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Old 02-24-2013, 07:45 AM   #1
Registered: Jun 2009
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 80

Rep: Reputation: 15
GPT EXT4 2TB drive recovery & explanation & Advice please

Debian squeeze amd64
parted -l
Model: ATA WDC WD20EARX-00P (scsi)
Disk /dev/sdb: 2000GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/4096B
Partition Table: gpt

Number Start End Size File system Name Flags
1 1049kB 2000GB 2000GB ext4 primary
fsck.ext4 /dev/sdb1
e2fsck 1.41.12 (17-May-2010)
fsck.ext4: Attempt to read block from filesystem resulted in short read while trying to open /dev/sdb1
Could this be a zero-length partition?
So the drive appears to be there and ok but no partition, when it should have one big one and about 16Gb free.

I tried gdisk but that scares me (Truth be told anythinglike this does)
gdisk /dev/sdb1
GPT fdisk (gdisk) version 0.8.1

Partition table scan:
MBR: not present
BSD: not present
APM: not present
GPT: not present

Creating new GPT entries.

Command (? for help):
So I exited.

Does creating a new partion wipe the data from the drive? I haven't done that.

I was looking around at tools (parted Magic, RIPlinux) but unsure is any of them will fix me problem.

Was also thinking a forum for hard drives or even tutorials would be good.
Old 02-24-2013, 05:36 PM   #2
Registered: Apr 2006
Location: Montreal,Quebec
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 825

Rep: Reputation: 128Reputation: 128

If your partition table is destroyed, chances are you will have hard time getting your data back. While not impossible, you will have to specify the superblock location directly. If the data are disposable (remember, you should always have backup), then use "gparted" to create a new partition table and new partitions. This will permanently wipe out all data on the disk. My advice would be to use gparted to make your partitions. Some utilities have incomplete or buggy GPT support.
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 02-25-2013, 06:37 AM   #3
Registered: Jun 2009
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 80

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Its one of my Backup data drives (containing backups) and all my TV DVD Box set ripped tv programmes. I can't phyically put DVD's in out of drives or the containing boxes hence why I use a drive. It took EONS of time to rip them, & I'm not sure I can designate that amount of time for my carers to be stuffing DVD drives with discs when they have to be doing my needs.

So I would like to have a go at trying to recover the files with no worry about loosing stuff. Good practice for other critical occassions.

1st thing I did was google "superblock location" and this led me too two possible ways:

I ended up here:

and then this site: though it all seems to be for non ext4 problems.

Basically I'm getting the message your screwed with ext4??? (which must be me reading it wrong as why would the distro choose ext4 and gpart?) so I'm just going to through that thought away.

1) try to manually restore the superblocks.
2) use The sleuth kit and use "kfairbanks / sleuthkit" which is for ext4.

1) This is very confusing becuase if the super blocks are lost how come software can find the supper blocks?

So Im going to buy a new Bigger than 2TB drive to image the 2TB drive too. This seems to be the common thing to do and then format the 2TB so I can save the recovered files from the 2TB image onto it.

I'm ordering a new drive, so say stop dont do that if there is an easier way?

Also is there a more up-to-date ext4 for recover super blocks guide anywhere?


ext4, fsck, parted

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