I did a dual boot of Windows 7 and Ubuntu 11.10. I had a lot of files in the same partition I installed Ubuntu in. I can't find them now. Newbie here. First time with any OS other than Windows.
Depending on what options you chose when installing, you may have just overwritten all those files. It its generally recommended to install an OS in an empty partition and keep files you want readable from both operating systems in a separate partition formatted using a filesystem both can read.