Someone brought me an external hard drive that used to have ext3 partitions. He said that he was trying to install fedora core 10 on his machine, and left the external drive with his backups plugged in. During the partition selection screen, he said he somehow accidentally marked the external drive to be formatted as well.

This is what I know so far: The desired partition was ext3, after being formatted the drive shows up as linux lvm.

What I have done so far: I got an identical external drive and cloned the drive usind dd if=/dev/sdb ou=/dev/sbc

Then on the cloned drive, I am using TestDisk to analyse the drive. So far I don't see any apparent progress.

Do I have any more options that I should try?

2 Answers 2


GNU parted has a "hunt the partition" function; with a but of luck you might be able to pick something up. If it finds the partition(s), you can then fsck them to try and restore something like a sensible filesystem on there. I don't like your chances of getting anything close to a complete set of data, though. If you have just a few files that need recovering, perhaps a hex editor and a lot of luck might pick up the content of interest, but wholesale recovery isn't likely.


Look into gpart. It is supposed to be able to recover the mft based on the inodes on the disk. I've not used it myself but have heard some success stories from co-workers in similar situations.

gpart man page

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