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Linux Ext2fs Undeletion mini-HOWTO

Aaron Crane,

v1.3, 2 February 1999

Picture this. You've spent the last three days with no sleep, no food, not even a shower. Your hacking compulsion has at last paid off: you've finished that program that will bring you world-wide fame and recognition. All that you still need to do is tar it up and put it on Metalab. Oh, and delete all those Emacs backup files. So you say rm * ~. And too late, you notice the extra space in that command. You've just deleted your magnum opus! But help is at hand. This document presents a discussion of how to retrieve deleted files from a Second Extended File System. Just maybe, you'll be able to release that program after all...

1. Introduction

2. How not to delete files

3. What recovery rate can I expect?

4. So, how do I undelete a file?

5. Unmounting the file system

6. Preparing to change inodes directly

7. Preparing to write data elsewhere

8. Finding the deleted inodes

9. Obtaining the details of the inodes

10. Recovering data blocks

11. Modifying inodes directly

12. Will this get easier in future?

13. Are there any tools to automate this process?

14. Colophon

15. Credits and Bibliography

16. Legalities

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