[kwlug-disc] FLOSS Fund Nomination: TestDisk & PhotoRec

Chris Irwin chris at chrisirwin.ca
Wed Jan 11 14:34:20 EST 2012

I've had a data catastrophe, which was averted without any issue (but
not without panic and worry) thanks to TestDisk.

I deleted all my partitions, instead of all my *unused* partitions. One
of which was an LVM physical volume, housing my *current* root
filesytem. Test Disk was able to scan the disk and detect the original
partition and recreate the partition entry for it, preserving the
partition (and the data on it).

The author, Christophe Grenier, also has a somewhat related utility
called PhotoRec, which does a similar operation for files. It can scan a
disk and recover files, even in cases where the filesystem is corrupted!
(combined with dd_rescue, it can recover from failing disks as well)
I've used it to rescue photos from damaged SD cards in the past, as well
as a USB disk that was reformatted by accident.

These utilities have saved myself a lot of headaches (and once
registered me as a miracle-worker with a previous boss). I've created a
nomination entry on the website:


Chris Irwin
e:  chris at chrisirwin.ca
w: http://chrisirwin.ca
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