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Old 03-20-2007, 06:36 PM   #1
digdogger
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Mar 2007
Posts: 13

Rep: Reputation: 1
Recover deleted files from ext3 filesystem


Hello. I have accidentally deleted some files off of an ext3 filesystem and I am willing to jump through some hoops and / or shell out some $$$ to get them back. I have already searched this topic on this forum and throughout the internet, and have found various sources of information. Some state that it is impossible to restore files on an ext3 filesystem, but it is not ... I already have restored some files and data.

Other posts recommended using the strings command as follows:

cat /dev/sda8 | strings > stringsfile.txt

So far, the "stringsfile.txt" file is 8 GB and rising, has many repeats of the same line over and over, but it also contains some of the textual data and email messages I want to attempt to recover.

I have also encountered a product called 'foremost' which appears to be able to pick out image and .doc files out of a filesystem image by searching for their signatures. I have run this tool, and recovered some of my images. However, only some of the images appear correct. For others, the first 30 or so "rows" of the image show up, but the rest of it appears like a snowy TV set.

I also encountered various commercial products that claim they can recover lost files out of an ext3 filesystem. However, they all run on windows. Does anybody know of a utility to recover ext3 files that runs on a Linux desktop? If not, does anybody have a recommendation for a product that runs on windows, but can examine a ext3 filesystem and recover deleted files off of it? Has anybody used any of these products and had success with them?

Thanks.
 
Old 03-20-2007, 06:51 PM   #2
digdogger
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Registered: Mar 2007
Posts: 13

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 1
Forgot to mention:

1. When I ran 'foremost' I ran it with the -q (quick) option enabled. I will try it again without that option once 'strings' is done.

2. Once I was aware that I had deleted files I didn't want to delete, I rebooted into single user mode and unmounted the filesystem that has the files I want to recover on it, to avoid making any more changes to that filesystem.
 
Old 03-20-2007, 06:56 PM   #3
jay73
Guru
 
Registered: Nov 2006
Location: Belgium
Distribution: Ubuntu 11.04, Debian testing
Posts: 5,019

Rep: Reputation: 130Reputation: 130
I would try PhotoRec:
http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/PhotoRec

I was actually looking for testdisk; I thought that was something for you but then I ran into that PhotoRec and it looks better; not sure whether it's as good as promised, though, I've never used it.
 
Old 03-28-2007, 12:09 AM   #4
digdogger
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Registered: Mar 2007
Posts: 13

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 1
Some solutions ... Some questions

I have had some sucsess restoring files deleted by 'rm -rf /home/dir' on ext3. However, the process was not straight forward, time consuming, and I did not get all the files I hoped it would. I ended up purchasing a second hard-drive and installing Fedora Core 6 on it, plus I have a second computer running Windows XP. I had to swap the orriginal drive containing lost files back and forth between these two PC's while attempting to recover the deleted files.

My understanding of the problem is that ext3 overwrites information that describes the physical hard-disk location(s) of the particular file. Thus, I have only had sucess with restoration software that scans the partition in whole chunks and searches for patterns or "headers" enbedded in these chunks.

Here are my results:

Windows Software:
-----------------
1. Disk Internals Linux Recovery
http://www.diskinternals.com/linux-recovery/
I was able to see the directory and file names of files that were deleted, but they were all zero byte files, and I couldn't restore them. Had to leave this running overnight.

2. Stellar Phoenix Linux
http://www.stellarinfo.com/linux-data-recovery.htm
I was able to bring back some multimedia files (Images, Movies, MP3's) and Word .doc files, and other files that have enough of a signature in them to be detectable. Unfortunately, the file names and directory structure was not restored by this product. The restored files all had names similar to 83772928.gif .

3. Nucleus Kernel Linux
http://www.nucleustechnologies.com/L...-Software.html
I wasn't able to see anything in the list of recoverable files using this software. The only files it listed were ones that were not deleted. But perhaps I was using it wrong.

Linux Software:
---------------
1. Foremost:
http://foremost.sourceforge.net/
I was quite sucsessful with this program. It restored allot of multimedia files and .doc files, but the directory structure and files names were all similar to /gif/83772928.gif .

