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Since most current filesystems come with journaling functionality, yet another layer between the physical (on-disk) and the logical layout (userspace representation of the filesystem) has been added, making it even more complex to e.g. find out on which part of the disk 'inode 123' has been stored. So, in general it's impossible to recover the contents of a lost (overwritten, severly corrupted) journalling filesystem. However, there are tools out there trying to do the impossible :)


Software Last updated License Notes
extundelete 05/2010 GPL
ext3grep 04/2010 GPL
ext3rminator 08/2005 GPL http://web.glandium.org/blog/?cat=15
recover 03/2002 GPL ext2 only
salvage 03/2006 GPL
undel-ext3.sh 05/2004 -
R-Linux - commercial Win32
Stellar Phoenix Linux Data Recovery - commercial Win32, demo available


Software Last updated License Notes
FreeUndelete - commercial personal use version
Restoration 04/2003 freeware NTFS support
WinUndelete - commercial preview demo
NTFS Undelete - GPL
Data Recovery Wizard Free Edition - commercial 1 GB demo
Zero Assumption Recovery - commercial 4 directories demo
EasyRecovery Professional - commercial 1 file demo
EasyRecovery DataRecovery - commercial 1 file demo, file repair only


Software Last updated License Notes
jfsrec 03/2007 GPL works...sometimes
Kernel Recovery for JFS - commercial demo


The best thing I can remember of was running fsck.reiserfs --rebuild-tree after losing a filesystem. But this was a long time ago, with Linux v2.3 and I did not (have to) try it again since then.

You can always ask at the ReiserFS mailinglist for help, or pay the developers $25 to try their best.


Software Last updated License Notes
Linux XFS Recovery Boot Tool 11/2002 -
Raise Data Recovery for XFS 11/2010 shareware Win32

Note: when using XFS with Linux 2.6.17, be sure to read this FAQ entry