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data recovery openoffice.sx? on ext3-partition

since there have been undelete questions in the past, I'll shortly describe 
how I've successfully recovered an openoffice spreadsheet on an ext3 

1) umount the partition immediately after the accident
if possible dd to a safe place

2) debugfs or recover does NOT work; it will find only and always the same 
zero size inode on the partition (my question to the developers: how about 
backward compatibility; shouldn't there and for what time span the deleted 
inodes available or are they immediately gone by journalling?)

3) use the block editor lde to find a typical string.
That was very hard for the openoffice spreadsheets since they start with "PK, 
content.xml", the rest is binary until a short block arrives where you can 
use the creation date as a search string (that's nearly all!)

4) I've written out blockwise, concatenated the blocks to a file, compared an 
old backup file with an hex editor and edited with the hex editor  the last 
block due to the original file end.
That was successful but not in every case; it depends apparently whether the 
blocks are sequentially wriiten and complete; otherwise you must follow the 
references to indirect blocks; things are going tough here...I'm still 
testing :-
_ ___
 |  |  Irmund     Thum
 |  |     

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