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I had Ubuntu 15.10 along with Windows 10 pro. As my Ubuntu had certain issue of function and booting problems, I decided to again install the Ubuntu 15.10.

I accidentally selected the option "Use LVM for the new Ubuntu installation".

After installation, when the boot loader started it didn't showed me Windows 10 in an option. When I started Ubuntu my hard disk was not detected and the only folder I could see was the Ubuntu system file named 'Computer'.

So I ran the setup of Windows 10 again.

Where a dialog box appear which said that there were only two partition. First partion system reserved of about 250MB(Partition 01) and other local drive of 465GB(Partition 02). And I couldn't install windows 10 so I made the partition again and then installed windows 10. Currently I am having windows 10.

Initially I had 4 partitions(Local Disk C,D,E,F first three of 116 GB and remaining space) Now I have 3 Partition( Local disk C(100 GB) Local disk D(200 Gb) and Local disk E(remaining space) ).

Currently I can only access Local disk C which contains windows system and program files{.While making new partition i have just resized the partition. I have not formatted the disk while resizing the partition}

In order to use other space I need to format the drives to use it. But I don't want to format the disk as it contained many important files in it.

Is there a way to recover all my data without formatting?

  • 2
    By Ubuntu 15.01 do you mean 15.04 or 15.10? – userino Apr 15 '16 at 6:45
  • yes i mean 15.10 – Murtuza Vadharia Apr 15 '16 at 7:15
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+50

Since you have created new partitions on top of your old ones and have written data to it (installed Windows 10), it might be a little bit difficult to recover your files.

Preamble

If you want to be extremely safe and in order not to tamper directly with the data of your drive case something bad happens in the process, you can create an exact copy of your drive and tamper with that instead. Of course you will need a spare hard drive of at least 500GB size and some good piece of software for the cloning. I suggest using the dd command which copies the whole disk into another disk including unallocated space. You can execute this command in the Ubuntu Live environment. A usage example for cloning disk to disk is:

dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb

where /dev/sda is the source hard disk and /dev/sdb is the destination.

BE CAREFUL: if you enter the wrong hard drive identifiers, disaster might occur. Use :

 sudo parted --list

in order to list your hard drives and their identifiers.

Plan A

First you can try to recover your initial partitions using some partition management software. A good free and open source tool I know is testdisk. To run it you will have to boot from a Ubuntu 15.10 live CD or USB. After booting using Ubuntu live, open a terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and enter the above command to install it:

sudo apt-get install testdisk

Here is a quick guide that will help use teskdisk. If it succeeds in finding your old partitions, then mount them and copy your files to an external drive or a partition other than the partitions that you want to recover your files from.

Plan B

If this technique does not work, there is a bit slower one, using photorec. If you have tried Plan A before proceeding to Plan B, then photorec had been already installed when you installed testdisk. If not, then follow Plan A first please. Photorec will try to recover files from the partitions you choose it to do so, restoring them to another partition other than the partitions that you want to recover your files from. To learn how to use it see this quick guide.

Plan C

There is no Plan C! :P

If your files have not been overwritten in disk by other files, there's a great chance that following the above instructions will lead you to recovering your files.

  • You are right @Fabby. Although not necessary, it is an extra safety measure that would save somebody, in the case of unexpected disaster. – pgmank Apr 23 '16 at 16:22
  • +1! My comment and any reference to me removed! (no need to credit me for that) – Fabby Apr 24 '16 at 16:42
  • @pgmank None of the plan worked. As a result it formatted both Local Disk D and E. Some files were recovered But i couldn't open them because an error message of corrupted files was there. – Murtuza Vadharia May 1 '16 at 13:43
  • @MurtuzaVadharia, none of the plans worked because Windows 10 installation might have written files on top of your previous files, making the recovery impossible. If you didn't install Windows 10, there would be higher chance to recover your files successfully. So your problem now is to recover files that have been overwritten. I am not aware of a greater software than photorec for doing this kind of job. If that did not help you, I do not know what will. – pgmank May 2 '16 at 20:19
  • but thanx for ur help@pgmank . Atleast I had some option to do after your answer.Thanx – Murtuza Vadharia May 3 '16 at 7:24
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From your description it seems that your hard drive is 500GB. Before you install Windows 10 there is a partition of 465GB, which doesn't sound you did the Ubuntu installation right. That could probably have overwritten your drives.

Also when you reinstall Windows 10, it doesn't know how to deal with Linux file systems. It cannot possibly resize the partition without knowing how not to mess up the data inside.

Try pgmank's solution and wish for the best. Just remember reinstalling isn't always the solution. And always backup before you touch partitions.

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