Yeah I guess I was a little surprised that it was creating 40 gb files. the operation did stop in my above scenario, and exactly for that reason. My output partition was way too small.
But the good news is I recovered the precious files (family videos). I noticed in a hex editor that these mod files (from a camera) had very specific headers. Heck, it had the word CANON in the header
. So I figured with a signature like that I can pinpoint the files a little more precisely.
Using foremost (thx for the rec) I added this signature to the conf file and ran. It found the files but occasionally stopped short because I didn't define a good footer to stop at (couldn't find the .mod standard and no patterns noticable). But since I copied these files all at one time, they were luckily at the same disk region and somewhat in sequence. So I then ran "dd" to pull that binary region of the disk to a big video file and I'm good to go! I just need to sort and split with a video editor now.
....just wanted to post my results for completion. Thank you all for the help!!!!