Need help recovering files from ext4 partition.

Some months ago the unthinkable happened: I wrote a (shitty) script that seemingly ended up running "rm -rf *" on the root directory. Even my backup drive that was connected at that moment was totally wiped. Everything gone, textbook worst case scenario.

I instantly made a image of the important ext4 partition, and then tried to recover data:

– Best results I got for now was with photorec. Saved a ton of files. Unfortunately, as it's the nature of photorec, there is nothing left of any folder structures, and the amount of files is close to being unhandable. This was an 1.7TB partition.

– With testdisk, it does show the deleted folders in root, but they are empty, no subfolders, no files. Did not get any further with this.

– Then I tried "extundelete". Even though it's really old, the one feature that made me try it is that it's able to restore files per folder. Even if subfolders don't work, would be amazing if I could run this for example on /Pictures, get all the files that were in there, sorting them would be easy compared to photorec. But… I just can't get extundelete to work. Tried it on a many, many distros. On newer distributions, feg. Fedora 34 or Ubuntu 20.04, I get an malloc error. On older distributions, feg. Fedora 26 or Ubuntu 14.04, I get an function error.

To sum it up: I'm screwed, big time. I guess my questions are:

– Any general tips or ideas?

– Any idea how to get extundelete working? Is there a distribution you can confirm it runs on?

– Any other application you can recommend? Possibly even with the ability to restore folder structures or files that were located in one specific folder?

– I feel like photorec is my last and only resort: Could someone help me out with creating custom filters? Some filetypes I seem to not be able to restore are .wbfs files (images of my Wii games) and text files I created with Kate editor.

I'm thankful for any kind of help!

submitted by /u/afunkysongaday
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