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looking for some help after I attempted to do a clean reinstall of LINUX on a currently working dual-boot setup (windows installed first) on my MS Surface 4. I had the 256 hard-drive partitioned with a 1.71 recovery partition of the surface windows build, a 30 gig partition for the linux + 8 gig swap, and the rest for the windows build. That was... before I messed everything up. See below for what it looks like now...

I think I had three beers, and first attempted to do a reinstall with option 1, in which is recognized windows was installed and it did not work (and I believe I lost grub).

After that didn't work, I stupidly did the second option, and now I believe I maybe formated over everything (yet still don't have a working linux install).

I booted into windows repair to no avail (automated repair does nothing). I have tried boot-repair as well (because I have a linux live cd). I can upload the output file / text to dropbox if anybody wants to take a look.

I ran fdisk -l and here is what comes up.

Disk /dev/loop0: 1.4 GiB, 1532116992 bytes, 2992416 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 /dev/nvme0n1: 238.5 GiB, 256060514304 bytes, 500118192 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
Disklabel type: gpt
Disk identifier: 5199C5B5-0A7C-4A63-AE50-EC145C6C0E55

Device           Start       End   Sectors   Size Type
/dev/nvme0n1p1    2048   1050623   1048576   512M EFI System
/dev/nvme0n1p2 1050624   2050047    999424   488M Linux filesystem
/dev/nvme0n1p3 2050048 500117503 498067456 237.5G Linux LVM


Disk /dev/sda: 931.5 GiB, 1000204886016 bytes, 1953525168 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
Disklabel type: dos
Disk identifier: 0x84a08e15

Device     Boot Start        End    Sectors   Size Id Type
/dev/sda1        2048 1953521663 1953519616 931.5G  7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT


Disk /dev/sdb: 29.4 GiB, 31591497728 bytes, 61702144 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
Disklabel type: dos
Disk identifier: 0x00d7770e

Device     Boot Start      End  Sectors  Size Id Type
/dev/sdb1  *     2048 61702143 61700096 29.4G  c W95 FAT32 (LBA)


Disk /dev/mapper/ubuntu--vg-root: 229.6 GiB, 246486663168 bytes, 481419264 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 /dev/mapper/ubuntu--vg-swap_1: 7.9 GiB, 8510242816 bytes, 16621568 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

the 931 is an external hard-drive, and the 29.4 is the livecd USB. I have no clue what to do, but at this point I'm very scared I've lost all my documents and files from my windows boot. I will attempt to run test-disk, but I'm not sure that I've formated over the windows partition (I think maybe I have because I original had the 256 hard-drive in two partitions for the dual boot, and I don't see two now...)

If anybody can help me figure this out and it would be great.

Thanks in advance!

EDIT: Here is the google-drive link to the boot.info output text file for boot-repair help!

boot.info output file for boot-repair help

gparted image

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If your documents and files were on the 931GiB external disk and stored using NTFS, they might be intact. You should be able to look for them using the Ubuntu installer in its "try before installing" mode.

If your documents and files were on the internal 238GiB SSD, then anything from Windows is gone. You might have documents used only by Ubuntu on that disk, but I suspect not.

If files seem to be gone, you might be able to recover them with PhotoRec; however, the last I checked, this tool did a poor job of recovering filenames and directory structures, so you'll be left with huge mounds of strangely-named files to sort through. (PhotoRec does at least recognize most common file types and give files appropriate filename extensions.) I hear that there are Windows-specific tools that may do a better job of recovering files (and filenames) that used to be on NTFS volumes, but I don't recall the name of any specific tool. Asking about this on a Windows forum might produce better answers than you'd get here. Any tool of this type requires a separate disk as a target. That is, if you want to recover files from both your disks, you'll need a third disk as a target. If your 931GiB external disk never held anything worth recovering, you could use it as a target for recovery from your 238GiB SSD.

If my pessimistic assessment is correct, you should STOP USING YOUR DISKS IMMEDIATELY! Every write to your disk runs the risk of overwriting important data, so the longer you use the disks, the less data you'll be able to recover from them.

  • Rod: I thank you for your response. I ended up reinstalling windows 10, and will start again with a clean slate. I'm new to Linux and getting super into reading for two forensic programs, as well as all the subsequent details that i lack (mount points, loop commands, boot and move recovery, fsk command.....) became a bit too much for me. I did end up understanding a bit through the terminal but I'd going to continue with the red hat courses with a new dual boot. Thanks again! – R.Pettersen Sep 1 '17 at 18:21

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