Disk some contents unreadable after partition change

I wanted to make a swap. I had a secondary drive with something on it (~50 gb of files), I resized it, tried to make the new partition into a swap, but even after being extra super careful nothing bad happens (tripplechecking the names), my mkswap made the whole drive into a 1tb swap. I made it back into an ext4, hoping for the best.
Now the drive properties shows

2 items, totalling 0 bytes
(some contents unreadable)

And the correct amount of disk space is occupied (even if the whole disk says 0 bytes), I'd like those files back.

extundelete turned up with nothing.
PhotoRec is getting me files back (I think; not finished yet), together with hundreds of thousands of excess old deleted files.
Is there a better way?

Secondly, as I want to use that unusable 50gb, how do I free it? Does wiping free disk space work?

Re-creating the partitions will be useless.

You could try restoring partitions with partition recovery software such as Active Undelete (that's sadly windows-only) as long as your Partition Table is still in tact.

However, If the drive contains really valuable data you should always consult professional data recovery experts BEFORE doing any experiments.

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