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How to rescue your data

Reviewed on 12 February 2024Published on 11 June 2021

Whatever your operating system (Windows or Linux), as long as your server does not have a hardware failure, you can recover your files via rescue mode.

Before you start

To complete the actions presented below, you must have:

  • A Dedibox account logged into the console
  • Created and installed a dedicated server

How to boot into rescue mode

  1. Follow these instructions to start your server in rescue mode (emergency system) via the Dedibox console.
  2. Log into your server via one of the following methods:
    • PuTTY on computers running Windows
    • ssh directly from a terminal on computers running Linux or macOS.

The credentials (username and password) to log into the rescue system are displayed in your Dedibox console.

How to gain root rights

You are now connected to your Dedibox in rescue mode via a regular user account, therefore you do not have rights to execute all required commands. This is the philosophy of Ubuntu, it is only with the root account that we get full rights to do what we want.

  1. Switch into the root account by typing the following command, then press enter:
    sudo su
  2. Enter the password of the rescue user, displayed in the Dedibox console, and confirm by pressing enter.

    For security reasons, the password will not be shown when you type it.

How to mount the partitions

To get access to your data in rescue mode, you have to mount your partitions. If this step succeeds, then you are almost sure to be able to recover your files.

Mount your partitions by entering, as root user, the command The partitions are then mounted in the /mnt directory.


Some errors such as the swap cannot be mounted or many partitions do not exist may display. You can safely ignore these errors.

How to recover your data

You can recover your data either by transferring it to the Dedibackup storage space or by downloading it directly to your local computer using the SFTP protocol.


Be careful when editing your data. The root user has full permissions on each file and as such can perform actions that could be undesirable, including the irreversible deletion of data.

How to rescue your data using Dedibackup

The following procedure shows how to retrieve all the contents of your disk (including all partitions) on your Dedibackup storage space.

  1. Install an FTP client and screen via the following command. screen allows the FTP client to run without your computer having to stay on with PuTTY open.

    apt -y install screen lftp
  2. Launch screen by typing the following command. Then press enter to launch the application:

  3. Launch the transfer of your data by running the following command:

    lftp -u YOUR_DEDIBACKUP_LOGIN,YOUR_DEDIBACKUP_PASSWORD -e "mirror --reverse /mnt /; exit"
    • YOUR_DEDIBACKUP_LOGIN has to be replaced with your Dedibackup login (typically sd-XXXX).
    • YOUR_DEDIBACKUP_PASSWORD has to be replaced with your Dedibackup password.

    If you do not know the password, change it in the console to get a new password.

You should now be able to browse and retrieve all your files by connecting to Dedibackup with any FTP client.


The Dedibackup service is limited to 1000 files per volume. It is recommended to use archives when backing up your data.

How to back up to your personal computer (via SFTP)

The recovery mode supports connection using SSH by default. It is therefore possible to connect from your computer using a SFTP client to recover your files.

In this example we use the client FileZilla.

To connect to the server, you are required to complete the following values:

  • Host: The server’s IP address
  • Identifier: The username used to connect to the server (typically sd-XXXX)
  • Password: The password of the recovery system
  • Port: Port 22

These details are available in your console once the recovery mode is launched.

Configuration example

Your data is located in the folders /mnt, and /sda1, or /sda.

You can download your data before reinstalling your server or transferring data to another server.


If you are unable to follow this process, you can contact a certified outsourcer to rescue your data for you.

See also
How to use rescue modeHow to use IPMI on a server
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