Where did my Ubuntu partition go after re-installing Windows XP?

Myke46 April 21, 2011

I recently had to re-install Windows XP on an old Dell Dimension 2400 desktop. Before the re-install, I had it double-booting Windows XP and Ubuntu.

After the re-install, I can’t find Ubuntu or the partition it’s in. I’ve even tried Partition Magic, G-Parted, and Partition Wizard live CDs. Also tried Eaesus Partition Master Pro. The Ubuntu partition is not recognized by any of them, it’s like that partition does not exist.

Is there any way to recover it short of deleting all partitions and doing a clean install?

  1. Saurabh
    August 30, 2011 at 6:51 am

    Dear sir,
     I installed Ubuntu 10.10 by Live DVD, with Windows XP (dual booting), now I re-installed my Windows XP then, Ubuntu 10.10 grub loader was hide. But I don't want to re-install Ubuntu on my system but how can I recover my 40GB space which covered by Ubuntu. Windows XP shows my hard disk total size is 465.50 GB where as in my systems BIOS it display as 500GB. My processor is Intel Core 2 Duo 2.98GHz, 500GB seagate, Asus MX L3 motherboard. I have licensed copy of my Windows XP Home.

    • Tina
      August 30, 2011 at 5:19 pm


      the question you replied to is rather old. Unfortunately, I don't know the answer and I'm afraid not many other people will see your question. To receive fresh answers, I suggest that you ask a new question.

  2. Anonymous
    April 22, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Boot the machine with a Ubuntu 10.10 live CD and see if the partition is still there.Well the problem can be is that your Ubuntu's boot loader [grub] is overtaken by windows boot loader and your ubuntu already exists. If you have no important data in ubuntu do this : Boot from ubuntu cd, install ubuntu in the same partition in which you installed it before installing windows. Just make sure you don't touch windows partition. After ubuntu is installed, it will automatically detect the presence of windows and will create a boot entry in grub for it. Reboot to check if you have windows option in grub boot menu

    full access to Linux Ext2 volumes (read access and write access).

    Dual boot - Installing Windows (XP) when Linux (Ubuntu) already installed

  3. Mike
    April 21, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    There are two options where the first one is definite and the second a possibility:

    1. When installing Windows it will automatically add its own boot loader to your system and therefor replacing GRUB (or whatever boot loader you used for Ubuntu).

    2. Depending on what you selected during the re-installation Windows might have reformatted your Hard Drive and by doing this eliminated your Ubuntu installation.

    Since you couldn't find the partition when using PMagic & GParted it seems like both options apply.

    You could try to recover the Partition e.g. using EASUS Partition Recovery and then use your Ubuntu CD to reinstall GRUB

    However, even if you are able to recover the partition I suggest to backup your user data and do a clean installation of Ubuntu.