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wolfgangsz 12-30-2009 01:59 PM

recover data from ext3 partition
Hi all,

here is the situation:
A HP Netserver LP2000r, with original SCSI controller and HP NetRaid-2M controller, 3x 36GB Ultra3 HDD in RAID5, Debian (sarge/etch), has crashed after 992 days without reboot. From all that I can see, a hardware failure, most likely with the memory. The HP Diagnostic tools cannot find any problem, but everytime I boot into Knoppix, I get between 2minutes and 2 hours of runtime, and then either a kernel oops or just a complete and sudden halt.
Well, the box has earned its money. However, there is some data on the drives that I need to recover (yes, I have beaten myself up properly about not backing up that data, don't even go there !). There are three partitions: sda1 is /, sda2 is swap and sda3 is a LVM volume with 3 logical volumes on it. As far as I can tell, the hardware defect must have been creeping in and has made a total mess of the inodes in all these partitions.
After booting into Knoppix, I can restore the volumes using pvscan, vgscan, lvscan, vgcfgrestore and vgchange. If I try and mount them: mayhem. So I try and check them, using fsck.ext3. All sorts of interesting nonsense, such as a completely empty inode 11 (the first inode) and then obviously from there on all else is pointless.
I tried using debugfs, but the information on what to do with it is somewhat spurious.

So now here is my question: Is there anybody out there who could help me with this? Any pointers would be highly appreciated.

P.S.: Tomorrow I will go and get myself a 16GB Flash Drive and then hopefully I will be able to dump the partitions one by one onto that drive and transfer the images onto a different computer for analysis and data recovery. But the help will still be highly appreciated.

kbp 12-30-2009 10:47 PM

You could always try to find a replacement on eBay.. (couldn't be more than $50) ... then swap the drives, might even be quicker


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