I hope this may interst others who have similiar problems! I have a Western Digital 1.5 Terra Hard disk that is formatted in EXT3 for a humax satellite box. ( satellite type boxes tend to be EXT format for larger file handling)
It went awol due to power cut whilst deleting a file. The humax box said it was not formatted and couldn't read it.
I have a win 7 mùachine and attaching the Wedtern Digital HD (USB) knew all too well it would not be visible under Windows 7!
However using partition manager of a pargon variety and running the surface test (24 hours!) it finally stopped and closed down as expected. On testing the usb disk on a small linux (ubuntu 10.4) on an eeepc I saw that the whole disk appears to be correct and on reconnecting to the umax box all is well. (Much to the families relief!)
MY thoughts are not knowing enough about recovery programs are there any simple ones in Linux that would have done the same job? (I have an old linux machine that might do better than the eeepc!) It seems on looking through google etc that almost all recovery programs are windows based and by extension some can work with EXT formats. May be I am missing something here but it did seem a bit of a long way round and perhaps offers discussion on hte beszt way to bring such a system back into operation without losing the files.. But if it helps someone else I am glad to put this into print here!