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Ok, I somehow managed to destroy my home partition while playing with diskdrake on Mandrake 10. This is how it went.
I have a dual boot system with mandrake 10 and windows XP. XP has two partitions C and E. Linux has three /, home and hda9 (and a swap partition). Since C and E were NTFS I decided to clean up E and change it to Fat32 or something that linux could use. For some reason diskdrake refused to do anything to NTFS partitions although mandrake 9.2 did it easily. So I removed E under Windows. (I'm no sure about this, I might have gotten diskdrake to work after all, and remove E with it) Anyway, after this diskdrake refused to do anything and said that my partition image had something wrong with it. (I didn't write the error message down, sorry) I could watch at the new partitions (which were the same except for the empty part that used to be E) but couldn't do any alterations. I saved the partition image on floppy but afterwards it refused to open. So I went to windows which still worked fine. It said that in addition to C, /, Home, Hda9 and the empty part that used to be E, I had an extra empty partition exactly the size of home and another empty partition the size of 2000 GB!! Thats pretty good on a 60 GB harddisc. For some reason it didn't show the swap partition although linux worked fine. Mandrake only asked to rename partitions (hda9 to hda8 etc) and to reinstall bootloader.
So at this point everything was like it used to be except that I had 25 GB of empty space I couldnt use. Since diskdrake didn't work I decided to create a fat32 partition from the empty space that used to be E under windows. It worked fine except that after formatting the new fat32 E the mysterious empty linux partitions vanished and I was left with three linux partitions (still without swap partition). For some reason these partitions weren't what they used to be. Only / was the same but home and Hda9 were replaced with something that looked like empty partitions of the same size. So my home was gone... Or was it?
I tried to start mandrake but the result was this:
The superblock could not be read or does not describe a correct ext2 filesystem. If the device is valid and it really contains an ext2 filesystem (and not swap or ufs or something else), then the superblock is corrupt, and you might try running e2fsck with an alternate superblock:
e2fsck -b 8193 <device>
I typed e2fsck -b 8193 /dev/hda8 but it didn't work.
So, is it a superblock corruption, whatever that means, or did I format my home and Hda9?
Can I rescue home? Is this superblock corruption something that might be cured with reinstalling mandrake with a new home partition?