Meanwhile, before coming here, I had a computer with two hard drives - a Linux one, and a Windows one. I put a lot of backups from my other Linux PC, plus backups of various files from Windows onto the Linux drive, then deleted all of my files from the Windows one. The plan, of course, was to sell the computer with just the Windows drive in it, and take the Linux drive over here with me. In reality, I made a little mistake, and brought the wrong drive over. Oops. So, now that I have this Windows drive with an NTFS filesystem on it here, I figured I'd try to undelete the files, and at least recover some of the files. Now, if I just try to boot Windows from that drive, I'll probably need to do a "repair" installation on top of the existing one (after all, I have different hardware now), which risks overwriting some of the deleted files. So, I want to try to recover them from Linux, which is running on the other drive I have here. This version of Mandrake does at least know how to mount NTFS drives read-only - write access is still labelled as experimental, risky and dangerous, so I think I'll hold back on that. There is a set of NTFS utilities available, including a program called "ntfsundelete". Unfortunately, while it can restore files from the NTFS filesystem, it doesn't restore the directory structure they were under.
I ran it. I now have approximately 190,000 files. Sitting in one directory.
Then I looked a little more closely at the list of files that the "-scan" option to ntfsundelete gave me - some files appear in more than one place. For example, I have about 190 copies of a file named "baldur.gam" and 130 copies of "baldur.sav". Looking a little more closely (at sizes and such), they're all different. Yup, those will be the gamesaves from my many games of BG I and BG II - but without the nice directory names which actually specify which save they are. Argh !
So, I ran ntfsundelete a little more cleverly, and now have 190,000 files, sitting in 193 directories named "Files000" through to "Files193".
Still, I have 190,000 files to deal with. That's rather a lot. It's easy enough to pick out things like MP3s and MPGs and a few things like that, and sort out which ones were music and which ones were part of games, but for some things I forsee a whole lot of sorting to do ahead of me. Whew.