View Full Version : [ubuntu] [SOLVED] Need Help to Recover Data from USB Hard Drive

September 11th, 2008, 12:14 AM
I have a 250Gb external USB hard drive, in ext3 format with about 80gb data.
The drive was reading little slow. Therefore tried to copy its contents back to internal drive. There were a few unrecoverable files (mp3) that I tried to delete. Now the external drive no longer mounts. I get the following error:

Cannot mount Volume.
Mount: wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock on dev/sdb1. missing codepage or helper program or other error.

dmesg | tail had the following line:

VFS: can't find ext3 file system on dev sdb1

I did some searching in the forum for my problem; could find an answer.

Is there any way to recover data from this external drive?

Thanks in advance,


September 11th, 2008, 12:29 AM
You can try using the -f argument of 'mount' to force-mount the drive; sometimes this works (there are risks, though). You can also use fsck to try to repair the errors on the disk--on ext3 there's a good chance that it will be able to fix everything with minimal data loss.

You can also install photorec, a disaster-recovery program, to recover some of your files:

sudo apt-get install testdisk

(photorec is part of the testdisk package.)

Then run it with:

sudo photorec

It will search the drive sector-by-sector looking for recoverable files and copy them into folders in the directory that you're cd'd into when you launch photorec (by default, your /home folder).

If I were you, I'd use photorec to recover whatever you can, then try to use fsck to fix the file system errors. If even that fails, try to force-mount the partition, since at that point you have nothing to lose (and most of your data will already have been saved by photorec).

September 11th, 2008, 02:50 AM
Thank you very much for the solution.
Photorec did the job very well. The instructions are also clearly written.