Ok. Here's what happened.

I have a laptop with 500GB HD. I had installed windows 7 on it. i had 5 partitions on it. all four partitions were ntfs and one was ext4 for installing kali linux. I had a kali linux ova file through which i created an iso file using systemback. I created a bootable usb (8 GB) with the iso file i created using systemback. After booting the live usb, i could see windows partions and ext4 partion that cretade in files->other locations. I ran "os-prober" command and it also listed windows 7. so till then i had windows 7 on my hd. Then i decided to clone /dev/sda1 (my usb ) to /dev/sdb (hd) so that i can dual boot windows and kali. so i ran command " dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb" it successfully cloned. but then, after cloning was successfull i could see only one partition of 8GB in my hd and the rest 458GB was unallocated in gparted. I also ran os-prober but it didn't list anything. I also ran command "parted -1" but it too was listing only one 8gb partition.

Now i'm worried about my windows os and all its files. I could'nt see them anywhere. How can i get them back?

2 Answers 2


It seems your windows partition is lost (but not necessarly the files located in the last 492 GB of your drive - the first 8 GB are unrecoverably lost).

Why? You did a raw override using dd: This means you copied the sdb drive to the sda drive bytewisely. This also includes the first few bytes of your drive, where the partition tables are located. For me it seems you essentially replaced the partition table of sdb with that of your USB stick.

So your partition is lost, but that does not necessarly mean your files are lost. As you override only 8GB the last 492 GB of your drive are not touched - And so are the files located there. Try data recovery using TestDisk or PhotoRec (see here)


You write

I ran command dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb [...and then...] I could see only one partition of 8GB in my hd and the rest 458GB was unallocated

You have replaced the contents of your hard drive with a copy of your USB stick.

Unfortunately this means you have irretrievably lost at least the first 8GB of data on your hard drive, including the partition table. If you know the exact values for the original partition table you can recreate it and retrieve data from partitions that start after the overwritten 8GB block.

dd is not a cloning tool. Use something like Clonezilla if you want to come partitions and disks; it has safeguards and checks built in.

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