Recovering deleted files

Tez binary_y2k2 at blueyonder.co.uk
Sun Oct 1 00:33:13 BST 2006


Frode M. Døving wrote:
> Lørdag 30 september 2006 18:20, skrev Dotan Cohen:
>   
>> I'm not sure what I did, but all the files in my
>> /home/dotancohen/Photos directory are gone. The directory in question
>> is on a seperate disk partition from the rest of the system. What
>> tools can I use to recover the files?
>>
>> It is an ext3 filesystem. As soon as I discovered the error I stopped
>> using it, but it is still mounted. I'm on the latest up-to-date
>> Kubuntu.
>>
>>     
> [cut]
>
> I'm sorry to say that undeletion of files on ext3 volumes are close to 
> impossible.
>
> This is a quote from: 
> http://batleth.sapienti-sat.org/projects/FAQs/ext3-faq.html
>
> [quote]
> Q: How can I recover (undelete) deleted files from my ext3 partition?
>
> Actually, you can't! This is what one of the developers, Andreas Dilger, said 
> about it:
>
> In order to ensure that ext3 can safely resume an unlink after a crash, it 
> actually zeros out the block pointers in the inode, whereas
>  ext2 just marks these blocks as unused in the block bitmaps and marks the 
> inode as "deleted" and leaves the block pointers alone.
>  Your only hope is to "grep" for parts of your files that have been deleted 
> and hope for the best.
> [/quote]
>
>
> - Frode
>
>   
I know that feeling, recently I accidentally deleted a backup image I
made of a disk, not good. A google later and I found that same quote, AHH.

I was able to find 1 piece of software that says it can recover deleted
files in Ext3 [1] but it only runs on windows (WTF, i know). So I have a
PC with XP on it, that the not so smart people in my family use, so I
installed the software on that. I took the HDD out of my linux PC and
put it in to the windows one and it found some deleted files
(150,368,562 to be exact), after a good 6 hour scan, but didn't show
names, only inode numbers. I tryed to recover some, but I couldn't find
the one I was after. I finally gave up, partly because it was looking
less and less likely that I was going to find the file, but mostly
because I was getting so sick of working on windows I was about to go
for a sledge-hammer.

If you do decide to try the software there are some things you need to know,
1. It's not free, it costs $79
2. It only runs on windows, and it has to be windows not wine
3. It's going to take hours; it took 6 on my 170GB HDD
4. There is no guaranty that you will recover all, if any, of the data.

[1] http://www.stellarinfo.com/linux-data-recovery.htm

Tez




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