This is what happened:

I was running 12.04.1 and wanted to install 12.10. upgrade, but a fresh install.

When setting up my computer I anticipated for this by dividing my 640GB HD in following partitions: 1. 60 GB for Ubuntu, boot 2. 576 GB for data, mountpoint /home 3. swap, 4GB

The idea was to manually select the correct partition in the installer but I got distracted for a moment and selected the wrong option.

Result: The installer started repartitioning the entire HD.

When I noticed this I interrupted the installer, but upon reboot it was clear that I was too late, no OS to boot to.

I booted from a Gparted Live CD to see if I could recover the data on my previous /home-partition, but it's gone.

Is there any way to recover the lost data? I searched around and read alot about Testdisk, but in all the tutorials I've seen, the set-up has been much easier than what I'm facing.

I've not only lost my partition table, it's been replaced.

Thanks in advance for any ideas that might help!

If extra info is needed, please specify and I will do my best to provide.


If the disk has been only repartitioned you'll be able to recover the original partition layout using a tool called Testdisk If the disk format has already begun when you interrupted the installer, then probably you lost some data.

  • Thank you for the replyr, but I'm not sure how to correctly use Testdisk in my situation. When I select my HD, it "finds" the current partition-table. Is it ok to go from there? Also, what type should I select? Intel or none? My previous partionions where in ext4. Thanks – Kaleido Nov 20 '12 at 10:13
  • You should select "Intel" type. Then choose "Analyze" and later "QuickSearch". Go on with "Deeper Search" if anything is found. If the installer only had time to repartition the disk without starting to format, then you should be able to see your previous partition layout. Best wishes for your data recovery! – lupp0l0 Nov 20 '12 at 13:50
  • Thanks, a deeper search revealed the lost partition! Now I just have to figure out how to backup my files without an os to boot to (that partition was unrecoverable). Cheers! – Kaleido Nov 22 '12 at 7:09

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