[olug] *sigh* Need a Linux / ext3 unerase tool...

Jordan Fox vmifox at gmail.com
Fri Apr 2 17:21:57 UTC 2010

I don't think there is a way to recover a directory, but you can
recover files from free space on the hard drive.  I've used foremost,
and the newer scalpel - written by the same people that wrote foremost
and is, therefore, based on foremost.  Both are CLI, but I'd recommend
scalpel as I remember it being a bit easier to use.  Both of them
"carve" files from the free space (and even slack space) on a hard
drive based off of file headers and footers.  You tell it what file
types to find and it looks on the disk matching the bit patterns of
the headers.  It will return many copies of each file, as each file
has probably existed on many locations on the hard drive.  Another
reason you will get multiple copies are files that span sectors on the

Word of warning, this will not be fun, quick, or easy.  These days
another method might exist, but this is the only one I know of.  Feel
free to write me if you have questions, I have experience in this
area, both from college and from... "oh, crap..."


On Fri, Apr 2, 2010 at 12:01 PM, Obi-Wan <obiwan at jedi.com> wrote:
>> In cleaning up a filesystem on an external HDD I accidentally removed a
>> directory I wanted to keep.
>> Anyone have any recommendations on a utility to un-erase a directory or
>> file?
> I went through this a while back, and I seem to recall finding that
> such a beast *couldn't* exist due to the way ext3 does journalling.
> That's what backups are for.
> --
> Ben "Obi-Wan" Hollingsworth                             obiwan at jedi.com
>   The stuff of earth competes for the allegiance I owe only to the
>     Giver of all good things, so if I stand, let me stand on the
>       promise that You will pull me through.  -- Rich Mullins
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