Recovering 'lost + found' files

My hard drive crashed and after running fsck manually, it is now working. The trouble is that all the missing files are in lost + found directory.
Anyone got any ideas or experience of recovering files from lost + found?

Unfortunately you have to examine them to work out where they used to belong in the directory tree. If some types of files are stored in particular locations, e.g. JPEGs, MP3s, you could use the “file” program to identify those and move them en masse to the right place.

The trouble is that it’s a 2.5 inch drive I use in my linux sat receiver because its power supply is limited and 2.5 in drives use far less power. The receiver is running busybox so tools are limited. To recover it I took it out and put it into my laptop and used a live cd. Recovery of 30 gb of disc took nearly 24 hours!
I’ll ftp the files off and then start from scratch.
I notice that all files and directories are stored as #number in lost + found.
Any idea of what this means?

The number is the inode number of the recovered file. Generally not very useful for helping to work out where they came from, it’s just a unique identifier. Unfortunately the reason files end up in lost+found is because their containing directories are gone, so there is no name to associate with the data.

Also you might be able to gain more info about the file from the timestamps and the size.

I logged on to the box with ftp and have found that the main recordings are in tact, complete with correct names but under a #number folder. Trying busybox mv command by telnetting to the box, I found it’s limited and won’t do a recursive move of files and directories, so I’ll ftp the stuff off and burn dvd’s of the ones I want to keep.
At least the consolation is that the box is linux and as such uses standard linux file formats and not some proprietory format you get with other receivers. (‘Pay us to recieve the program on our box, make recordings, etc, but the data isn’t yours!’ seems to be their philosophy so you have no chance of recovering anything. No wonder they hate linux receivers.)

That’s good. What got trashed was the parent directory of the directory now called #number in lost+found. At least you have your files.