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I am a big fool. But i believe this could be the event for every serious linux administrator. I Accidentally formatted my hard drive from LVM to Ext3. I tried some of the recovery tools. I can see around 13 GB recovery from 500+ GB contents. I learnt from this mistake. But data is really important for me. Even what recovery software is offering me to recover has no correct file names. They are random file names. So obviously all source code has no use to recover in that state. Because there is no link suppose to be there in this random state.

I can see all data is there. mkfs.ext3 re-write the blocks. I don't know if there is any hope i could recover everything in the same stage. But whatever recovered should be in exact format.

Please help me if you can suggest me any open/commercial solution to recover whatever possible.

I learnt lesson from this mistake.

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So, no backups, eh? –  EEAA Aug 19 '11 at 17:05
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No i do not. That's why i am considering my self as a fool. :( –  Terry Aug 19 '11 at 17:08

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There's a possibility that if you boot a CD like RIP (Rescue is Possible) and run Testdisk (Google for more information) that you may recover data from the partition. I've had pretty good luck with salvaging information using it and it's free. You might find it on other discs as well like Ubuntu or Knoppix, you'd have to look.

Also...you're not using that computer, yes? Every time you write or alter anything on the drive you could be rendering more data irrecoverable.

Next...you need a backup system. If it's important, you never keep only one copy.

If the data is very important, you might want to consider FIRST getting another hard drive, booting an external disc (like the previously mentioned RIP) and making a complete image of the drive before ANY attempt to extract data. That way you can recover back to a known-good state if something goes wrong. Use a utility to clone the disk at the block level like dd; not something that will just copy at the file level so you'll have a 500 gig image.

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you are right. I learnt from my mistake and i did what i should before. I buy new 1TB disk and made a snapshot using "dd" of 1TB. now i have snapshot of best known disk state. –  Terry Aug 19 '11 at 18:53
    
testdisk does not work for me. I got nothing from the deep search. I found some data recovery tools which are commercial. I tried their demo version. One software is showing me 13+ GB contents which is out of format (strange folder names and file names). So that's why i though, i should do lil more research to make any decision. This time i must have to be very careful about what i left. (At least recovery tool showing me something). –  Terry Aug 19 '11 at 19:00

I did something similar quite a while back, except it was ext3 and overwritten by lvm3.

I updated my partition table with fdisk to reflect an ext3 partition without rewriting the actual blocks. I was able to recover the vast majority of my files after I did that. Something similar might do the trick for you.

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Actually i ran mkfs.ext3 instead of fdisk. And that really makes me worry about things. –  Terry Aug 19 '11 at 18:57

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