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I was having a moment of distraction and accidentally checked the format option and started formatting an encrypted ext4 home partition with ext4 - losing access to files. I stopped it in the middle of the process when i noticed what it was doing. I was using the mint debian xfce installer which did the formatting.

I made an IMG file via dd of the partition. (is it possible to work with this and mount this without turning it into an iso?)

How do I if I can, get it back? "no errors" were reported scanning the partition afterwards with harddrive tool.

testdisk maybe?

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The good news is that almost all of your data will be still on the drive. The bad news is that there's no longer any easy way to find out where it is! I'm not familiar with the disc recovery tools available, but the most important thing is to keep the image you dd'd safe - as long as you don't write to it you won't make things worse! – RAOF May 19 '11 at 5:28
We don't know about mint installer but testdisk sounds like a good idea to me. – Takkat May 19 '11 at 6:33
you could mount the image file with mount -o loop image.dd /mnt, for example. – enzotib May 19 '11 at 6:49

No, it is not possible. Your best bet is to restore from backup. If you don't have a backup, then kick yourself for not keeping backups, pray to whatever god you believe in, and give photorec from the testdisk package a try. You will need another drive to save any recovered files to, and you will have a fun time trying to identify and name them.

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