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I recently posted a question about an error I was receiving trying to access Ubuntu from the boot menu. I am using Windows 7 and Ubuntu 12.x (I THINK because I haven't accessed it in over a year due to being unable to run an important program for one of my classes on Ubuntu).

On another laptop, I partitioned the hard drive and installed Windows and Ubuntu on the partitions. On this laptop, I simply installed Ubuntu from Windows, picking the option "alongside Windows", and didn't partition my hard drive manually. I was under the impression "alongside" entailed that Ubuntu would partition my hard drive, and that if I were to return my Windows partition to factory settings it would not affect the Ubuntu partition. However, given my current problem, I am wondering if I was mistaken in this assumption? When installing Ubuntu from Windows, selecting "alongside" Windows as the option from the Ubuntu installer, does that simply install Ubuntu within the Windows partition and thus returning it to factory settings would wipe out anything I had on the Ubuntu OS as well? Ubuntu is still in the boot menu as an option, but when I try to access it it says the drive is "corrupt" and wubi is mentioned in the error.

I additionally tried to download a program ran from Windows to investigate partitions and there were no sign of my Ubuntu partition viewable from Windows. Is it possible Windows just can't see it?

Any insight, corrections or answers is appreciated.

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Just a quick question.. Are you be able to see any folders by the name Ubuntu under `C:` (or the drive where windows is installed) partition...?? – AzkerM Sep 15 '13 at 14:51
I cannot see those folders and it's not in my Uninstall program list either. Can you verify if installing Ubuntu "alongside" Windows does indeed just install it within the Windows partition? So reverting it back to factory settings must've deleted EVERYTHING I had on Ubuntu or is it possible some of my files are salvageable? – Soft Skeleton Sep 15 '13 at 15:00
From what I understood is that you have installed Ubuntu inside windows (to the partition where windows is installed) assuming that it would create a partition separate. Well Ubuntu can be installed in two ways that is 1. inside windows partition and 2. on a non-windows partition. Nevertheless, if you did a factory reset on your workstation, it will surely reset to its original state. In that case, it will turn back all the settings to its original state (since it restores from a recovery image that has already been made). This is how it work, if I'm not mistaken. – AzkerM Sep 15 '13 at 15:13
Thank you Azker. What gave me hope was the fact Ubuntu is still available as an option in the boot menu? If it completely reset everything back to factory settings wouldn't that not be available as an option? I can see it there, but it says that it's corrupt when I try to access it. – Soft Skeleton Sep 15 '13 at 15:18
Okay! Simplest way to identify is that.. Just right click My computer > select Manage & then select Disk Management. Under disk management observe your disk partitions. Sometimes you may find partitions that cannot be read by windows. – AzkerM Sep 15 '13 at 15:37

This is called WUBI. Wubi creates a virtual ubuntu inside Windows. Imagine it as a virtual machine you need to reboot into. You can still boot to both from the Windows Boot Manager, but there is no second partition. About the corruption, run a CHKDSK from windows (google how). Then, go into your Programs and Features / Add Remove Programs and uninstall Ubuntu. Run another CHKDSK. Finally, reinstall Ubuntu thru WUBI

Wubi does not work (unsupported) on Ubuntu 13.04 past.

* If Ubuntu is not on your install list, there is a HUGE problem. Disregard all above instructions and:

  1. (From Win) Open a command line as Administrator
  2. (From Win) Run command bcdedit. Locate the Ubuntu entry. Find the identifier and take note of it.
  3. (From Win) Run command bcdedit /delete <id from step 2>
  4. Download Ubuntu 12.04. Burn the ISO. Pop it in, click WUBI, go through everything.
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