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I have a dual boot, win7 and ubuntu, system and started to format an empty partition on the drive while in win7, but in my haste thought that I had not started the formatting, reselected the partition ( which turned out to be home ) to format and started again. I realized that the empty partition was being formatted and that my ubuntu home partition was queued to be formatted and canceled it. So my ubuntu home was not formatted but had been changed from ext3 to ntfs. Clearly this stupid act buggered up grub, so using live CD, I can see with GParted that the home partition still has it data, but is now inaccessible. Can I fix my error? Change back my home from ntfs to ext3? Can I fix my home partition? [Hasty is stupidity] :(

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closed as too localized by jrg Dec 26 '12 at 1:15

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Can you explain how you can see it but not access them? Like the files are there but the drive is loaded in read-only mode? or it shows space used but you cannot access the contents? –  Meddy Mar 8 '12 at 6:11
I tried to mount it, but it would not mount, is what I mean. I can see through GParted that the partition is not empty. –  slow witted Mar 8 '12 at 6:32
my opinion of what happened is that the drive hadn't been formatted, but it flipped the partition type. now it can't be mounted because the structures that define the file-system seem like garbage. –  hbdgaf Mar 8 '12 at 20:49

2 Answers 2

As long as your data is not overwritten you can get it back. But its better to get back your whole partition :). There are lots of tools out there that can help you recover your partition. It has been a few years since I did this, but Ubuntu Rescue Mix has saved my partitions a couple of times now. There are several tools bundled with it, including the testdisk utility that will help recover your partition meta data.

If you can not recover the partition (which I doubt will happen) you can recover any important data such as videos or pictures that you may have on that partition using a utility called foremost. It will search the partition looking for clues to extract files of a type that you will specify. But as I said, hopefully it does not come down to this.

Its much better to use GParted or other opensource partitioning tools that actually understands what an Ext3 or Ext4 is :). Hope you get all your partition back easily.

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Thank you for your help. :) –  slow witted Mar 8 '12 at 7:34

Boot from live media.
Get to working on the partition table:

fdisk /dev/sdX

Change the partition type of the disk:


Enter the right partition number Select the right type...83 for ext3 Print the partition table and check your work:


Write changes to disk:



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Thank you for your help. :) –  slow witted Mar 8 '12 at 7:33

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