2. Photorec
http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/PhotoRec
The results were quite similar to those produced by Foremost or Stellar Phoenix Linux. However, it also restored some .tar and .gz files, which is more along the lines of what I need.

---

With the above software and the "strings" command, I was able to get back some info and records that were in plain text that I needed. Fortunately, I had a backup of most of my Multimedia and .doc MS Word files. What I didn't have a backup of was:

.tar.gz files
.thunderbird Email repository

Questions:
----------
1. Does anybody have any advice on recovering deleted .tar.gz files and the .thunderbird directory?

2. Does anybody know how to setup a filesystem so that undeleting is easy if it is done fast enough? Can an ext3 filesystem be setup this way, or should I use a filesystem like ext2 or ReiserFS?

Thanks.
 
Old 03-28-2007, 11:08 AM   #5
Eqwatz
Member
 
Registered: May 2003
Distribution: Slack Puppy Debian DSL--at the moment.
Posts: 341

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You really have to use plain vanilla ext2 file systems to have any success, or have your /home directory as a fat32.

If you are using Linux as your O.S.; set it up as you like, then don't f*ck with it.
If you want to experiment and have "fun", set up a separate Linux installation, or as many as you like, and boot with grub. Only when you are sure of the changes should you change your default installation.

The most robust and understandable multi-boot set-up for Linux is to have one "/boot" partition located on the first hard drive as the second primary partition with grub installed into that hard drive MBR pointing to that "/boot" partition. Then manually copy the kernels and initrds into separate directories located on that /boot partition.

So, the "/boot" directory/partition will have a default set of kernels and default boot located in the root of the /boot partition. The others will have directories labeled for the specific distros: ie. /debian /puppy /damnSmallLinux /[whatever distro you are playing with] /grub vmlinuz->linux-whatever.kernel.in.your.default.distro initrd.whatever.kernel.in.your.default.distro system.map.of.your.default.distro [Get the idea?]
The /grub/menu.lst will take entries which contain a relative path to whatever kernel/distro you wish to boot. With the proper entries, after the kernel and initrd load into ram; the "pivot_root" command is run, and the kernel will read the system map and other configuration files from the "/" {root of the other installed distro} including the configuration files that are located in the specific "/boot" directory on the specific distro installation.
Eqwatz
 
Old 09-02-2007, 08:49 AM   #6
zzzptg
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Aug 2007
Posts: 13

Rep: Reputation: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by digdogger View Post
I have had some sucsess restoring files deleted by 'rm -rf /home/dir' on ext3. However, the process was not straight forward, time consuming, and I did not get all the files I hoped it would. I ended up purchasing a second hard-drive and installing Fedora Core 6 on it, plus I have a second computer running Windows XP. I had to swap the orriginal drive containing lost files back and forth between these two PC's while attempting to recover the deleted files.

My understanding of the problem is that ext3 overwrites information that describes the physical hard-disk location(s) of the particular file. Thus, I have only had sucess with restoration software that scans the partition in whole chunks and searches for patterns or "headers" enbedded in these chunks.

Here are my results:

Windows Software:
-----------------
1. Disk Internals Linux Recovery
http://www.diskinternals.com/linux-recovery/
I was able to see the directory and file names of files that were deleted, but they were all zero byte files, and I couldn't restore them. Had to leave this running overnight.

2. Stellar Phoenix Linux
http://www.stellarinfo.com/linux-data-recovery.htm
I was able to bring back some multimedia files (Images, Movies, MP3's) and Word .doc files, and other files that have enough of a signature in them to be detectable. Unfortunately, the file names and directory structure was not restored by this product. The restored files all had names similar to 83772928.gif .

3. Nucleus Kernel Linux
http://www.nucleustechnologies.com/L...-Software.html
I wasn't able to see anything in the list of recoverable files using this software. The only files it listed were ones that were not deleted. But perhaps I was using it wrong.

Linux Software:
---------------
1. Foremost:
http://foremost.sourceforge.net/
I was quite sucsessful with this program. It restored allot of multimedia files and .doc files, but the directory structure and files names were all similar to /gif/83772928.gif .

2. Photorec
http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/PhotoRec
The results were quite similar to those produced by Foremost or Stellar Phoenix Linux. However, it also restored some .tar and .gz files, which is more along the lines of what I need.

