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I had Ubuntu 11.04 32-bit installed with 5 users. Home folder has its own partition. I was planning to install Ubuntu 12.04 64-bit so I booted from the live CD and was going to manually select partitions. This was going to remove all installed packages but would have kept all user files and settings.

I saw a new option for installation that said Upgrade to 12.04 while keeping all files and most packages. But after installation none of the packages were there, also all user folders under home were empty. The folders were there, but all files were gone. Only default empty folders for each user were there.

I don't care much for packages, all I want is to get the files that were under each user home folder back!

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Did you mount your former /home partition to see what's in there? –  Takkat May 13 '12 at 19:01
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2 Answers 2

I had the same problem about two weeks ago and used diskinternals linux recovery on windows to scan my linux partition and recover some of my files. I couldn't get them all back but I was glad it worked to some extent.

Your home folder was not actually deleted, it was just moved. I stumbled upon mine a week after I upgraded from 11.10 to 12.04LTS and boy I was glad. Follow the instructions below.

Open your home folder and select the file system icon under the video icon on the left side of the screen. Open the home folder and select your former user account icon. That's it. You should have all your previous files arranged in their folders.

Let me know if this solves your problem (that is if you haven't already done that).

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There are some programs for Windows that recover deleted files or lost by formatting, such as the Get Data Back, there is probably some that have the same function that can be installed in Ubuntu, I recommend you to do a search looking for a program with this function.

Edited: I've found two programs: DiskInternals Linux Recovery and R-linux The rest is with you friend. Both are for Ext3/Ext4 file system.

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I only found applications that recovers full partitions and only some file types not all files. Scalpel and Forefront to name a few. –  Shady Samir May 13 '12 at 18:58
    
You may be looking for Testdisk/Photorec? –  Takkat May 13 '12 at 19:03
    
I've found two programs: DiskInternals Linux Recovery and R-linux. The rest is with you friend. Both are for Ext3/Ext4 file system. –  Zignd May 13 '12 at 19:15
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