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It happened to me that while upgrading to Ubuntu 12.04, I made instead aptitude dist upgrade. I downloaded the ISO version for a from-zero installation. In the partition definition I choosed that my home partition to remain as my home, but I assumed wrongly that if I choose ext4 instead ext3, a reformat would happen without losing my data.

The installation completed 'successfully', except that I lost 100 GB of my precious music collection, documents and so on.

Is there a way to recover my life (my music), considering that I have not done anything over disk after installation?

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This should be of assistance: – Clive van Hilten Apr 29 '12 at 20:47

If the drive shows as corrupt or raw, maybe, if it shows as blank, good luck.

Anyways if it's the first of those 2 options, get gparted live disc, another drive big enough to hold all the files and go at it, it's pretty straight forward.

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Get a live CD. Mount the HDD readonly. Make a deep, bitwise copy to another drive with dd.

Only try to recover from that copy!

I once made the experience, that I formated an ext2 drive to VFAT, didn't write anything to it, reformatted to ext2 and was very surprised to find anything again. But I wouldn't bet a cent, that this is reproducible.

If the data is so much worth - why don't you have a backup? harddrives are lost daily everywhere! It might happen to you!

Doing such a risky operation without asking somebody before, while claiming that your live depends on the data ... something doesn't match here.

Good luck, but make backups from now on.

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