I'm not a linux newbie after using it for a couple of years, but I have just made such a noob mistake you wouldn't believe (No offense meant new people - keep it up!)
I was running Fedora Core 3 dual booting via Grub with WinXP on my Toshiba laptop, and after a problem with Fedora that I'd not been able to fix, I decided to reinstall it.
I backed up everything I wanted (mainly /home and /etc for a couple of customisations I'd made) and had the .tgz files sat in a shared folder at /home/share. I then proceeded to use Partition Magic 8 in Windows to wipe the linux partition, and resized the windows partition to fill the drive.
I then rebooted, knowing that I wouldn't be able to get back into windows, but I'd already backed my windows partition up, and I was planning on completely formatting the drive and starting again.
Then - I suddenly realised. I hadn't copied the backups over to my external HDD first. (Laugh all you want, I probably deserve it)
My question is this - Is the linux partition recoverable? I believe it was ext3. All I want to be able to do copy the backup files (about 1.2Gb) and then I don't care what happens after that.
I have not booted back into windows, only to Knoppix, so nothing has been changed since Partition Magic wiped the ext3 and swap and resized the NTFS partition.
Many thanks in advance,