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My intention was to have a dual boot system with Ubuntu and Windows 7. Obviously I did something wrong because although I had a system menu on booting (is it normal to appear DOS-like?) which gave me an option of booting into windows 7, I was unable to do so. Also, when I booted into Ubuntu, my Windows 7 drive was not available. The Windows 7 drive was an internal 1TB drive partitioned into a 200GB (OS) and a second partition making up the remainder.

I was still unable to access this Windows 7 drive even after deleting Ubuntu as I kept getting an 'requires an NTFS drive' error, or something similar. I could not even re-install Windows 7 as the disk was not recognised. I did eventually get the drive back by but I cannot for the life of me remember how. I did try to recover my lost W7 data using Ontrack Easy Recovery (which has always been succesfull in the past for post format recovery) but it would not recognise the 1TB although it was now formatted as NTFS. From other posts on this site, I gather that this is considered a 'Windows 7 Site' problem by Linux users. However, I would dearly love to recover some of my lost Windows 7 files.

I had resigned myself to a lot of lost personal data but I happened to notice that a 2TB drive I had connected through a USB docking station had been repartitioned. It must have happened when I installed Ubuntu as I can think of no other explanation. I certainly do not remember consciously requiring Ubuntu to do this. The additional two partitions on the 2TB drive, the original Windows

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I would likely contribute this to user error, esp. since you seem to have unknowingly repartitioned your external. There was at some point a good possibility of recovering your data, but the more you do to a drive (reparation, move files, reinstall OS, etc) the more data will become unrecoverable because you're overwriting the locations they used to be in. This is data recovery 101. First step, make a bit-for-bit copy of the drive and then don't touch the original. –  Huckle Mar 14 '12 at 23:49

3 Answers 3

Next time don't freak out and try to recover windows with thrid party stuff like ontrack. It sounds like all you needed to do was to recover the Windows 7 MBR which could have been done with one command from the recovery console(command line) from the Windows 7 CD.

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Sounds like at some point you corrupted your Windows partition which forced you to do a low level format... which is basically deleting the file table and writing a bunch of zeros, or ones over the data, then formatting it to NTFS or whatever. If that truly is the case, the data is gone and you will not be able to recover it...

Advice for future experiments: ALWAYS BACK UP YOUR DATA WHEN YOU WILL BE PARTITIONING OR MESSING WITH PARTITIONS ON A HARD DRIVE, SECONDLY REMOVE ANY BACKUP DEVICES OR PORTABLE HARD DRIVES.

Good luck.

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I disagree with the above answers. You may by now have made recovery of your data impossible, but hundreds (tens of thousands?) of other people will repeat your problem.

Ubuntu is basically a user-friendly operating system, recognizing a very wide variety of software, hardware, operating systems & programs of many types. Than is why the 0perating System REPAIR programs are usually based on Ubuntu. That is what you should always have on a small USB stick or CD.

Boot from any version of Ubuntu, which may or may not be the specialized repair operating system. If it is Ubuntu, do not install Ubuntu, but launch GPARTED or any similar partition manager.

In my extremely complicated case, you will see:

[DISK 1 PARTITIONS](Earn more than 10 reputation to post images)

If my Drive C: (15.62 GiB in this case) did not have the "boot flag", then put it on the partition.

You may also be able to explore Drive C: without installing Ubuntu. If so, copy any valuable files off drive C: to any other drive available. This might be the USB stick that you from which booted Ubuntu. Or it could be an external drive (CD, DVD, HDD, USB, SD-flash, Bluray, etc).

As I write this, you will notice that the version of Ubuntu I am using is Kubuntu-64, on sda3, of only 10 GiB. My DATA partition (sda2) is 663.01 GiB.

Both HDDs have matching partitions (10 GiB, sda4, ) for softraid0, which is not possible is a Windows notebook, but ok with Ubuntu. If this 'experimenting' is ok for faster SSD-like speeds, it will become my main op system, but moved to the begininng side of the HDDs for more speed.

[DISK 2 PARTITIONS](Earn more than 10 reputation to post images)

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