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I had installed ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Desktop (64-bit)) and I had one partition only and lost all the data I had before...then I switched to windows vista and I resized the partitions by deleting them and clicking on NEW in the installation window of windows vista and I made three new partitions and I realized that more than 12 GBs of the free disk space of the hard drive were lost and I didn't know if they were lost while installing ubuntu before or not...then after installing windows vista I didn't find one of the partitions and I couldn't open the other one and the last one (C:) was the only one I was able to open.

What can I do to find the lost free disk space and run windows normally again?

  • can you post a picture of what the Windows Drive manager shows? example – TmTron May 27 '16 at 14:26
  • What do you mean by "run Windows normally again"? – ipse lute May 27 '16 at 14:44
  • "with all my disk space" – A.El-Z May 27 '16 at 14:55
  • I'm sorry...I can't – A.El-Z May 27 '16 at 14:55
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First of all. Nobody stole your hard disk space. It is there. Somewhere. Whole of it. I swear.
Secondly, Ubuntu and Windows are two entirely and fundamentally different operating systems. They function completely... different. Windows has ntfs and fat partitions, Ubuntu typically has swap and ext partitions. Ubuntu can recognize Windows partitions, but Windows CANNOT recognize or identify Ubuntu partitions.

When reinstalling Windows, you tried to erase the entire hard disk, but Windows could not do that because it couldn't recognize some or all of the linux partitions. 12 GB seems like correct size for the swap partition (not recognized).

And now, the solution: you need to boot the Ubuntu installation medium in live mode. After the Live Ubuntu desktop starts, open GParted and you will see ALL the partitions on your hard drive. Including those not "seen" by Windows. Delete the ext and swap partitions. Make sure you don't delete your ntfs (Windows) partition. After applying the changes reboot, remove the Ubuntu installation medium and boot into Windows.

In Windows, go to Start and open Disk Management app. Your lost space should magically appear as empty/unformatted space on your hard disk map.

Bit of advice: it is easier if you first install Windows and Ubuntu afterwards. Much easier for beginners. For many reasons.

  • I opened Gparted and its saying this "Libparted Warning ""the driver descriptor says the physical block size is 2048 bytes,but Linux says it is 512 bytes. ""Cancel or Ignore"what does it mean? – A.El-Z May 27 '16 at 14:52
  • My best guess is choose Ignore. Don't know exactly what it means, but may find some answers here: askubuntu.com/questions/541479/… or askubuntu.com/questions/675649/…. – ipse lute May 27 '16 at 18:09
  • There is definitely some pretty serious error. My best advice is to erase every partition in GParted , then create a new partition table in GPT style (in GParted also). After that, create any new partition as you desire. That means reinstalling Windows the correct way, in a sanitized hard drive. – ipse lute May 27 '16 at 18:15

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