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I have recently experienced as slight yet painful problem with my Debian installation and I would like some piece of advice before I go any further.
I have a Debian system with two partitions, one is the boot partition (/dev/sda1) and the other is an encrypted partition (/dev/sda2) with LVM and two VGs (root and home).
And here's the thing: Yesterday, while booting with an USB pendrive running BT3, I meant to build a filesystem on the second partition of this pendrive, that is /dev/sdb2, when I inadvertently used /dev/sda2 instead. Meaning I run a "mkfs.ext3 /dev/sda2". Worst typo ever!
In the end, when I now boot my Debian system and Cryptsetup asks for the passphrase, it won't take it anymore issuing the error message "cryptsetup: unknown fstype, bad password or options?". Which I believe is normal since now /dev/sda2 appears as an ext3 partition in fdisk (don't know how it should appear though).
I believe the data is still there so I guess I "just" need to reconfigure the partition (the header maybe?) as they were, so it can accept the passphrase.
I have been messing with several tools (TestDisk, Gparted, fdisk, etc) but none of them seem to be able to do this and I rather don't mess up more with the disk in case I make things worse. I will buy a new disk next Monday and make a backup with dd to it, but I'd like to get more information before I go on.
Sorry for the speech and thanks for your help. Do not hesitate to ask if I have missed any important information that could help clarify the issue.
If you have completely reformatted your encrypted partition, unfortunately I think you have pretty much no chance of recovering any of the data on it. Attempting such a recovery would need the (expensive) assistance of a professional data recovery company, but even then I doubt they would be able to recover much of a fully formatted partition.
yep, she's gone for good, sorry to say, but once you destroyed the encrypted block devices that the partitions are mounted under, these are the devices that actually do the encrypting/decryting, then there is no way back. Then once you format, you can then corrupt the already encrypted data, basically dealing yourself a double blow.