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NTFSUNDELETE(8)             System Manager's Manual            NTFSUNDELETE(8)

       ntfsundelete - recover a deleted file from an NTFS volume.

       ntfsundelete [ options ] device

       ntfsundelete has three modes of operation: scan, undelete and copy.

       The  default mode, scan simply reads an NTFS Volume and looks for files
       that have been deleted.  Then it will print a  list  giving  the  inode
       number, name and size.

       The  undelete  mode takes the inode and recovers as much of the data as
       possible.  It saves the result to another location.  Partly for safety,
       but mostly because NTFS write support isn't finished.

       This  is  a  wizard's  option.   It will save a portion of the MFT to a
       file.  This probably only be useful when debugging ntfsundelete

       ntfsundelete only ever reads from the NTFS Volume.   ntfsundelete  will
       never change the volume.

       ntfsundelete cannot perform the impossible.

       When  a  file is deleted the MFT Record is marked as not in use and the
       bitmap representing the disk usage is  updated.   If  the  power  isn't
       turned  off  immediately,  the free space, where the file used to live,
       may become overwritten.  Worse,  the  MFT  Record  may  be  reused  for
       another  file.  If this happens it is impossible to tell where the file
       was on disk.

       Even if all the clusters of a file are not in use, there is no  guaran-
       tee that they haven't been overwritten by some short-lived file.

       In  NTFS  all  the  filenames are stored as Unicode.  They will be con-
       verted into the current locale for display by ntfsundelete.  The  util-
       ity  has  successfully  displayed  some Chinese pictogram filenames and
       then correctly recovered them.

   Extended MFT Records
       In rare circumstances, a single MFT Record will not be large enough  to
       hold  the  metadata  describing a file (a file would have to be in hun-
       dreds of fragments for this to happen).  In these cases one MFT  record
       may  hold the filename, but another will hold the information about the
       data.  ntfsundelete will not try and piece together such  records.   It
       will simply show unnamed files with data.

   Compressed and Encrypted Files
       ntfsundelete  cannot recover compressed or encrypted files.  When scan-
       ning for them, it will display as being 0% recoverable.

   The Recovered File's Size and Date
       To recover a file ntfsundelete has to read the file's metadata.  Unfor-
       tunately,  this isn't always intact.  When a file is deleted, the meta-
       data can be left in an inconsistant state. e.g.  the file size  may  be
       zero;  the  dates of the file may be set to the time it was deleted, or
       To be safe ntfsundelete will pick the largest file size  it  finds  and
       write  that  to  disk.  It will also try and set the file's date to the
       last modified date.  This date may be the correct last  modified  date,
       or something unexpected.

       Below  is  a summary of all the options that ntfsundelete accepts.  All
       options have two equivalent names.  The short name is preceded by - and
       the long name is preceded by --.  Any single letter options, that don't
       take an argument, can be combined into a single command, e.g.   -fv  is
       equivalent  to  -f  -v.   Long  named options can be abbreviated to any
       unique prefix of their name.

       -b num
       --byte num
              If any clusters of the file cannot  be  recovered,  the  missing
              parts will be filled with this byte.  The default is zeros.

       --case When  scanning  an NTFS volume, any filename matching (using the
              --match option) is  case-insensitive.   This  option  makes  the
              maching case-sensitive.

       -c range
       --copy range
              This wizard's option will write a block of MFT FILE records to a
              file.  The default file is mft which will be created in the cur-
              rent  directory.   This option can be combined with the --output
              and --destination options.

       -d dir
       --destination dir
              This option controls  where  to  put  the  output  file  of  the
              --undelete and --copy options.

              This will override some sensible defaults, such as not overwrit-
              ing an existing file.  Use this option with caution.

       --help Show a list of options with a brief description of each one.

       -m pattern
       --match pattern
              Filter the output of the --scan  option,  by  only  looking  for
              matching  filenames.  The pattern can include the wildcards '?',
              match exactly one character or '*', match zero or  more  charac-
              ters.  By default the matching is case-insensitive.  To make the
              search case sensitive, use the --case option.

       -o file
       --output file
              Use this option to set name of output file  that  --undelete  or
              --copy will create.

       -p num
       --percentage num
              Filter  the  output of the --scan option, by only matching files
              with a certain amount of recoverable content.  Please  read  the
              caveats section for more details.

              Reduce the amount of output to a minimum.  Naturally, it doesn't
              make sense to combine this option with --scan.

       --scan Search through an NTFS volume and print a  list  of  files  that
              could be recovered.  This is the default action of ntfsundelete.
              This list can be filtered by filename, size, percentage recover-
              able  or  last  modification  time,  using  the --match, --size,
              --percent and --time options, respectively.

              The output of scan will be:

              Inode  Flags  %age     Date      Size  Filename
               6038  FN..    93%  2002-07-17  26629  thesis.doc

              lB lB l l.  Flag Description F/D  File/Directory N/R  (Non-)Res-
              ident   data   stream   C/E  Compressed/Encrypted   data  stream
              !    Missing attributes

              The percentage field shows how much of the file can  potentially
              be recovered.

       -S range
       --size range
              Filter the output of the --scan option, by looking for a partic-
              ular range of file sizes.  The range may  be  specified  as  two
              numbers  separated by a '-'.  The sizes may be abbreviated using
              the suffixes k, m, g, t, for kilobytes, megabytes, gigabytes and
              terabytes respectively.

       -t since
       --time since
              Filter  the  output of the --scan option.  Only match files that
              have been altered since this time.  The time must  be  given  as
              number  using  a suffix of d, w, m, y for days, weeks, months or
              years ago.

              If ntfsundelete is confident about the size of a  deleted  file,
              then it will restore the file to exactly that size.  The default
              behaviour is to round up the size to the nearest cluster  (which
              will be a multiple of 512 bytes).

       -u nums
       --undelete nums
              Recover the files with these inode numbers. You can specify more
              than one inode by separating with "," or a range  of  inodes  by
              using "-". This option can be combined with --output, --destina-
              tion, and --byte.

              When the file is recovered it will be given its  original  name,
              unless the --output option is used.

              Increase the amount of output that ntfsundelete prints.

              Show the version number, copyright and license ntfsundelete.

       Look for deleted files on /dev/hda1.

              ntfsundelete /dev/hda1

       Look for deleted documents on /dev/hda1.

              ntfsundelete /dev/hda1 -s -m '*.doc'

       Look  for  deleted  files between 5000 and 6000000 bytes, with at least
       90% of the data recoverable, on /dev/hda1.

              ntfsundelete /dev/hda1 -S 5k-6m -p 90

       Look for deleted files altered in the last two days

              ntfsundelete /dev/hda1 -t 2d

       Undelete inodes 2, 5 and 100 to 131 of device /dev/sda1

              ntfsundelete /dev/sda1 -u 2,5,100-131

       Undelete inode number 3689, call the file 'work.doc' and put it in  the
       user's home directory.

              ntfsundelete /dev/hda1 -u 3689 -o work.doc -d ~

       Save MFT Records 3689 to 3690 to a file 'debug'

              ntfsundelete /dev/hda1 -c 3689-3690 -o debug

       There  are  some  small  limitations  to this program, but currently no
       known bugs.  If you find one, please  send  an  email  to  <linux-ntfs-

       ntfsundelete  was  written  by  Richard  Russon  (FlatCap)  and  Holger

       ntfsundelete is part of the ntfsprogs package and is available from

       ntfsinfo(8), ntfsprogs(8)

ntfsprogs version 1.9.4            June 2002                   NTFSUNDELETE(8)