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So, my younger brother wanted my help today. Apparently, he was helping a friend install Ubuntu to his laptop, and midway through the install (on a filled hard-drive with Windows 8, from the liveusb thing):

1) They realized that they had chosen "Erase and install" accidentally and decided the best course of action was to (in the middle of an install, remember)

2) Force shutdown the computer.

After I had replaced my eyeballs back into their sockets, my bro asked if I could do anything about his friend's data, which he wanted back. This, however, drifts out of my normal comfort zone. I know this about the install:

1) It was on a fairly new Windows 8 laptop, so it had whatever filesystem it uses nowadays on the entire drive

2) They didn't choose the "zero out drive data" option

3) They stopped the install at some point (not sure if before or after wipe)

I can imagine that it now has two corrupted filesystems on it (whatever Windows 8 was on and ext3) and that some of the data still exists (assuming it wasn't overwritten already). Is there anything that can be done for whatever data is left on the drive?

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Boot Ubuntu from a live CD, then sudo apt-get install testdisk. Once installed, you can plug in an external drive to backup recovered data to, then run sudo photorec and follow the instructions.

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