I have accidentally overwritten the first few GB of my external hard drive with dd. Previously the file system had a NTFS file system of about 3TB and at the end an 1 TB ext4 file system containing my personal backups. Is there any way I can restore the ext4 partition and its files?

In particular, is it possible to recover the folder structure? I used duplicity to create my backups.

  • If you just want to recover the Ext4 part you don't really need to do much. The data is already there and intact, you just need to let Testdisk rewrite the partition table. For the NTFS side, you might like to read this: unix.stackexchange.com/a/283009/84179 Jan 1, 2018 at 17:55

1 Answer 1


I am typically approaching this by making copy of whatever remained onto separate drive (to not destroy whatever left). And try to use testdisk afterwards - it does exactly what you want.

  • Thanks for the suggestion, I looked at testdisk but I am not sure how to solve my problem with it.
    – van
    Dec 30, 2017 at 10:32

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