1. Was running Windows 7 (64-bit).
  2. Downloaded Ubuntu, and booted it from USB
  3. Started installing Ubuntu OS. I chose the last option, do not replace Windows, do something else.
  4. However, when I had to choose a partition, I ticked and formatted the one in which my Windows 7 was on.
  5. After formatting, I cancelled installation.
  6. So, I now have neither have windows nor Ubuntu.
  7. When I switch it on, I just get the System Recovery options.

I cannot do that as I still have important files: pictures and videos (I am a photographer.)

Please tell me there is a way to get them back!

  • 3
    WARNING: The suggested duplicate has the wrong advice on how to proceed (as it highest scored answer). It also assumes that you: (a.) have already completed install of Ubuntu, and (b.) might want to recover some of the data that has not been overwritten (using Ubuntu, that you just installed). The second answer by @Donarsson (or @allebone below) is quite correct. Do nothing to this drive, until you (or someone more skilled) has the tools to TRY and recover the lost files.
    – david6
    Commented May 7, 2015 at 7:42
  • 1
    @david6: please first read my post before you scare people off it. The answers you recommended talk about SystemRescueCD which does nothing else than providing TestDisk (but without Ubuntu), or they link to a Windows tool... My answer will work fine even if we had not installed Ubuntu, and it also will work if we had no access to any other computer where we could download things. It only needs the Ubuntu installation medium, an internet connection, and a backup drive.
    – Takkat
    Commented May 10, 2015 at 20:11

1 Answer 1


You will need to use a second computer to do the recovery, if you only have one pc, you cannot continue until you find someone with a working pc to help you.

Once on a second pc, plug the drive you wish to recover into it via some method (put it into an external USB caddy etc).

Once you are in windows of the second pc, and the drive to recover is pluged in and showing up, you need to run some recovery tool like recova (https://www.piriform.com/recuva)

This is a free tool, there are many others some which are better but expensive. If you were already installing ubuntu on the drive, likely some data will be lost but you should be able to recover most of what you had on there.

Do not attempt recovery on the same disk by trying to install anything onto it such as an OS (because you only have one PC). This will make it less likely you can get anything. Only recover from a second PC.



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