I have a 2 TB FAT32 USB drive that had the partition table corrupted during a power outage. Using File Scavenger I was able to see all the lost files, but the trial version only allows me to actually recover 64 KB files. Needless to say, not very helpful.

Does anybody know of free software that will do this for me?

1 Answer 1


TestDisk (Windows/Mac/Linux) is a free open source partition scanner and data recovery tool. It is very useful in recovering lost partitions. TestDisk can:

  • Fix partition table, recover deleted partition
  • Recover FAT32 boot sector from its backup
  • Rebuild FAT12/FAT16/FAT32 boot sector
  • Fix FAT tables
  • Rebuild NTFS boot sector
  • Recover NTFS boot sector from its backup
  • Copy files from deleted FAT, exFAT, NTFS and ext2/ext3/ext4 partitions

When TestDisk is launched it will display an interactive procedure that you follow to select the partition to be recovered, select the Copy function, and select where you want to save the files that will be recovered from the 2TB FAT32 USB drive.

If TestDisk is unable to fix the corrupted partition table, you will need another partition that has 2TB of available disk space, for example another 2TB hard drive.

  • hmm, yes, I had come to the conclusion that this was probably the best thing to do. Would prefer a gui for less scare factor of "Ahh! I possibly deleted everything!" but it seems simple enough to navigate. Hopefully it works. Any idea if it copies the file structure? (eg: nested folders). Also if it the copy is interupted halfway through are there any negative effects?
    – Blaine
    Feb 7, 2017 at 13:14
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    TestDisk will try to replicate the directory structure, so you may be able to find your files a few sub-folders down inside the recovered files directory. Otherwise TestDisk will recover the filenames, which may help you to remember in which directory the files were originally stored.
    – karel
    Feb 7, 2017 at 13:33
  • cool. I'll try it soon and mark it as accepted if it works
    – Blaine
    Feb 7, 2017 at 14:22
  • I just wanted to recommend the same. For additional details: TestDisk was already recommended multiple times here, so you might wish to check with those posts as well, @Blaine :)
    – Izzy
    Feb 7, 2017 at 15:02
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    Technically, Testdisk will not "try" that much. Either the damage is little and the filesystem is basically pristine (or almost) and then it will work, or it's damaged and Testdisk will give up. Feb 7, 2017 at 19:43

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