---

With the above software and the "strings" command, I was able to get back some info and records that were in plain text that I needed. Fortunately, I had a backup of most of my Multimedia and .doc MS Word files. What I didn't have a backup of was:

.tar.gz files
.thunderbird Email repository

Questions:
----------
1. Does anybody have any advice on recovering deleted .tar.gz files and the .thunderbird directory?

2. Does anybody know how to setup a filesystem so that undeleting is easy if it is done fast enough? Can an ext3 filesystem be setup this way, or should I use a filesystem like ext2 or ReiserFS?

Thanks.
Thanks for that post...
I'm trying to recover a ext3 partition.
The cause for the corruption, was that ive deleted all the folders except the /home ...


Well now i cant even mount the disk
and e2fsck gives me a bunch of errors, even using the backup superblocks

Code:
[admin@myasus root]$ fsck.ext3 -b 32768 /dev/discs/disc0/part5
e2fsck 1.38 (30-Jun-2005)
Inode table for group 0 is not in group.  (block 1177535144)
WARNING: SEVERE DATA LOSS POSSIBLE.
Relocate<y>? 

.....
e2fsck: e2fsck_read_bitmaps: illegal bitmap block(s) for MyBook
got a 250GB disk full of stuff, dont want to lose it

In my search found this sites, may be helpful for somebody

Hack 94. Recover Data from Crashed Disks

LiveCD - (R)ecovery (I)s (P)ossible Linux rescue system
 
Old 09-04-2007, 06:14 PM   #7
zzzptg
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Aug 2007
Posts: 13

Rep: Reputation: 0
Well give the notice here:

WEEEEEE

SUCCESS


Solution (make backups if you can )
mke2fs -S /dev/ida/c0d0p7

fsck ...

mount




bahh
it seems to only recovered some files ....
i can see all the folders but some of them are unredable

Last edited by zzzptg; 09-04-2007 at 06:30 PM.
 
Old 09-06-2007, 06:47 PM   #8
digdogger
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Mar 2007
Posts: 13

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 1
When you say "ive deleted all the folders except the /home", how did you do that? What commands did you use? This post is about the fact that ext3 filesystems overwrite the inode data when you delete a file (using the 'rm' command), so it is quite hard to get the file back. If your loss of data comes from some sort of filesystem corruption, the tools I mentioned might not help.

I wish ext3 would make some sort of backup of the inode data when a file is deleted, and delete the backup automatically after it is an hour old or so. Instead of deleting the inode data, it might be better to move it somewhere else (perhaps the Journal space?). According to my research, ext3 wipes the inode data because this is better in terms of recovering from a sudden power loss. Wouldn't relocating the data instead still provide the protection from power loss, and provide the ability to undelete?
 
Old 09-07-2007, 05:32 PM   #9
zzzptg
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Aug 2007
Posts: 13

Rep: Reputation: 0
yes it was the old
Quote:
rm -rf /xxx
i though ive recovered, all the files, but it seems that only 23GB of the 250GB are visible
will backup the recovered data, and them I will run again fsck to see if fixes more problems..

Last edited by zzzptg; 09-07-2007 at 05:33 PM.
 
Old 09-20-2007, 08:28 AM   #10
zzzptg
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Aug 2007
Posts: 13

Rep: Reputation: 0
Well, after some time to relax from the problem
Here i am again
No, i can see some files 23GB of 250GB.
Backed up those files

Now try to run fsck, but it gives me the Signal 11 (segmentation fault)
I'm runing from vmware virtual machine using the RIP live cd.

Every time i try it stops in Pass 1: Checking Inodes at 9.1%.

I think that i can only see the 23GB because of this (9% of 250GB).

--------------------------

Will try now to use boot only with the live cd ...
nop same problem with live cd. It seems that the fsck is buggy in the RIP live cd

Now with the ubunto image in vmware it is fixing

Last edited by zzzptg; 09-20-2007 at 10:07 AM.
 
