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Old 03-14-2008, 01:11 PM   #1
LXer
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LXer: HOWTO recover deleted files on an ext3 file system


Published at LXer:

It happens to everyone sooner or later: a split second after you hit Enter you realize your mistake, but it's too late; you just deleted a valuable file or directory for which no backup exists. Fortunately, you remember that files are never really deleted, at most overwritten by new content. So, you remount the disk read-only as fast as possible. But now? If you Google for "undelete ext3", almost every article you find will be users asking if it's possible and the answer is every time: no. On February 7th, 2008, I accidently deleted my whole home directory: over 3 GB of data, deleted with rm -rf. The only backup that I had was from June 2007. Not being able to undelete was unacceptable. So, I ignored what everyone tried to tell me and started to learn how an ext3 file system really works, and what exactly happens when files are deleted... Three weeks and nearly 5000 lines of code later, I had recovered every file on my disk.

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