How can I recover data from a reformatted drive partition?

Shashidhar M April 2, 2014
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I have Windows 7 on my PC partitioned with C & D drives (with some data in D drive). I was installing Ubuntu OS along with Windows 7. While installing Ubuntu I have chosen SOMETHING ELSE option. So the path took me to the partition window. There I have selected EXT2 file system and /(slash) option and Installed. Now the problem is the data which was in D drive (which was in Windows OS) has been deleted. Can anyone suggest me how to get back the deleted data. Thanks in advance.

  1. Oron J
    April 2, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    I sadly concur with Bruce & Jan. Looks like you overwrote your data. However, you could try a data recovery program (see list at // to recover what's possible.

  2. Hovsep A
    April 2, 2014 at 8:42 am
  3. Jan F
    April 2, 2014 at 8:30 am

    I agree with Bruce. With the partition gone it has most likely been used to install Ubuntu and while a change of the filesystem doesn't necessarily "destroy" the data on it, it certainly makes it harder to recover as you'll have to scan every single cluster on the drive. Depending on the size of the partition this may take anywhere from 4-48 hours and beyond.

    Assuming that Ubuntu was written onto this partition you might end up with no success at all. The problem is, if something was overwritten, there is no way to get it back. Even if it was just a small part of a file, let's say 2KB out of a 800MB file missing, the recovered data will most likely be corrupt/damaged and no use at all.

    Anyway, if you don't have any immediate use for the system you can give TestDisk a try. Boot into Windows (which is on C as I understand), then start up TestDisk and let it run an advanced scan.

    • Tim B
      April 9, 2014 at 1:16 am

      Came here to basically post this – use TestDisk, try to recover the whole partition :)

  4. Bruce E
    April 2, 2014 at 7:55 am

    I am doing something bad here - I am assuming that the partition that contained your Windows D: drive was selected when you chose the ext2 filesystem for root. After this, the installer reformatted the partition with your selected filesystem and proceeded to install Ubuntu there. Because of this, you will not be able to recover the data that used to reside there (it would have been destroyed during the formatting operation, then part of it would have been overwritten with the new operating system files).

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