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I had Windows 7 installed on my laptop, I installed Ubuntu and chosen the option to delete everything. But when I clicked that, it deleted my windows 7 partitions.

C: Windows 
E: Documents
F: Important Files

When doing a full wipe with Windows 7 it does not touch any other partitions just the C: drive. Now I have all the partitions merged together and I have lost my files. I have some really important files in the partitions that was deleted E:, F: is there anyway I could get them back.

I am new to Ubuntu and now I am stuck on it till I try and find my files back and change my partition to NTFS so windows can install.

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2 Answers

Yes, and once all the partitions have been deleted, it is very difficult to recover the files, sometimes impossible.

Basically, it depends on how the drive was formatted.

  • If it was fast format, i.e. don't zero out the harddisk but just delete the file information (headers, etc), there is a possibility that you can recover some of the files using softwares such as TestDisk and PhotoRec.

  • If it was a complete format, i.e. zero out the hard disk, then it is impossible to recover data.

In your case, it is very difficult to recover. If you want to do it with TestDisk or similar softwares, you'd need another harddisk which has atleast the same storage space as your harddisk, and you'd need to boot from either a Live USB or some other computer and connect your hard disk to that computer.


Ubuntu needs ext4 or ext3 (usually) to get installed. To install Windows you'd need one more partition of type NTFS.

If you have only one partition, you have to compress that partition to make space for new partitions, or you can delete that partition and format it as NTFS to install Windows.

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Thank you for your quick response, I will try and using the programs you suggested, allot of the files deleted are text files and .PSD files but are really important to me. I do not have access to another computer or hard drive. –  Terry Feb 10 '13 at 17:11
    
If you don't have access to another computer, boot up using a flash drive, run the programs mentioned, and recover your hard disk to another hard disk having atleast the same amount of free space. However, please note, that it is extremely unprobable that you'd be able to recover all your data, and also the process would take up a lot of space. In case, you succeed, don't forget to make backup. :) –  green7 Feb 10 '13 at 17:16
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As i answered in kind of same question:
Yes. You have lost them.

  1. If you partition is at the same space as you "lost" partitions were then i recommend you to IMMEDIATLY SHUT DOWN YOU UBUNTU! (as it will write TMP files that will make situation ever worser)
  2. Make a Knoppix live (or what ever you like) CD/USB/DVD/whatever and boot from it.
  3. Mount all you disks (If it didnt do it automaticaly)
  4. Open up console and launch "testdisk". (You will find it easy to use)
  5. Recover the files that you still can recover to USB/Portable HD (But not to you Ubuntu HD)

It wont save all you files. And probably some filenames will be also lost. But its the only option i see. (Tested by me on FAT32)

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