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I installed Ubuntu 12.10 on my Laptop. While installing two options were available:

  1. Install Ubuntu alongside Windows 7

  2. Replace windows 7

My Laptop had 3 drives. Windows 7 was installed on C: drive and there was data on other two drives. I chose option to Replace Windows 7.

But now in Ubuntu, there is only one drive. Its size is approximately equals the hard-disk size and it is almost free, so it seems like all the data is lost.

Could anyone please help me on this? Would it be possible to recover the lost data?

marked as duplicate by karel, Danatela, Eric Carvalho, Jorge Castro, Sylvain Pineau Jun 2 '14 at 20:22

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You may use testdisk.

First and foremost stop using the system!

Boot a live DVD or live USB, install testdisk and run it. Try the Recover partitions option.

It's your best bet.

  • Am more with To Do on this one. As he says, stop using the system, boot from a live DVD or USB, install testdisk, go to the terminal and run it, then go for the recover partition options. I have recovered 3 times partitioned drives, so you have a good bet you will be able to recover everything. – Luis Alvarado Feb 9 '13 at 15:59

The important part right now is to stop using the system and get your hands on a live cd. If you installed Ubuntu from CD then you already have one. I don't believe (and Andrea Corbellini confirms this below) that Ubuntu does a hard format of the drive, it just creates partitions (this is a guess). The data that was not overwritten should be recoverable. Assuming that C was the first partition for previous Windows system, other two partitions should be towards the end of the disk, so at least some data should be intact.

Also, I find the option to Replace Windows confusing and I understand the mistake of Vikram. Replace Windows for me means that the installer understands there is a windows installation, where it is located and that it can replace it and only it, without destroying the data in other partitions. Again, I'm assuming the new-comer perspective here.


  • 1
    I can confirm that Ubuntu does not shred any data when installing. Otherwise it would take ages to install. – Andrea Corbellini Dec 29 '12 at 12:43

I agree with Aditya, replacing win7 you made repartitioning your HDD.

You can use R-STUDIO for restoring data.

I recommend to use Live image.

For example Alkid Live CD/DVD/USB or something similar.

  • Just as a note from a test I did, I compared R-Studio to Testdisk/Photorec using two 1 TB HDDs each one with many formatted and partitions done on them. Testdisk could recover not only faster but better (Less corruption) both drives than R-Studio. When compared to Photorec, R-Studio could recover (Counting only workable, correctly recovered files) about 40% of what Photorec could. There were even files that were lost several formats ago and Photorec recovered them (Like several JPG files and DOC files) and R-Studio could not. – Luis Alvarado Feb 9 '13 at 16:04

with Live CD first create the image of your hard disk..

Fire up the terminal and run:

dd if=/dev/sdX of=/dev/sdY conv=noerror  

where X is your hard drive and Y is the external drive in which you are creating image ..

and after the image creation .. mount the image in any linux system and do the recovery..

  • Welcome to Ask Ubuntu! This will not create an image file on sdY. It will eradicate all data on sdY and copy the filesystem to it, so it resembles sdX. This may be helpful but please edit this to explain better what it does; right now, this answer is misleading and dangerous. (I'd edit it to do this, but I'm not really sure what you intend to say.) Thanks. – Eliah Kagan Feb 9 '13 at 15:38

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