Old 09-21-2007, 06:05 AM   #11
zzzptg
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Aug 2007
Posts: 13

Rep: Reputation: 0
Well after a night doing the fsck -yf
there apered a lost+found folder.

with all the folders messedup, #1676865 ...
BUT ive discovered some files inside them

THe problem is that they are more than 2000 folders

But the end is near LOL

well instled treesize pro i can see now some files that i were looking for

I hope that this report help others with the same problem


Bye all :P

Last edited by zzzptg; 09-21-2007 at 06:23 AM.
 
Old 10-01-2007, 11:26 AM   #12
zzzptg
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Aug 2007
Posts: 13

Rep: Reputation: 0
Hello again, after a while, ive repaired the disk, runned FSCK a bunch of times
I can now mount even in windows with the EXTFS program

Now i want to mount in a router (asus wl-500qp) it has a linux os.
Problem is the invalid argument thing ....

Code:
[admin@myasus root]$ fdisk /dev/discs/disc0/disc 

The number of cylinders for this disk is set to 30401.
There is nothing wrong with that, but this is larger than 1024,
and could in certain setups cause problems with:
1) software that runs at boot time (e.g., old versions of LILO)
2) booting and partitioning software from other OSs
   (e.g., DOS FDISK, OS/2 FDISK)

Command (m for help): p

Disk /dev/discs/disc0/disc: 250.0 GB, 250059350016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 30401 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

                Device Boot    Start       End    Blocks   Id  System
/dev/discs/disc0/part1   *           1           9       72261   82  Linux swap
/dev/discs/disc0/part2              10       30401   244123708+  83  Linux

Command (m for help): q

[admin@myasus root]$ mount /dev/discs/disc0/part2 /opt/
mount: Mounting /dev/discs/disc0/part2 on /opt/ failed: Invalid argument
It works good, in windows using Ext3FS ...
The mount version is this
Quote:
[admin@myasus root]$ mount -V
mount: illegal option -- V
BusyBox v1.1.3 (2007.01.01-14:37+0000) multi-call binary
the /opt dir is
Quote:
drwxr-xr-x 1 admin root 0 Apr 6 17:00 opt
Using dmesg

