Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I had a CD that automatically starts to image a system with windows XP/NTFS. Accidentally booted from it on a Linux system which has one large ext4 partition (500GB). Interrupted the imaging process after about 3-4 seconds.

I would imagine the file table is gone since there was enough time to write at least 100MB to disk. However, I have heard of some kind of superblock backup on ext4(?) Any software/process to recover the non-overwritten files from the damaged ext4 partition?

share|improve this question
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Your best bet is to give it a try. The backup superblock should be intact, so boot from a live CD if the OS is toast, and run

/sbin/fsck.ext4 /dev/<thePartition>

If something more in-depth is required, then taking this step could make matters worse, so if you have space somewhere else, you could make a security byte level copy first to another disk with a partition the same size on it:

dd if=/dev/<thePartition> of=/dev/<aSparePartition> bs=1M

If your imaging process reparitioned the disk, then you can rebuild the partition table without deleting data with fdisk or parted, provided you know the layout that was used.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.