Just rm -rf *'d home/me/ directory... tried extundelete, didn't recover more than 10% of data.. trying scalpel, taking forever..

Anyone know of a sure fire way to recover data from ext4?

  • 1
    Uh... stop using the computer?
    – Hello71
    Aug 4, 2010 at 2:00

5 Answers 5


First of all, if the disk contains anything that's important for you, STOP THE RECOVERY ATTEMPTS RIGHT NOW. You should first get another disk and take an image of your drive to that one. Then you can safely try different recovery options with that image. Just trying to recover something from your disk can only lead to further loss!

Then you might like to try already mentioned Testdisk and PhotoRec. Those can recognize and recover all kinds of filetypes from many kinds of filesystems.

  • What you mean by making an image? Copying them? or is there any other way to make an image? Mar 15, 2013 at 5:08

You can also try ext4magic. Is not finished yet, but stable. Works like extundelete. I hope it works better and more thoroughly, but I think it is more difficult to use. At the moment it can only restore files if a copy of the inode in the journal is available. The second stage, similar PhotoRec, but only on the remaining data blocks that could not be restored, is still under development.




Have you tried TestDisk? I used it a few times to easily recover information from accidentally formatted hard drives. The website says it supports recovery from ext2/ext3 filesystems, but probably won't hurt giving it a try for your disk. This software is very easy to use IMHO, if you follow the instructions on the website. By the way, if you're not sure if it works for ext4, I am sure you can just ask them! :)


I second TestDisk and kindly point you towards http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1132299 where the OP managed to recover his files with TestDisk + PhotoRec.


I'm a fan of R-Studio. Saved my butt a couple of times. http://www.data-recovery-software.net/

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