From: Garry Perratt (
Date: Mon Sep 19 1994 - 06:23:11 CDT

On 8th September I wrote:

> HELP! I have a machine which has had a rather important directory removed. I
> would like some way to "undelete" as much of its contents as possible - the
> machine hasn't been used much since the removal. Does anyone know of any
> means, either via existing OS commands, or freeware or commercial packages,
> which can help me to achieve this? I know this is sort of a request for
> software, but it is also a sysadmin emergency so I consider it appropriate for
> this list.

I got MANY replies (near a hundred, I reckon) for which many thanks. Most were of the form "no way", some near flammatory ("Of course not, stupid - you should
have backups") which I thought a little out of order.

I SHOULD have mentioned that I had no backups, also that neither the data, nor
the deletion of it, nor the failure to backup were anything to do with me but
that I was trying to help out a colleague who had been let down by the system.

On the positive side, a few people suggested dumping the filesystem and looking
for strings to patch together files - this worked some way, but most of the
files I need to find are binary (sunraster and spreadsheets). Another colleague
is trying to follow i-node info around the filesystem to piece things together,
but his forte is SGI, not Sun, and no one seems able (or willing?) to explain
how Sun's filesystem is organised so he is having a hard time.

One respondent suggested a company who might do this for us ("Ontrack" at
714-263-9245) but I got no reply to my voicemail and am now trying to locate a
company a little closer to home.

A number of people also mentioned various software packages which allow
undeletion by not actually deleting initially, but moving the files elsewhere
(eg. from Lone Star Software), and others which, I think, allow you to
Almond Utilities, available for Suns Fall '94 ?)

Thanks for all your help,


Garry Perratt
Computer Applications Geophysicist Tel: +44 (0)483 752144
Phillips Petroleum Company United Kingdom Ltd. Fax: +44 (0)483 752917
Phillips Quadrant
35 Guildford Road Email:
Woking GU22 7QT


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