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Re: fsck on ext3, lost files

Gary Parker wrote:

> Lost+found contains over 300 entries numbered #1504387 through #4635638. About
> 50 of these are directories.   One of these directories contains most of my
> user's home directory, though many of the subdirectories that I am interested in
> appear empty.  In particular I am looking for jpeg images.


> I've read, "Your only hope is to "grep" for parts of your files that have been
> deleted and hope for the best."  Is this still true?

Something like this happened to me once (but I do not remember why).
Lost+found contained various entries that did not make any sense at
first, but they actually appeared to be files I was looking for, only
with weird names, and _scattered_ all over the place.

What I mean, is that if files were in a certain directory, they can no
longer be in that one directory. You will probably need to check all of
them to find what you are looking for.

A valuable tool in this case is "file". It can identify loads of
different file formats, and can be very effective in conjunction with
some shell scripting. There is also tool called "testdisk". I have never
used it, but it does seem to have some very useful features.

It is highly unlikely that you will be able to recover a lot of useful
data by examining hard drive physically, but if that is important for
you, here are some tips:

* Only operate the disk in read-only mode.
* First of all try to locate you data in _files_ in lost+found. Most of
  it should be should still be there. It is just a matter of copying the
  files and renaming them properly.
* After you have salvaged your files, then you may want to do physical
  analysis of the disk using "testdisk" or similar tools, if there are
  still thing missing.

Of course, this is based on the assumption that you do have another disk
or a separate bootable partition available. Otherwise you will have to
move files around in the same partition and this will overwrite parts of
files that might have survived somewhere on disk.

In my case, I was able to locate all my important data in lost+found.
Chances are that you will also.

Good luck.

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