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Old 06-08-2005, 04:39 PM   #1
Registered: May 2004
Location: France
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 132

Rep: Reputation: 15
Recover ext3 ?

I have recently installed gentoo and during the install process, I used cfdisk to change my partition table. I deleted hda1 (ntfs, ex-windows) and made an ext3. I didn't change anything else, and wrote my partition table on disk.
Now I have gentoo on hda1, but can't boot my debian on hda3 anymore. When I mount the disk in gentoo, I see only a lost+found directory. When I do a hexdump
hexdump -C /dev/hda3
I can see all my data (I can read some old mail, see text files, ...). How can I get this files back ?
I tried to recover my partition table with gpart but it didn't change a thing...
How can I get my files back ?

Thank you.

Old 06-08-2005, 07:32 PM   #2
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Registered: Jul 2002
Location: East Centra Illinois, USA
Distribution: Debian stable
Posts: 5,894

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Let's see if I understand correctly. You used to be able to boot Deb, but can't anymore. You can boot Gentoo. Correct?

Then, the most likely thing is that you either elected to install the Gentoo bootloader to the MBR, or Gentoo defaults to install there, and you missed the de-select "install to MBR" during installation. Then, Gentoo didn't correctly write the bootloader config which would let you to boot Deb.

How to verify? Since you can do a hexdump and see your Deb files, they're obviously still there. The fact that you can't see them when you mount the partition (or think you have mounted it) suggests the problem lies in the Gentoo /etc/fstab and the bootloader config.

Try this. Using hexdump, get the contents of the Deb /etc/fstab, and the Deb bootloader config. Then compare the contents of those files with the Gentoo /etc/fstab and bootloader config.

Edit as necessary to get Gentoo to recognize Deb and correctly mount the partition.

If this works, make a boot disk of some kind of each distro, so that you don't have to go through this again.

Last edited by bigrigdriver; 06-08-2005 at 07:33 PM.
Old 06-09-2005, 12:53 AM   #3
Registered: May 2004
Location: France
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 132

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
I don't really care about booting my Debian anymore but I wish I could access to its files. When I do a
mount /dev/hda3 /mnt/debian
I get no error message and then in /mnt/debian I only have one directory called /lost+foud.
I've been trying TestDisk utility that claims to be able to recover data from a ext3, but I did't get any good result...
Thanks for your help.



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