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This is turning into a nightmare - following my initial recovery of my two partitions, I went to install Xubuntu 12.10 (again). At this time I had two partitions - one of ~39 GB had Zorin OS 6 installed on it, and another of ~33 GB had nothing installed, just a few files in it that I had manually backed up (moved) there. When I got to the partitioning step, I chose "Replace Zorin OS 6 with Xubuntu 12.10", along with LVM, naturally thinking that the installer wouldn't touch the second partition, since Zorin wasn't installed on it.

I was dead wrong. Upon booting my newly installed Xubuntu 12.10, I found in gparted that there were only two partitions - ~255MB, which appears to have the boot stuff in it (it's flagged boot in gparted), and another of ~74 GB.

Question: Is there any way to salvage my old files on the non-Zorin ext3 partition?

I'm really upset I made such a dumb move (again...), and any and all help is appreciated very, very much!

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It sounds like nearly the exact same scenario again. Can't you perform the recovery all over again? Beg, borrow, buy, or steal an external drive from somewhere so you can do some backups. You'll find it a lot less stressful. – fabricator4 Nov 24 '12 at 5:06
Deja Dup is pretty cool. Check it out once you're back in production. – smooth-texan Nov 24 '12 at 5:08
Yeah, I'm definitely going to get myself an external drive, and Deja Dup is the first place I'm going to go. I was just dumb enough to think I'd never find myself in this position. But it isn't the same, I don't think - last time it had merely created a new partitioning, but this time it's actually finished the installation fully. That solution was my first check, and it only pulls up the new LVM partition, and a deeper search only finds irrecoverable partitions. – DaimyoKirby Nov 24 '12 at 5:12
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Sorry to hear about your troubles! I found a nice little article on how to recover deleted partitions. I've never tried it personally, but it looks promising:

The software he uses is called TestDisk. Here's the link to it:

Give it a shot and let us know how it goes.

Good luck!

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That tutorial worked - a deep search revealed the older partition containing my files, so (as a long shot) I created a new partition with the exact specifications (cylinders, heads, sectors, type) it had, and that recovered it! And the next time I went to install Xubuntu I used the manual partitioning option to make sure it didn't get overwritten. Thanks so much! – DaimyoKirby Nov 24 '12 at 15:57
Awesome! Glad to hear it worked for you. Thanks for reporting back. – smooth-texan Nov 24 '12 at 16:01

This is what i usually do when i get in situations like this

  1. Taken an ubuntu live CD and boot
  2. Select Gparted and recover the partitions
  3. if Gparted is not working download other recovery tools on to the live system and recover the partitions
  4. You could try downloading Parted Magic, TestDisk as other alternative recovery tools , once your in the live CD

If u don't have an Ubuntu live CD u can also live boot from USB using the ISO

share|improve this answer
I don't think Gparted can recover deleted partitions. What "other recovery tools" do you recommend? – Flimm Nov 26 '12 at 14:32
@Flimm i have listed a few tools. Check if that works out with you – Mevin Babu Nov 27 '12 at 13:45

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