I accidentally formatted one of my drives and I'm hoping that I can recover a major part of my file system as I 'only' did a quick format.
After installing a second identical hard drive, I quick formatted the wrong drive by accident via Ubuntu's (14.04) Disks-Application. The drive was in ext4-format before and I did the quick format to ext4 again. There was only a single partition on the drive. Just a few seconds after the damage had been done, I unmounted the drive to avoid accidental writes.
The files I am after are in binary format (with no extensions as far as I am aware such as
.mat), some are
Reading through forums and blogs, I understood that Testdisk+Photorec might be able help recover the lost partition.
I gave Photorec a quick try but since most of the important files are binary and have no file signature I ended up having thousands of useless
.txt files and non-readable
Testdisk on the other hand, displays inconclusive prompts as far as I understand. I did not yet attempt to perform a deep scan, as I expect the information to be at the very beginning of the drive (the drive is 8TB). See the following Testdisk snapshots for more info:
Partition selection screen
Advanced menu after selecting None as partition type
- Selecting EFI-GPT or Intel as partition type results in Testdisk telling me that there are no partitions available.
Analysis of the drive (after selecting None-type) results in the partition that is empty (except for an empty lost+found). In contrast, analyzing the drive after selecting the GPT-type results in many identical entries of this type: ext4 0 0 1 972801 80 63 156280533168
superblock 0, blocksize=4096 superblock 32768, blocksize=4096 superblock 98304, blocksize=4096 superblock 163840, blocksize=4096 superblock 229376, blocksize=4096 superblock 294912, blocksize=4096 superblock 819200, blocksize=4096 superblock 884736, blocksize=4096 superblock 1605632, blocksize=4096 superblock 2654208, blocksize=4096
What does Ubuntu do specifically to the drive when selecting quick format? Can we infer from that whether it is (im)possible to recover the file system at all?
Can I recover parts of the structure using Superblocks? Somewhere I read that a backup superblock is written at position 1024. Is that recoverable or has that been cleared via quick format as well?
What options except file recoveries like Photorec or Scalpel remain for me to recover my file system? I know the full paths of some of the most important files I want to recover.