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I'm in need of some help on the data recovery front.
I have just under 200GB of data that has been lost thanks to Windows deciding to rape an EXT2 partition that I was using as shared space.
All data recovery tools I can find that run on Windows and can recover from EXT2 are able to verify that all files are still in tact, it's just the directory structure that is looking dodgey... but none of them will recover anything without paying insane ammounts of money... there is one exception, but I get 404s on the download page of demo version that is supposed to recover 5000 files for free...
As a result of me giving up on the Windows options I have decided to ask around here for advice. I have already been told that I should always recover from an image of the HDD rather than read direct from it, but that is not an option, I only have enough space to recover to, not to backup then recover, so hold off on the DD lectures, I already know how to use it and that in this case I cannot do that.
I have the following:
120GB - NTFS and it is full.
250GB - combination of file systems, the only one I care about is the 200GB EXT2 one.
250GB - NTFS 3 or 4 GB used, will erase and reformat in a heartbeat to get other stuff back.
I'm thinking of using a live CD to recover with, please suggest some options.
Apart from a live CD I'd like to know what software and options are available to find/detect/see and recover the files from the first 250 drive to the second, I'd prefere the option of being able to write to the NTFS file system directly, but I can drop that option if I must.
It would also be nice to have any suggested software explained to me.
If you require any more information to be able to answer me I'll answer ASAP.
If I understand you correctly, your EXT2 filesystem is messed up but the files seem to still be intact.
I would suggest using some sort of a live CD. You can use the ext2 utilities to try to figure out the problem with the file system. In most cases, these utilities should be able to recover the filesystem without disturbing the information on it. I've had a similar incident with a reiserfs and was able to recover using the filesystem utilites. I belive e2fsck will be able to help you. Take a quick look its man page.