I wanted to have a feel of ubuntu so I installed Ubuntu 14.04 LTS on windows 7 using a USB stick to boot. But I made a horrifying mistake of not installing ubuntu on a separate partiton. This resulted in removing my windows 7 completely from my laptop along with the previous partitions. Now all I have are two linux filesystem partions : one swap and one for every thing else.

I have my factory default image of windows 7 burnt to a DVD. When I try to restore this image using the factory reset DVD of windows 7 I get an error saying that :

"The program cannot restore the system partition because its structure is incorrect. You may have to recreate the partition to continue."

Please help me restore my windows 7 back and reinstall Ubuntu alongside windows.

Regards Robin


You can create a Windows-compatible partition using the GParted application that is included in the Ubuntu live USB. Use GParted to format the entire drive to NTFS with the boot flag set to bootable. Then you can reinstall Windows 7 from the factory default image of Windows 7 that you have burnt to a DVD. For more information see: How to remove Ubuntu and put Windows back on?.

It is always a good idea to install Windows before you install Ubuntu. When you install Ubuntu and get to the Installation type screen in the Ubuntu installer, choose the option that says: Install Ubuntu alongside Windows 7. This option will install Ubuntu alongside Windows 7 in a dual boot layout so that when you start the computer you can select to boot to either Ubuntu 14.04 or Windows 7 from the GRUB boot menu.

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  • Is there any way that I can get the data which was on my hard disk prior to Ubuntu installation? I have lost too much data due to formatting of my hard disk. :( – robby29 Jun 22 '14 at 9:38
  • Yes, there certainly is a way to recover your lost data that was on the Windows partitions by using the Ubuntu live USB that you already have. If you have a small amount of space for persistent file storage on the Ubuntu live USB you can install testdisk on the USB and recover the data following these instructions: How do I recover my accidentally lost Windows partitions after installing Ubuntu?. Make sure that you tell testdisk to also recover all your files' names. – karel Jun 22 '14 at 9:51
  • Also very important. Recover all your data first before you write anything else to that drive!!! Recovering data that has been overwritten is much more difficult than recovering data from a partition that has been quick reformatted but not otherwise overwritten. – karel Jun 22 '14 at 9:52
  • please can you guide me through the steps of using gparted apllication. – robby29 Jun 22 '14 at 9:56
  • I like this tutorial: GParted partitioning software - Full tutorial. Although it's too long, all the other tutorials I found are missing some information, so that tutorial is good to have bookmarked as a reference in case you have any specific questions about how to use GParted. Tip: Always check 3 times before you apply any changes to make sure that you have selected the right drive/partition. – karel Jun 22 '14 at 10:10

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