Quote:
[admin@myasus /]$ dmesg
xing up bus 0
PCI: Fixing up bridge
PCI: Fixing up bus 1
Linux NET4.0 for Linux 2.4
Based upon Swansea University Computer Society NET3.039
Initializing RT netlink socket
Starting kswapd
Journalled Block Device driver loaded
devfs: v1.12c (20020818) Richard Gooch (rgooch@atnf.csiro.au)
devfs: boot_options: 0x1
NTFS driver v1.1.22 [Flags: R/O]
pty: 256 Unix98 ptys configured
Serial driver version 5.05c (2001-07-08) with MANY_PORTS SHARE_IRQ SERIAL_PCI enabled
ttyS00 at 0xb8000300 (irq = 3) is a 16550A
ttyS01 at 0xb8000400 (irq = 3) is a 16550A
HDLC line discipline: version $Revision$, maxframe=4096
N_HDLC line discipline registered.
loop: loaded (max 8 devices)
PPP generic driver version 2.4.2
PPP Deflate Compression module registered
PPP BSD Compression module registered
MPPE/MPPC encryption/compression module registered
Physically mapped flash: Found an alias at 0x800000 for the chip at 0x0
Physically mapped flash: Found an alias at 0x1000000 for the chip at 0x0
Physically mapped flash: Found an alias at 0x1800000 for the chip at 0x0
Amd/Fujitsu Extended Query Table v1.3 at 0x0040
Flash Id: Vendor: 0x0001 Device: 0x007e
number of CFI chips: 1
Flash device: 0x800000 at 0x1c000000
Physically mapped flash: squashfs filesystem found at block 941
Creating 5 MTD partitions on "Physically mapped flash":
0x00000000-0x00040000 : "pmon"
0x00040000-0x007f0000 : "linux"
0x000eb714-0x007f0000 : "rootfs"
0x007f0000-0x00800000 : "nvram"
0x003e0000-0x007f0000 : "flashfs"
sflash: found no supported devices
NET4: Linux TCP/IP 1.0 for NET4.0
IP Protocols: ICMP, UDP, TCP, IGMP
IP: routing cache hash table of 512 buckets, 4Kbytes
TCP: Hash tables configured (established 2048 bind 4096)
Linux IP multicast router 0.06 plus PIM-SM
ip_conntrack version 2.1 (256 buckets, 2048 max) - 352 bytes per conntrack
ip_conntrack_pptp version 1.9 loaded
ip_nat_pptp version 1.5 loaded
ip_tables: (C) 2000-2002 Netfilter core team
ipt_time loading
NET4: Unix domain sockets 1.0/SMP for Linux NET4.0.
IPv6 v0.8 for NET4.0
IPv6 over IPv4 tunneling driver
NET4: Ethernet Bridge 008 for NET4.0
802.1Q VLAN Support v1.7 Ben Greear <greearb@candelatech.com>
All bugs added by David S. Miller <davem@redhat.com>
FAT: bogus logical sector size 58624
FAT: bogus logical sector size 58624
NTFS: Unable to set blocksize 512.
VFS: Mounted root (squashfs filesystem) readonly.
Mounted devfs on /dev
Freeing unused kernel memory: 68k freed
Algorithmics/MIPS FPU Emulator v1.5
eth0: Broadcom BCM47xx 10/100 Mbps Ethernet Controller 3.90.37.0
unregister_netdevice: device eth1/80279800 never was registered
PCI: Enabling device 01:02.0 (0004 -> 0006)
eth1: Broadcom BCM4318 802.11 Wireless Controller 3.90.38.0
vlan0: add 33:33:00:00:00:01 mcast address to master interface
vlan0: add 33:33:ff:6b:3d:e0 mcast address to master interface
vlan0: dev_set_promiscuity(master, 1)
device eth0 entered promiscuous mode
device vlan0 entered promiscuous mode
device eth1 entered promiscuous mode
br0: port 2(eth1) entering listening state
br0: port 1(vlan0) entering listening state
br0: port 2(eth1) entering learning state
br0: port 1(vlan0) entering learning state
br0: port 2(eth1) entering forwarding state
br0: topology change detected, propagating
br0: port 1(vlan0) entering forwarding state
br0: topology change detected, propagating
usb.c: registered new driver usbdevfs
usb.c: registered new driver hub
usb-uhci.c: $Revision: 1.275 $ time 10:25:12 Jun 17 2006
usb-uhci.c: High bandwidth mode enabled
PCI: Enabling device 01:03.0 (0000 -> 0001)
ECHI PCI device 30381106 found.
UCHI reg 0x41 = 10
UCHI reg 0x41 changed to = 0
usb-uhci.c: USB UHCI at I/O 0x100, IRQ 2
usb-uhci.c: Detected 2 ports
usb.c: new USB bus registered, assigned bus number 1
hub.c: USB hub found
hub.c: 2 ports detected
PCI: Enabling device 01:03.1 (0000 -> 0001)
ECHI PCI device 30381106 found.
UCHI reg 0x41 = 10
UCHI reg 0x41 changed to = 0
usb-uhci.c: USB UHCI at I/O 0x120, IRQ 2
usb-uhci.c: Detected 2 ports
usb.c: new USB bus registered, assigned bus number 2
hub.c: USB hub found
hub.c: 2 ports detected
usb-uhci.c: v1.275:USB Universal Host Controller Interface driver
