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I don't even know where to start on this one. The machine has been overheating lately. So I used remastersys to pull the OS off the hardware as I am ...
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  1. #1
    Linux User Steven_G's Avatar
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    Data recovery / half of wife's data missing


    I don't even know where to start on this one.

    The machine has been overheating lately. So I used remastersys to pull the OS off the hardware as I am moving her to different hardware.

    Then I shot a backup of her home folder.

    Then I got to looking at her home and it is missing the documents, music, pictures and video folders and everything that went in them. But everything else is there.

    Which makes no sense at all. The system boots and reboots with no issue. The disk works fine, what info is there is still accessible.

    It looks like it maybe an application level corruption with Thunar and it has some how lost the link to those folders.

    Is there a way to recreate those links and point them at the folders with the missing data and not just create new empty folders? Or another way to restablish connection to the data if it's still there?

    -------------------
    Edit

    It looks like it goes deeper than Thunar. They're missing in Nautilus too. So I how do I pull the data back to home?

  2. #2
    Linux User Steven_G's Avatar
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    I found part of the problem: Some how her ~/.config/user-dir.dirs became corrupted and instead of pointing to all the directories in her home folder it had incomplete values for the missing folders. But, fixing that did not bring back the missing folders themselves.

    Anyone got any ideas?

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    Linux User Steven_G's Avatar
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    NM. I kind of panicked a bit b/c A) It's the wife's data and not mine and B) This is actually the first time I've ever had a *nix file system crash on me.

    All the data recover I've ever done was on doze.

    Guess it's time to pull out the bootable toolkits and learn some new tricks.

    I'd still like to know how this happened.

  4. #4
    Linux User Steven_G's Avatar
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    OK, I've never seen anything like this. In the last hour I've run through a half dozen data recoevry tools and they all tell me the same thing: They can see the deleted directories but they can't pull any files out of them b/c the file system is damaged. Well no crap.

    Anybody know what could cause this to happen or how to fix it? I can't copy the files out of the deleted directories no matter what tool I use.

  5. #5
    Linux User Steven_G's Avatar
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    OK, I'm stuck. I can't figure this one out.

    I figured out what happened, but not how to fix it. When I was running remastersys the first time the machine overheatd and shut down. Evidently that did some major damage to the file system. But frag shut down his site months ago. So I can't reach out to him for ideas on what kind of damage might have been done when that happened and google has not been my friend.

    I've run through recovery tools, autopsy tools, CLI tools, repairing the file system, etc and I keep getting the same results: CLI tools like fsck say that there is nothing wrong with the file system. But recovery and autopsy tools all show the deleted directories. However they all show the directories as belonging to root instead of home. They also show the directories as empty.

    It's just file system damage. The ones and zeros and are still there some where. But I'll be damned if I can figure out where.

    I've been digging and can't find my old, old copy of spinrite. IDK where it got off to and I'd rather not drop $90 if I can avoid it.

    The only other thing I can think of is to try installing a live tool like scalpel and see what results I get. But I really don't want to trash the disk even further by working on a monuted file system.

    Anybody got any bright ideas before I ethier drop the cash or blow it up?

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    Not much of a suggestion but did you look for any lost+found dirs?

  7. #7
    Linux User Steven_G's Avatar
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    I tried looking at them directly from the the booted system and they were empty. But, I'm sitting here in a live CD session right now with home mounted as media and when I try to access lost and found through the GUI it tells me that there are files there but I don't have permission to access them?

    Not sure what that means or what to do about it. It's less than 5 minutes old.

    The other idea I have is to create a bootable / installed system on a usb drive so I can install tools to another "HD" and use them to work on the system with the damaged file system unmounted.

    --------------
    Edit:
    Weird. I went through a root GUI but now it's empty again.

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    Linux User Steven_G's Avatar
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    I just got the bootable USB system up and running. I'll take a look at that link and see what I can come up with. I found a script over at howtoforge for running a modified version of testdisk and I'm looking at scalpel. I've run through my whole collection of bootable tools and haven't hit on anything yet. All the tools I'm left with actually require installation. But I don't want to over write something if there's anything left. I know too many R/W will trash a USB. But I really don't care as long as it gets the job done. I'm out of other ideas.

  10. #10
    Linux User Steven_G's Avatar
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    I think I may have it.

    For anybody else who runs in to this problem:

    I used virtual box to install ubuntu 12.04 to a USB stick and make it persistent / bootable. If you don't know how to do that there are lots of tutorials on the web.

    Then I used this tutorial to run a modified version of testdisk that I installed to the usb system. That way I'm not over writing anything or working on a mounted file system.

    It appears to be working. It will take several hours to run. The only problem so far is I don't think my USB will be big enough. I'm already getting low space warnings on an 8GB stick. I think I'll have to either go to wammy mart and get a bigger stick or use a USB HD. But in 10 minutes it's already recovered several thousand files.
    gregm likes this.

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