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?


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.

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