PCI: Enabling device 01:03.2 (0000 -> 0002)
ehci_hcd 01:03.2: PCI device 1106:3104
ehci_hcd 01:03.2: irq 2, pci mem c00ac000
usb.c: new USB bus registered, assigned bus number 3
ECHI PCI device 31041106 found.
ECHI reg 0x49 = 80010f20
ECHI reg 0x49 changed to = 80010f00
ECHI reg 0x4b = 80010f09
ECHI reg 0x4b changed to = 80010f29
PCI: 01:03.2 PCI cache line size set incorrectly (0 bytes) by BIOS/FW, correcting to 32
ehci_hcd 01:03.2: USB 2.0 enabled, EHCI 1.00, driver 2003-Dec-29/2.4
hub.c: USB hub found
hub.c: 4 ports detected
usb.c: registered new driver usblp
printer.c: v0.13: USB Printer Device Class driver
hub.c: connect-debounce failed, port 1 disabled
hub.c: new USB device 01:03.2-1, assigned address 2
usb.c: USB device 2 (vend/prod 0x1058/0x901) is not claimed by any active driver.
usb.c: registered new driver audio
audio.c: v1.0.0:USB Audio Class driver
Linux video capture interface: v1.00
SCSI subsystem driver Revision: 1.00
Initializing USB Mass Storage driver...
usb.c: registered new driver usb-storage
scsi0 : SCSI emulation for USB Mass Storage devices
Vendor: WD Model: 2500JB External Rev: 0108
Type: Direct-Access ANSI SCSI revision: 02
Attached scsi disk sda at scsi0, channel 0, id 0, lun 0
SCSI device sda: 488397168 512-byte hdwr sectors (250059 MB)
Partition check:
/dev/scsi/host0/bus0/target0/lun0: p1 p2
WARNING: USB Mass Storage data integrity not assured
USB Mass Storage device found at 2
USB Mass Storage support registered.
vlan1: Setting MAC address to 00 18 f3 6b 3d e0.
VLAN (vlan1): Underlying device (eth0) has same MAC, not checking promiscious mode.
vlan1: add 33:33:00:00:00:01 mcast address to master interface
vlan1: add 33:33:ff:6b:3d:e0 mcast address to master interface
vlan1: add 01:00:5e:00:00:01 mcast address to master interface
VFS: Can't find ext3 filesystem on dev sd(8,0).
MSDOS FS: Using codepage 950
MSDOS FS: IO charset cp950
FAT: bogus logical sector size 20487
VFS: Can't find a valid FAT filesystem on dev 08:00.
FAT: freeing iocharset=cp950
FAT: bogus logical sector size 20487
VFS: Can't find a valid FAT filesystem on dev 08:00.
VFS: Can't find ext3 filesystem on dev sd(8,1).
MSDOS FS: Using codepage 950
MSDOS FS: IO charset cp950
FAT: bogus logical sector size 0
VFS: Can't find a valid FAT filesystem on dev 08:01.
FAT: freeing iocharset=cp950
FAT: bogus logical sector size 0
VFS: Can't find a valid FAT filesystem on dev 08:01.
ext3: No journal on filesystem on sd(8,2)
MSDOS FS: Using codepage 950
MSDOS FS: IO charset cp950
FAT: bogus logical sector size 0
VFS: Can't find a valid FAT filesystem on dev 08:02.
FAT: freeing iocharset=cp950
FAT: bogus logical sector size 0
VFS: Can't find a valid FAT filesystem on dev 08:02.
Adding Swap: 72252k swap-space (priority -1)
FAT: bogus logical sector size 0
FAT: bogus logical sector size 0
EXT3-fs: Unrecognized mount option r
FAT: bogus logical sector size 0
FAT: bogus logical sector size 0
NTFS: unkown option 'r'
EXT3-fs: Unrecognized mount option read
FAT: bogus logical sector size 0
FAT: bogus logical sector size 0
NTFS: unkown option 'read'
FAT: bogus logical sector size 0
FAT: bogus logical sector size 0
FAT: bogus logical sector size 0
FAT: bogus logical sector size 0
FAT: bogus logical sector size 0
FAT: bogus logical sector size 0
FAT: bogus logical sector size 0
FAT: bogus logical sector size 0
NTFS: unkown option 'debug'
FAT: bogus logical sector size 0
FAT: bogus logical sector size 0
NTFS: unkown option 'noload'
now running again FSCK ....

RRRRHHHHHH

Quote:
[admin@myasus /]$ fsck.ext3 /dev/discs/disc0/part2
e2fsck 1.38 (30-Jun-2005)
/dev/discs/disc0/part2 contains a file system with errors, check forced.
Pass 1: Checking inodes, blocks, and sizes
Pass 2: Checking directory structure
Pass 3: Checking directory connectivity
Pass 4: Checking reference counts
Pass 5: Checking group summary information
/dev/discs/disc0/part2: 25980/30523392 files (6.2% non-contiguous), 56144317/61030927 blocks
[admin@myasus /]$ mount /dev/discs/disc0/part2 /opt/
mount: Mounting /dev/discs/disc0/part2 on /opt/ failed: Invalid argument
 
  


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