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Brian Carrier

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We have all done it before. You accidentally type in the wrong argument to rm or select the wrong file for deletion. As you hit enter, you notice your mistake and your stomach drops. You reach for the backup of the system and realize that there isn't one. There are many undelete tools for FAT and NTFS file systems, but there are few for Ext3, which is currently the default file system for most Linux distributions. This is because of the way that Ext3 files are deleted. Crucial information that stores where the file content is located is cleared during the deletion process. In this article, we take a low-level look at why recovery is difficult and look at some approaches that are sometimes effective. We will use some open source tools for the recovery, but the techniques are not completely automated. What Is a File? Before we can see how to recover files, we need to... (more)