How to Recover Corrupted Hard Drive or NTFS Files

Posted by mikejc in Windows

If you have a disaster such as an unreadable HDD or corrupted partition on Windows but the drive can still detected on CMOS/BIOS, you still have hope in recovering your data using a linux installation.

* First, download DSL (Damn Small Linux) from one of these sites:

Current Full Mirror List: (South Africa) (Austria) also rsync and FTP (Quebec, Canada) (Belgian) (Belgian)

– After you download DSL, burn the ISO image.

– After burning the CD, configure your BIOS to start on the CD first.

– Configure your un-readable or corrupted HDD as Primary Master.

– The computer will boot on Boot Image (DSL).

* After booting, you will see the GUI of the DSL. Run TERMINAL,
and follow this command:

*Note: This command will make you a super user in DSL.

#sudo su

*Note: This command will mount your HDD on DSL.

#mount /dev/hda1 /mnt/hda1

*Note: This command will check if your data is still on the HDD.

#cd /mnt/hda1
#ls -al

*Note: If your data is still there, you are lucky. Now shut down your PC, and put a secondary working HDD formatted as FAT32 to copy your data.

*Repeat the steps.

#sudo su
#mount /dev/hda1 /mnt/hda1

*Note: This command will mount your secondary slave HDD and make a folder “backup.”

#mount /dev/hdc1 /mnt/hdc1
#cd /mnt/hdc1
#mkdir backup

– Then after mounting the other HDD, you can copy your files from the corrupted HDD to working HDD.

#cp -R /mnt/hda1/*.* /mnt/hdc1/backup

That is all. Hopefully, these steps will help.


The Conversation

Follow the reactions below and share your own thoughts.

  • adham badr

    i keep getting the message can’t find KNOPPIX filesystem, sorry dropping you to a very limited shell.
    only 4 commands are available.. and sudo isnt one of them !..
    but mount is working, but it doesnt find the device, but its readable at boot, i tried fdisk -l , but its not working.. what should i do to complete the KNOPPIX filesystem ?

  • Guest

    Thanks man, just what I was looking for. Worked like a charm Thanks so much…

  • Anonymous

    my external hard drive is corrupted and unreadable which i use for my external use only like a USB…i have very important data of mine in that damn HD can i recover that data from that drive ….plz tell

  • Anonymous

    which file shoul we download? i downloaded dsl-4-4-10.iso file and burned it on cd. when it boots the computer hangs and doesn’t continue. what is the problem?

    • Anonymous

      Yes Could someone tell me what file, folder or files to DL? I’m not that great with the FPT’s, And Ya, I need help I dled dsl-n-01RC4 and all I get is Roxio easy CD Creator Ver, SP8 95.3 meg file And I also DLed KNOPPIX-ADRIANE_V6.2CD-2009-11-18-EN @ 690 Meg but all i get is the roxio as above, No TERMINAL or GUI ?
      Tried using them both to boot, Boot Disk Failure for the 2? I dont think I have the right files…Please Help

  • Jkg


  • DJ Morphean

    what if in Ubuntu it tells you to run chkdsk /f from windows (even though we know that hdd is corrupted and unreadable) will it work anyway ??