Lost+Found, ext3 and data loss

Laurent Humblet mailinglists at invisibleray.com
Sun Dec 13 13:39:55 GMT 2009


Hi,

I have a 300Gb HD on which I did three partitions: swap, ext3 for 8.10 
and ext3 (or ext2) for Data/Backups.  I had it as my main HD for a while 
before I did an upgrade to 9.04 which I'm still on (haven't had the time 
to upgrade to 9.10 yet).

I did unplug the HD for a while to install 9.04 on another HD.  This 
week, I wanted to go through all the HD I had and make a list of all of 
them and this is when I encounter the problem with my 300Gb HD.

I did plug the 300Gb through an external USB HD connector.  I couldn't 
mount both HD for some strange reasons so I ran fsck on them both.  What 
happened was that the Data/Backup partition I had got a 'lost+found' 
folder with all #?????? files (??? being replaced with various 
alphanumerical chars).

After reading a bit about it, I found that it's a comon practice for 
fsck to move files around in lost+found when something is broken in the HD.

Here are my questions:
- is there any chance for me to recover the HD as it was _before_ fsck?
- is there any chance for me to recover parts of the filenames 
automatically?
- what should I be doing now to recover my data with the greatest of ease?
- why is fsck moving files around into lost+found on such a case and by 
doing so, writing on a hard drive that could be corrupted?
- in the future, if such a solution happen, what are the best steps for 
me to take to avoid having fsck moving all the files around and by doing 
so, risking to loose the entire filesystem?

Thank you for your help and reccomandations,
Regards,
Laurent



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