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When trying to install Ubuntu I selected the default checked "Erase hardrive" option and checked the second box below it (below an option to encrypt which I didn't select) which had to do with installing tools to make partitioning easier. There was a small warning in red text around the Erase hard drive option that said it would delete all my files, but I clicked Continue anyway because I assumed I'd be given an option to Revert or some kind of warning if this really would mess up my system. Instead though, it sent me to the Choose Your Location screen within the applet and the back button became grayed and unusable, which is when I worried that it may have messed up my partitions. (It technically has no valid OS I can boot from now...)

I exited the installer then and shut down, and upon trying to boot into windows I simply had a black screen with a "_" sign at the top left hand corner phasing in and out, without any ability to access windows, or any other OS because I actually didn't install Linux but just let the applet reconfigure the partitions.

My first question to all of you out there is A, Is there any simple way I can get my partition structure back and boot into windows, especially seeing how it was so easy to revert modified partitions within the Ubuntu applet, and HOW?!

I've installed Ubuntu-Rescue-Remix onto a usb and am messing with it using TestDisk and their guide but it either doesn't seem to be working or I have no idea what I'm doing. There doesn't seem to be much in the way of clear answers about how to undo something which is as simple as a messed up file structure, so if this isn't the best way, anyone who knows better please give a shout out or advice!

Worst case I guess I'll just fully install Ubuntu on the computer and try to salvage the files onto an external hard drive and reinstall Windows. Either this or take it to a specialist. It just seems stupid that a simple Continue button being clicked/tapped is the difference between the user moving on to something else or being hit with something they have to go through immense trouble to fix.

  • update, this guy had the same problem: Windows 7 to Ubuntu - erased data / but additional suggestions or links to step by steps appreciated
  • does boot-repair work for this? ..........

My second question, B, is a request: Is there any way the Ubuntu Install Applets' developers would consider adding warning features like bright flashing lights or a Warning Popup to tell you that hard drive erasure is not easily reversible if you press Continue from within the applet, like how Windows and other OS security and system popups often do when they're warning that you might be about to do something stupid? Or advice that we need to either destroy a partition structure and risk data loss or resize the partition safely on our main operating system in order to install Ubuntu safely?

If I'd been told by the Applet clearly that I had no options to install Linux without messing with partitions and risking data loss, I would have just taken it to a computer specialist about the Windows computer going slow or freezing after login instead of having to play specialist or hire one to salvage my data. I'm sure I'm not the only one who's had this problem, and it seems like a simple fix like this could save people a lot of frustration and heartache, both in Ubuntu from Canonical and forks from the Mint and Kubuntu projects.

Please Ubuntu developers, help the 'visual-learners' and novice-tinkerers who need to be given flashing warning signs in order to not destroy their computers!!! Do it for the Children!!! Do it for the Exclamation Points!!! Do it for Me, so I don't feel as bad about this mistake being repeated again despite this bad experience with it!!!!! Please/ Just/ Do It!!!!!!!!!!!

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marked as duplicate by roadmr, user68186, Eric Carvalho, guntbert, bain Jun 21 '14 at 10:53

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Your question is a real pain to read trhough. Please consider editing it and be more concise. Concerning the warning, you did have one, didn't you ? There was a small warning in red text around the Erase hard drive option that said it would delete all my files. I really don't see what's unclear about this message. On the bright side, the blinking dash after booting is usually a sign your Grub is not working properly. However, this is often easily corrected with boot-repair, and shouldn't affect your data (as you exited before setup ended, another thing you should never do) – Aserre Jun 20 '14 at 14:18
Sorry. I was kind of tired when I wrote this, and meant for it to be in two parts. – user295298 Jun 20 '14 at 14:50
I realized possible duplications after I wrote it, but I didn't find the answers there or elsewhere terribly helpful so posted it anyway. Unlike other cases I really think the developers should add some kind of warning popup like your Mac or PC or Linux would normally give you in case you were about to do something crazy like have the system or a third party app erase your hard drive. I think I and most people are used to at least one OS level warning before you possibly royally mess up. The path I took also didn't just mess up a partition but the whole hard drive, for now at least! – user295298 Jun 20 '14 at 15:00
Well... it seems like Boot-Repair won't really help me resurrect Windows. Although I could actually see the windows boot drives in TestDisk, I wasn't sure how to use TestDisk to make them the default boot drives. Even though I'm so close, it seems that there are not apps or sets of protocol at least that I know of that can help me fix this, so I guess it is just a matter of coping with having to go through file recovery and reinstallation unless I find anything or anyone has any ideas. Thanks for thought though. – user295298 Jun 20 '14 at 15:38

If you want to recover your Windows files, STOP USING THE DISK IMMEDIATELY!!! Do NOT install anything on the disk!!! Instead, use TestDisk or PhotoRec (or tools like them) to attempt to recover your partitions or individual files, respectively. In the case of file recovery, you'll need a separate disk big enough to hold your files; recovering files to the target disk is likely to end up overwriting more data, thus losing it.

Of course, you should have a backup. I know, I'm one of those annoying people who says "make your backups," "eat your spinach," etc. Well, now you know why we say such things.

Finally, if you think that the explicit and eye-catching warnings you were given were inadequate, you can file a bug report. It's very unlikely that the people responsible for any given program will read your complaint here.

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