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I've had a disaster and need professional help.

To establish if I have lost Windows 8 entirely from No1 disk, this was professionally installed by the local Microsoft dealer, along with a second (new) solid state 250 GB hard drive for the 12.04 install.

I installed 12.04 to disk No2, after ensuring I had the "boot order" correctly sorted and found No2 disk with no operating system on it. But something went wrong and it installed onto disk No1.?

I found I had problem after I ran Boot Repair, as Windows 8 did not appear in the Ubuntu start up menu. 12.04 appears to be working 100% on diskNo1.

I also ran the unistall part of the Boot Repair programme, according to that there is only 12.04 on the disk.

Though; looking at the Disk Utility programme, there are two 8.5 GB partitions, one says "extended", and the other says "unknown". Could Windows be in the unknown partition?

Is there a specialist in or around the Stevenage area, (Hertfordshire UK), who could do the necessary repairs and upgrades to my Cruz Microsystems, model itx system.

sudo fdisk -l -u
[sudo] password for dennis: 

Disk /dev/sda: 250.1 GB, 250059350016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 30401 cylinders, total 488397168 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x00058e9e

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1   *        2048   471834623   235916288   83  Linux
/dev/sda2       471836670   488396799     8280065    5  Extended
/dev/sda5       471836672   488396799     8280064   82  Linux swap / Solaris

Disk /dev/sdb: 250.1 GB, 250059350016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 30401 cylinders, total 488397168 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x1efd1efc

Disk /dev/sdb doesn't contain a valid partition table

Disk /dev/mapper/cryptswap1: 8478 MB, 8478785536 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 1030 cylinders, total 16560128 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xcef7eac1

Disk /dev/mapper/cryptswap1 doesn't contain a valid partition table

Model: ATA Samsung SSD 840 (scsi)
Disk /dev/sda: 250GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: msdos

Number  Start   End    Size    Type      File system  Flags
 1      1049kB  242GB  242GB   primary   ext4         boot
 2      242GB   250GB  8479MB  extended
 5      242GB   250GB  8479MB  logical


Error: /dev/sdb: unrecognised disk label                                  

Model: Linux device-mapper (crypt) (dm)
Disk /dev/mapper/cryptswap1: 8479MB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: loop

Number  Start  End     Size    File system     Flags
 1      0.00B  8479MB  8479MB  linux-swap(v1)
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    first I'm not a professional so I can't help you. But here are some tips, boot up a live usb, and start/install gparted (sudo apt-get install gparted in a terminal, then gparted to start it) and take a look on what partitions you have (we need to know if we are going to help you). Now take a screenshot of the partitions you have and upload it to a image site and post the link in the question. – Alvar Mar 10 '14 at 15:16
  • Can you paste the output from running sudo fdisk -l (in a terminal) in your question? That information might help. – eccentricSam Mar 10 '14 at 15:25
  • @ Alvar, I have installed gparted in the terminal, it is asking for Root privileges are required for running gparted. How do I go about this, as the warning box suggested I could damage the system..? – user256746 Mar 10 '14 at 15:58
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    Please post the output of sudo parted -l instead. – terdon Mar 10 '14 at 16:04
  • 1
    @Rmano blkid or lsblk would be better choices. – terdon Mar 10 '14 at 16:44
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You have two disks. Your Linux is installed on the first one, /dev/sda which is probably where your Windows used to be. From the output you posted I am fairly sure that you have lost your Windows install.

A Windows install needs a partition with a Windows file system (NTFS usually) and that would have been visible in the output of parted -l. Since no such thing is apparent, it is safe to conclude that you overwrote your Windows installation with Linux.

You have installed nothing, and in fact have not even setup any file system, on your second hard drive (/dev/sdb). The only thing you can do is restore from your backups if you have them or, if you had important data and no backups (argh!), you will have to pay a lot of money to get a professional data recovery company to attempt and get back some of your files. If you want to do the latter, to increase your chances of getting your old data back stop using your computer immediately. The more you use it, the likelier it is that any traces of your old data that might still be around will get lost. Sorry.

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