581568
   ReiserFS 3.6            63   6 28 19458  20 38  311581568
   ReiserFS 3.6            63  13 11 19458  27 21  311581568
   ReiserFS 3.6            63  21 43 19458  35 53  311581568
   ReiserFS 3.6            63  27 41 19458  41 51  311581568
   ReiserFS 3.6            63  37 35 19458  51 45  311581568
   ReiserFS 3.6            63  54 20 19458  68 30  311581568
   ReiserFS 3.6            63  76 26 19458  90 36  311581568
share|improve this question

Boot into Linux. Run fdisk -l /dev/sdx (where x is the letter allocated to that drive). fdisk will output the available partitions (e.g., /dev/sdb1, /dev/sdb2, etc). Then run fsck on each of the filesystems (e.g., fsck -y /dev/sdb1). That may repair those filesystems and make them mountable. You can then try to mount them using mount -r /dev/sdb1 /mnt (the -r option mounts it read-only, which is advisable when recovering data like this).

Before you do any of this, make a sector-by-sector copy of the drive with:

dd if=/dev/sdx of=$HOME/disk_i_should_have_backed_up bs=512

just in case fsck makes it worse.

share|improve this answer
+1 for making a backup before attempting recovery. If Windows prompted him for what type of partition table to put on the drive (MBR), there's a good chance the partitions in the table are wrong. If that's the case, you'll want to start with partition recovery software before you start with fsck and the filesystems. – Darth Android Jun 21 '12 at 18:05
@DarthAndroid Good point about the partition table. @Ryan If fdisk -l /dev/sdx shows no partitions, you must recover your partitions before running fsck. Actually, recovering the partitions may be all that's required. If Windows did not write to any part of the drive other than the MBR, your ReiserFS filesystems are intact. – Fran Jun 21 '12 at 19:07

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