File recovery on ext3 using LVM

Jonathan Berry berryja at
Sun Jul 27 03:49:05 UTC 2008

2008/7/26 Mikkel L. Ellertson <mikkel at>:
> Jonathan Berry wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> Okay, I know this is a long shot, but I might as well ask and see if
>> there is anything else to try.  I recently lost some pictures because
>> when importing into F-Spot, I accidentally selected not to copy the
>> pictures to the hard drive.  Now the F-Spot database references the
>> files on the flash card, which has been erased and the files
>> overwritten (I tried recovering from the flash card, no luck).  I've
>> noticed that when doing an import in F-Spot, it copies the files over
>> to the hard disk during the import.  If you hit cancel or change the
>> copy option, it deletes the files.  So, for a short time, the files
>> *were* on my hard disk (or, at least in the buffer cache).  Of course,
>> I've been using my system for a couple days now (including a couple of
>> reboots), so the data may be gone.  But I don't want to give up unless
>> there is just no hope.
>> I am using LVM at the base and then ext3 as my filesystem on Fedora 9
>> x86_64.  Does anyone know of anyway where the data from these pictures
>> might still be around somewhere on the disk?  I tried debugfs using a
>> System Rescue CD live CD (I'm not sure where my Fedora DVD is). and
>> saw the directory the files were in using ls -d.  However the inode
>> listed now belongs to another file, so it looks like there is no easy
>> way to get to the directory information to possibly find the files in
>> the directory.  Is there maybe something in LVM that might still have
>> blocks (extents?) from the files hanging around?
>> Any ideas?
>> Thanks,
>> Jonathan
> Depending on what format the images are in, there are recovery programs that
> grab the images even if the directory entries are missing. I have used
> jpegrescue to recover images from a memory card that had been erased and new
> a few new pictures saved to the card. I couldn't recover all the pictures,
> but I did recover all the ones that had not been overwritten.
> Now, if only I could remember where I got it from...

The images were Canon RAW files (.cr2).  I already tried recovering
from the CF disk.  The files were all completely overwritten with
files I took the night after the ones I wanted to restore.  I tried
manually looking at the data and then a free image recovery tool I
found on the Internet (which supported .cr2 files).  It found plenty
of old pictures, just not the ones I wanted.  Thanks anyway.


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