EXT2fsd Has anyone used it?

IN desperation to retrieve data on my MBL 2T I have disasembled the case and removed the drive.  Using a USB to SATA cable and power supply I have connected the drive to both a Win7 & WinXP system with the same results.

The drive appears in EXT2fsd as

Disk 1


Properties show

Disk 1

Vendor WDC WD20


Product EARS-00MVWB0

Type RAW

Media Fixed

Capacity (bytes) 2000396321280

Under status

Mount Points, File System, Capacity, Free Space are all blank and the Mount Points and Ext2 Properties buttons are greyed and unavailable.  Given the importance of the data I just placed on this drive I really don’t want to admit that this drive may be completely dead.  Your help, suggestions, cups of coffee and ideas would be greatly appreciated.


MBL is running a Linux system.  EXT2 is a Linux filesystem.

You need to connect the drive to a Linux system to read the files.  If you don’t have one handy, grab one of the many Linux LiveCD’s, such as Ubuntu or Fedora.  You can boot a Linux system from the CDROM and mount your MBL drive.


Can I use VMWare Player 4 and Ubuntu 11.10 to create a virtual machine?  This will be the first time in about a decade that I’ve touched Linux.  

In the ongoing saga…

Loaded VMware & Ubuntu 11.10.  Thank you all so much for your help and suggestions.  I wouldn’t have gotten this far without you.

Disk Utility shows the drive does not have any partitions and only gives the options to formate or run benchmark.  Are there any data recovery software packages out there that I can use to try and recover the data on this drive?


Hmm, well two ways to see all the disks/partitions on your Linux system is:

root@stump:~# cat /proc/partitions
major minor #blocks name

   8 0 312571224 sda
   8 1 307251126 sda1
   8 2 1 sda2
   8 5 5317483 sda5
   8 16 976762584 sdb
   8 17 976762552 sdb1
   8 96 488386584 sdg
   8 97 488384001 sdg1


root@stump:~# parted -l
Model: ATA WDC WD3200AAJS-2 (scsi)
Disk /dev/sda: 320GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: msdos

Number Start End Size Type File system Flags
 1 32.3kB 315GB 315GB primary ext3 boot
 2 315GB 320GB 5445MB extended
 5 315GB 320GB 5445MB logical linux-swap(v1)

Model: Seagate Portable (scsi)
Disk /dev/sdb: 1000GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: msdos

Number Start End Size Type File system Flags
 1 32.3kB 1000GB 1000GB primary ntfs

Model: WD 5000AAKB Externa (scsi)
Disk /dev/sdg: 500GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: msdos

Number Start End Size Type File system Flags
 1 32.3kB 500GB 500GB primary ntfs

If you know the device name, you can just mount it.  Something like:

mkdir /a
mount /dev/sdc1 /a

should work.  Linux will figure out the filesystem type on its own.

If the partition information is lost, then you’ve got a problem.

I note from the man page for parted that there is a “rescue” command that will search for partitions on a disk, and if it finds one, will populate the partition table with the correct information.  That might be an option for you if you’re really stuck, but I would suggest you try this on a spare disk first, by creating a partition table and corresponding filesystems, and then removing the table to see if parted can recover them.


VMWare isn’t the way to go! 

You’ve got the Ubuntu 11.10 iso image and why not burn it on to a CD or to a USB stick and create the Live CD/Live USB stick?

It’s better to work with a live system than VMWare on data recovery. Trust me - I’ve been there.

What will happen if your host system OS crashes whilst running the Virtual Ubuntu machine?

Think about that for a few moments…

proc/partitions shows the drive is there /sdb

Parted shows /sdb as unrecognized disk label   If I understand this correctly the file system is completely hosed and unrecoverable?  No mater what I do in Parted it keeps comming back with that same error.  :/

Your data is still there - it is an issue with the block size that WD used to partition the MBL hard drive.

Do a search - I am not sure I can post a script that can help you. There is a script out there on the net.

Search and you will find a de-bricking guide, with a sample script that also does the bit swapping required

for the MBL’s emedded computer.

I did the search and found this de-bricking guide


It has been a decade sine I’ve used linux and I feel a little silly asking but how do I take the text on that page and create a script and run it un Ubuntu?