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I've had a Kali Linux bootable usb for a long time now. Last night I updated Kali, and shutdown when I went to bed.

I boot up now, and it appears everything is wiped. All files gone. The desktop environment is exactly the same if you had installed Kali for the very first time.

I think that somehow everything was wiped. However, I open gparted, and see that my persistence partition is still on the usb. 50%of the usb used, which was the correct amount before I began the updates.

I believe my files and user are still on the usb, but how would I access them so when I click on the persistence option, it goes back to how it has been prior to the updates.

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Since you can see the persistance partition on the USB drive and you know its name, simply mount it using the mount command. If mount reports an error, it can usually be fixed with fsck, file system check utility.

mount /dev/[device/partition name] /mnt [or wherever]

You may then copy files off of /mnt

Then, maybe check and edit /etc/fstab

Look for changes that could make it not remount persistence at boot.

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