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I had to undelete someone's files from a FAT partition today. My first thought was to use good ol' Windows to do so, given that Windows is the unholy ground which spawned FAT to begin with. I remember there used to be an UNDELETE command of some sort in some old version of DOS. But this doesn't seem to exist in XP any longer.

There are however lots and lots of third-party "shareware" programs which can do this kind of thing, as Google reveals. There is in fact an overwhelming number of such shareware programs. Most of these programs are total crap and cost around $30. One program required me to burn a CD and reboot my computer from the CD before I could run it. Many of the programs "intelligently" scan a partition looking for chunks of things that look like JPEGS or WMVs. I tried a few "demos" before I gave up, not having an hour to waste finding the one program that would work. Thus bringing the current score to Windows: 948, Brian: 0.

Instead I brought the drive home and plugged it into Gentoo and used this post as a guide. I dd'ed the partition to a file, fscked around with it a bit, mounted it via loopback, and had my files back. Took 10 minutes, and worked as expected. And it didn't cost me $30.

The moral of this story: I need to burn a Knoppix disk to take to work with me.

My only quibble is that I can never ever remember what Gentoo package contains fsck.vfat. Note to self, it's dosfstools. I can never think of the search terms even to locate that package. I had to google it.

May 05, 2008 @ 10:13 AM PDT
Cateogory: Linux


Quoth chithanh on May 06, 2008 @ 12:24 AM PDT

You seem to have missed this site: It relies on user submitted data to map files to packages.

Quoth Brian on May 06, 2008 @ 1:29 AM PDT

I did indeed miss that site. Thanks, looks interesting.

Steve Dibb
Quoth Steve Dibb on May 07, 2008 @ 10:20 AM PDT

You know, the whole Windows shareware world just boggles the mind. Do the people selling these things really think there are people out there who pay $30 for every app that does one small task?

What a stupid economic dreamland. It's any wonder people pirate everything.

Quoth Brian on May 07, 2008 @ 10:52 AM PDT

It must make people money though. There must be people out there buying this crap or everyone would quit trying to sell it.

When I lost my mind a few years back and bought a Mac, I actually spent $15 or so on a program that let me easily change my icon theme and window decoration. In spite of having a Linux box right next to it on my desk at the time that let me do the same for free. I don't think shopping is always a rational exercise.