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I installed Ubuntu on a hard drive that had Windows XP installed so I could dual-boot the two operating systems. Everything was fine but now I can't boot into XP or Ubuntu. I had some important documents in the Ubuntu partition and the hard drive is still working, so how can I recover those files from a working Ubuntu installation? Where should I look for the broken Ubuntu installation?

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Depends on how Ubuntu was installed. If it's on a dedicated partition, you could use a live CD/USB and copy the files over. However, if you installed Ubuntu inside Windows, I don't know the way. – mikewhatever Nov 9 '11 at 22:33
Yeah i installed ubuntu inside Windows and thats the problem. – Daniel Mesa Nov 10 '11 at 0:02
Then need to use in my answer ==PRepearing LiveCD/USB== & == A Recovering bootloader== – Kangarooo Nov 12 '11 at 14:27

Go to another computer, simply download an actual Ubuntu image and make a bootable USB stick described on homepage from Boot from these USB stick and choose "Try Ubuntu". Now put a clean second USB stick or HDD into another USB port and save your documents from your computer HDD.

PS: It does not work, if you have encryption enabled by installation.

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I have done that, but i do not know where to search my old documents because there are no actual ubuntu folders like home/ i do not know how to visibilize those folders that use ubuntu's file system, not the ntfs one. P.S I'm new to ubuntu, so this may seem a stupid question – Daniel Mesa Nov 9 '11 at 23:00

Apparently, you can recover files from a wubi installation. It requires some command line work, but nothing too difficult. You'll need to boot from an Ubuntu live CD, and then run the following in a terminal window:

sudo fdisk -l
sudo mkdir /win
sudo mount /dev/sdxy /win
sudo mkdir /vdisk
sudo mount -o loop /win/ubuntu/disks/root.disk /vdisk

Now, check the file browser, your wubi installation should be available there.

In the third command, the x and y are most probably a and 1, which gives /dev/sda1. Make sure to adjust according to where the wubi installation is.


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not good idea to use time to install couse Ubuntu live session can be used with CD or USB – Kangarooo Nov 10 '11 at 2:42
What? What time are you talking about? – mikewhatever Nov 10 '11 at 20:00
2 days ago. Check there u can see that u can use USB Live without intallation. And wubi is slow & installed. You dont need to install OS to recover files and u dont need to install in Windows partition to make slow system in system- like Inception. – Kangarooo Nov 12 '11 at 14:25
Are you high??? – mikewhatever Nov 12 '11 at 14:42
No im am not high so youre alone on that.. – Kangarooo Nov 12 '11 at 20:25

U might have somehow crashed grubbootloader.

Ill write how to do recovering so it works and saves both systems and also how to get files from both in case it doesnt recovers.

But for both ull first need a live CD/USB

==PRepearing LiveCD/USB==

From another computer make Live CD or USB by simply following steps in

  1. step there is download an actual Ubuntu image and i recommend better using 10.04 LTS couse thats lighter and faster and more understandable

  2. step there is choose how and from where u want to put it on and do it as described in that page

  3. Boot that live CD/USB in problem computer with desired LiveCD/USB set to be able to boot before other storages in BIOS by pressing F2 or Del and in BIOS setup changing boot orders preffering CD or USB

== A Recovering bootloader==

  1. In terminal execute this sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yannubuntu/boot-repair && sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install -y boot-repair && boot-repair

  2. And press Button Recommended repair and when finished try ur system again.

== B Copying files ==

  1. Open that partition and go to its filesystem /home/

  2. copy whole ur username folder to some other place. Whole couse it will contain also hidden FF bookmarks and some chatlogs and settings u might want to keep for backup.

== C If encrypted ==

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