I was using the dd command to copy my entire flash drive in 'blocks'. I was using the following:

dd if=/dev/sda bs=16M of=/filepath/filename

I was half asleep and I hit enter after dd if=/dev/sda, instead of hitting the spacebar.

Simply, since I don't know what hitting enter after dd if=/dev/sda did, so I would just like to know if I made recovery efforts for deleted/stolen files from my flash drive less likely.

I checked the flash drive and the amount of data present after I hit enter was the same.


dd if=/dev/sda, with no other argument, will read /dev/sda 512 bytes at a time and copy its contents to standard out.

This won’t have changed anything on the USB drive, and won’t have affected potential recovery efforts.

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  • Thanks for the info. Can you recommend an excellent recovery tool I can install on my linux system to recover deleted/stolen files from a usb flash drive that is FAT formatted? Or should I use a windows system to try to recover the files? – hddfsck777 Aug 15 '19 at 10:27
  • See PhotoRec, it fits your requirements and is available packaged in most Linux distributions. For more advanced recovery, see also Foremost. – Stephen Kitt Aug 15 '19 at 11:41
  • Great, thank you Stephen. – hddfsck777 Aug 15 '19 at 11:41

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