Recovering deleted lvm volume

LVM is a logical volume manager for the Linux kernel; it manages disk drives and similar mass-storage devices, in particular large ones. The term “volume” refers to a disk drive or partition thereof.

Every LVM operation makes backup of lvm metadata. Metadata archive stored in directory /etc/lvm/archive/ in easily readable text files. Each operation creates own metadata backup file, with information when it was created. For example:


# Generated by LVM2 version 2.02.39 (2008-06-27): Fri Feb  5 21:15:12 2010

contents = "Text Format Volume Group"
version = 1

description = "Created *before* executing 'lvcreate -L4G -n test data'"

creation_host = "avenger.iwik.org"      # Linux avenger.iwik.org 2.6.28-11-server #42-Ubuntu SMP Fri Apr 17 02:48:10 UTC 2009 i686
creation_time = 1265400912      # Fri Feb  5 21:15:12 2010

data {
        id = "ypogpf-ONt1-36Jh-xXXp-a3UN-Pjyt-wLn1zx"
        seqno = 19
        status = ["RESIZEABLE", "READ", "WRITE"]
        extent_size = 8192              # 4 Megabytes
        max_lv = 0
        max_pv = 0

  physical_volumes {

                pv0 {
                        id = "5n3lo9-S52y-3rTQ-3rP5-zfEC-irkg-OSRL3n"
                        device = "/dev/md2"     # Hint only

                        status = ["ALLOCATABLE"]
                        dev_size = 1930081024   # 920.334 Gigabytes
                        pe_start = 384
                        pe_count = 235605       # 920.332 Gigabytes
                }
        }

        logical_volumes {

                home {
                        id = "hyh3yU-jXr7-FMLT-ZxNY-ci50-L5e6-IGC3aM"
                        status = ["READ", "WRITE", "VISIBLE"]
                        segment_count = 1

                        segment1 {
                                start_extent = 0
                                extent_count = 65280    # 255 Gigabytes

                                type = "striped"
                                stripe_count = 1        # linear

                                stripes = [
                                        "pv0", 0
                                ]
                        }
                }

                var {
                        id = "0iOAxf-DhPG-T1Pk-3Qr1-Sqy5-XsKz-KyyCvo"
                        status = ["READ", "WRITE", "VISIBLE"]
                        segment_count = 1

                        segment1 {
                                start_extent = 0
                                extent_count = 3840     # 15 Gigabytes

                                type = "striped"
                                stripe_count = 1        # linear

                                stripes = [
                                        "pv0", 153600
                                ]
                        }
                }
                ...
                }
        }
}

Using correct backup file, lvm configuration can be easily recovered using vgcfgrestore command. If you deleted logical volume(s) or volume group, you can easily recover them back.

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