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My laptop came installed with wiwndows 8 in UEFI boot. I had installed Debian (in legacy boot mode) a while back. It all worked fine except for the need to switch boot modes every time I changed my setup.

Today I decided that Ubuntu was better suited for me and tried to replace my Debian/windows dual boot with a Ubuntu/windows dual boot.

I set up an USB drive with the right ISO and started the process. I booted on the USB drive (in EFI mode) and started the install. When I was asked if I wanted to install alongside Debian or instead of Debian I chose the later since I thought this would leave windows alone. I was SO WRONG! It formatted my whole hard drive and now I only have the brand new Ubuntu partition. I insist that Debian and Windows were both working fine. I know there is no way back and I should have been more careful, so my question is:

Shouldn't there have been mention of windows in this (oh so fatidic) page of the assistant?

I would almost have expected the assistant to detect windows and not Debian since it was setup in legacy and the USB drive booted on UEFI but the reverse seems to have happened.

Anyway I learned my lesson: no more letting an assistant "manage" my partitions...

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closed as off-topic by belacqua, terdon, Richard, Mitch May 11 '14 at 6:31

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Bug reports and problems specific to development version of Ubuntu should be reported on Launchpad so that developers can see, track and fix these issues." – belacqua, Richard, Mitch
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Sorry to hear that, though Luis has left an excellent answer. If you rephrase this to ask about recovery options, this will be in scope for askubuntu. Otherwise, the best thing to do would be to open a bug against the installer package on launchpad. – belacqua May 10 '14 at 19:34
If you believe the prompts are misleading (and you're not alone in this), I urge you to file a bug report. Complaining about it here will do little good. – Rod Smith May 10 '14 at 19:45

As mentioned in Installing Ubuntu on a Pre-Installed Windows 8 (64-bit) System (UEFI Supported) you might have suffered from several issues mainly:

  • No partition/space left for Ubuntu to install. You saw Debian because it was not EFI installed. Since Windows was installed with EFI and there was no space left, the real option you should have seen would be "Format the whole drive and install Ubuntu". But since Debian was seeing, it chose that one.

  • The correct step in this problem would have been to first eliminate Debian from within Windows using the Windows partition tool. Leaving with this an empty partition for Ubuntu to install in. This is basically setting the system so it looks like Windows 8 is all that is in there and an empty partition for the EFI install of Ubuntu to use.

There IS a way to go back to what you have before (Windows + Debian) but you need to act quickly and without doing much else with the drive.

First insert the LiveUSB version of Ubuntu and install in it testdisk. You need to be running on EFI mode in order to recover Windows. After installing testdisk go to the terminal and run sudo testdisk and follow the steps provided to search for deleted partitions. It will find several partitions, of which you need to recover the boot partition of Windows and the system one (If not more depending on how Windows was installed).

This also happened to me with to a friend and we were able to recover Windows. In his case he had Fedora which he lost. The same for you with Debian. But at least Windows was recovered.

In the case it does not boot afterwards please see

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