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I had setup 3 disks in a LVM array with each disk holding some data. A few weeks back one of the disks "disappeared" from the LVM array and BIOS. After rebooting, the disk reappeared but does not display any of the data that was in it. The drive held a collection of ebooks that I can't easily rebuild so I'm keen to see if I can recover the data on it.

I'm trying to use TestDisk but have had little success so far. When I launch TestDisk to analyze the drive, I get the following message:

Initial Testdisk Output

Once I finish the Quick Search, I get an error about the Hard disk size being too small:

After Quick Search

I can then see that there are two partitions:

Partition Info

Trying to list the files however, just throws an error message:

Filesystem error

From GParted, It seems like the CHS settings detected by TestDisk are correct so the Disk too small error is a little baffling:


I'm using TestDisk 6.13 on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. Any suggestions on how I should proceed from here?

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I wonder if the problem you are having is that Testdisk is looking for useable partitions and not recognizing it as an LVM partition.

One thing which might be worth looking at (although not sure if it will help epubs, although it should be able to recover PDFs) is "Photorec" - which will scan the raw disk and try and recognise content based on signatures and recover it.

Another question is are you able to add the volume back into LVM - have you played arround with the "pvscan" tool, and if so, what output have you received ?

Also have a look at this, this and this link about recovering LVM partitions. (Of-course, you really want to do a backup first - maybe DD everything to free disks if you have them)

Also, can you tell us a bit more about your setup, ie was this disk part of a single larger volume, or was each disk a separate volume, and provide the output of "pvs;vgs" - which might give some additional clues based on how other volumes were set up.

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I did try Photorec initially, unfortunately it does not recognize epub files and I have been unable to create a working epub signature. Regarding "pvscan", I did not need to use it as the disk came back into the array after reboot - the problem was it got added back as an empty disk. pvs output is: /dev/sdb1 LCARS lvm2 a- 1.82t 1.62t /dev/sde1 LCARS lvm2 a- 1.82t 536.62g /dev/sdf1 LCARS lvm2 a- 1.82t 1.82t. vgs output is: LCARS 3 3 0 wz--n- 5.46t 3.97t – avggeek Sep 22 '13 at 11:31
I'm a confused now. How many logical volumes were on LCARS2, and can you see any data on any of them ? What does lvscan -b -a -v -P show, and what is the name of the missing volume ? Are you sure the volume is actually missing ? (as compared to existing but corrupted and thus not mounting ) – davidgo Sep 22 '13 at 18:47
LCARS2 is a single logical volume. I can see data in it that was spread out on other drives (sdb1,sde1) but data that was on sdf1 is no longer visible. Output of lvscan -b -a -v -P is '/dev/LCARS/music' [200.00 GiB] inherit '/dev/LCARS/movies' [1.10 TiB] inherit'/dev/LCARS/amanda-holding' [200.00 GiB] inherit. To clarify, a single drive /dev/sdf1 was mapped as /dev/LCARS/ebooks. The drive stopped responding in BIOS and fell out of the array. When it reappeared in BIOS, I added it back to /dev/LCARS but none of the files that were present before are visible. Hope this helps to clarify. – avggeek Sep 25 '13 at 13:11
Bugger, I'm stumped. One question though - When you ran photorec, did it find a whole lot of ZIP files ? From what I have read, EPUB's are zip archives, so I wonder if its possible for you to recover them as zip files, and then see if we can find some process to extract the real name from the ZIP and rename it ? – davidgo Sep 25 '13 at 18:23
I'm running photorec now and it is recovering a whole bunch of zip files - some of these are iTunes app files and others are actual epubs. Unfortunately, every single epub file seems to be corrupted, I keep getting an integrity error on one file extension within the zip container. – avggeek Sep 28 '13 at 2:22

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