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 files either matching the regular expres-
       sion (option -m) or  specified by the inode-expressions and recovers as
       much  of  the  data as possible.   It saves the result to another loca-
       tion.  Partly for safety, but mostly because NTFS write  support  isn't

       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 inconsistent 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.
       Nearly all options have two equivalent names.  The short name  is  pre-
       ceded  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, --byte NUM
              If any clusters of the file cannot  be  recovered,  the  missing
              parts will be filled with this byte.  The default is zeros.

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

       -c, --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, --destination DIR
              This option controls  where  to  put  the  output  file  of  the
              --undelete and --copy options.

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

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

       -i, --inodes RANGE
              Recover the files with these inode numbers.  RANGE can be a sin-
              gle  inode  number, several numbers separated by commas "," or a
              range separated by a dash "-".

       -m, --match PATTERN
              Filter the output by only looking for matching  filenames.   The
              pattern can include the wildcards '?', match exactly one charac-
              ter or '*', match zero  or  more  characters.   By  default  the
              matching  is  case-insensitive.   To make the search case sensi-
              tive, use the --case option.

       -O, --optimistic
              Recover parts of the file even if they are currently  marked  as
              in use.

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

       -P, --parent
              Display the parent directory of a deleted file.

       -p, --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.

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

       -s, --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    Time    Size  Filename
               6038  FN..    93%  2002-07-17 13:42  26629  thesis.doc

              |Flag   Description                      |
              |F/D    File/Directory                   |
              |N/R    (Non-)Resident data stream       |
              |C/E    Compressed/Encrypted data stream |
              |!      Missing attributes               |

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

       -S, --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, --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.

       -T, --truncate
              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, --undelete
              Select undelete mode.  You can specify the files to be recovered
              using  by using --match or --inodes options.  This option can be
              combined with --output, --destination, and --byte.

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

       -v, --verbose
              Increase the amount of output that ntfsundelete prints.

       -V, --version
              Show the version number, copyright and license for 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 -i 2,5,100-131

       Undelete inode number 3689, call the file 'work.doc', set it to  recov-
       ered size and put it in the user's home directory.

              ntfsundelete /dev/hda1 -u -T -i 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 ntfsundelete, but currently no
       known bugs.  If you find a bug please  send  an  email  describing  the
       problem to the development team:

       ntfsundelete  was  written  by  Richard Russon and Holger Ohmacht, with
       contributions from Anton Altaparmakov.  It was  ported  to  ntfs-3g  by
       Erik Larsson and Jean-Pierre Andre.

       ntfsundelete is part of the ntfs-3g package and is available from:

       ntfsinfo(8), ntfsprogs(8)

ntfs-3g 2017.3.23                November 2005                 NTFSUNDELETE(8)
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