I have an external USB drive that is failing. However, I managed to save the contents of the disk using dd. The drive was formatted as a single NTFS partition but the partition table is broken; OS (Win7 and Ubuntu) only recognize the drive as being un-partitioned. DiskInternals NTFS Recovery 3.7 managed to identify a lot of files, but asks me to pay if I want to recover them. Before I spend money on this, can someone recommend a way to get my files back using freeware only?


Try TestDisk. It's a recovery utility for linux (and Windows) that can work with disk images.

The website i linked should contain all information you need. If you are unpatient try this:

#~> testdisk your_image_file.dd

You will see a menu that's quite easy to understand. But please remember: Always work with a copy. Do not work with your (hopefully not) only backup!

  • worked like a charm, thx for your help!
    – Matthias
    Feb 22 '11 at 18:36
  • I'm glad i could help!
    – lajuette
    Feb 22 '11 at 19:35

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