Ubuntu – Lost data on partition


I'm totally new on Ubuntu. Just decided to kick out the horrible windows 8: so I downloaded the last version of Ubuntu available on the web site , tried out the live cd and found it quite interesting.

After starting to install I arrived to the part where I could choose and manage the partitions where I wanted to install Ubuntu. Being new to it decided not to touch where I wasn't sure as I didn't want to loose my data partition where I have accumulated my pictures for almost 6 years.
So I decided to go back and let the installation do it by itself. There was a warning saying I would lose all my data but I supposed it would be just on the windows partition. After the install finished I started to wonder around my new OS and realized that I couldn't find my data partition. I guess this is not a new question at all, but I'm just a bit scared as I don't want to loose all the data I had.

I've been reading and trying some solutions like mounting the partitions, but it seems that the only partitions I find is one called boot and another called swap along with sda2 which I tried to mount but got the message wrong nfts format.

So here is the big question: is there any chance to recover the partition or shall I forget about everything (my files) ?

Best Answer

  • Many of the answers above are much more reliable, but in case you've really messed it up, like I've done in the past, then you can try this as a last-resort option.

    For this, you'll want to use TestDisk. Once you have installed and launched TestDisk on a LiveCD/USB:

    1. Select [Analyse]
    2. Select the disk that you want to recover from
    3. Select the partition table type. For most people it will be Intel/PC
    4. Following the analysis, TestDisk may find some partitions. If it finds your old data partition, simply have it written to the disk, and that should be that.
    5. If TestDisk doesn't find any/the right partition, try a deeper search. Once again, if this finds the partition, simply write it to the disk, and you're done.
    6. If, like in my case, TestDisk is unable to write the partition to the disk, you can try creating a new partition with the exact specifications (cylinders, heads, sectors, type) your old one had, and that should be able to recover it.

    If data has been written to the disk where the old partition was, which is probably the only reason you would ever need to resort to step #6, then it is likely that some/many files will be corrupted; results may vary.

    If you want to read the original tutorial where I found these steps, which includes descriptive pictures, click here.