I am a new user of Linux, i wanted to learn linux, so i started Ubuntu 12.04 setup. Its setup formatted my hard disk accidentally and I lost all my data and also windows and all partitions. Now I installed ubuntu on same hard disk as i lost my windows, and want to recover my data. Is there any free software available to do this task? My hard disk was in NTFS format.

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Thats a tough one. Part of your hard disk data is overwritten by Ubuntu. The file system has been changed from NTFS to most likely ext3. So I would say there is no real easy method for recovering. Nothing that would be doable with any kind of simple recovery tool.

If the data is extremly valuably you could contract a recovery company. This is not cheap but they will most likely have some way for recovering what still can be recovered. As mentioned above parts are overwritten for sure.

Your chances of recovering any data is slim to none. Linux will reformat the partitions when installed. Since normally Linux (ubuntu et al) will only use unallocated space unless you allow them otherwise, I have to assume to selected the wrong options when installing Ubuntu. :-)

That said, professional data recovery services may be able to extract some data from the drive, but it will cost you (possibly thousands of $$) and it is a crap shoot as to whether or not you will get anything useful.

thanks for your reply. data is important to me, but using a recovery company is not an option workable for me, as i have to use same laptop about 10-12 hours for work, and as time passes, my hard disk uses will be erasing some portion of data :(

take the harddrive out ,connect to another computer via an external usb device and use a recovery tool as it already been said ,not much chance in getting it back ,i did same thing a few yrs back playing with linux for the first time and not reading enought on the how too's of installing it ,but i didn't own or have any important data on the drive

Do as suggested by caperjack, and then on another computer boot from CD with a live copy of gparted, and then attempt to follow this instructions.

Another option that you may have is to use a software called GetDataBack . However, this application may only work (NOT guarantee), if you quick formatted the hard drive, you may still have chance, but for a normal formatting ( this is a complete overwrite), I could see the chance of getting your data back is pretty slim to none.

People who are trying to experiment with dual boot, should use gparted to create a new partition and then install the second OS to the newly created partition, but then installation question like installing it along the existing OS or replace the existing OS should be watched closely.

The tutorial is for the bad partition, but you still it is worth trying. Goog luck to you.

Here is another one for you, it is called testDisk.

Thanks everyone for their sugestions. Most of the softwares avaiable are for windows, very few for linux :(.

I tried to use GParted, but was unable to find any data, however I have been able to recover some data using TestDisk. But i am noww having problem, that i was able to recover data from E drive but when i try to list files from D or C drive, it wasy that bad file system. have anyone used testdisk? I have also placed a question regarding it on its website.

regarding your valueable suggestion about dual OS, during installation, i was asked that my hard disk will be formatted, confirm and cancel were option, i presses escape key which is considered to be cancel in windows envirnment and with 5 seconds my hard disk formatted and was unable to even remove battery to stop it.


You mean to say that the format process only took five seconds? If it is, then you have a better chance of recovering your data. The reason data can be recover during quick format is that the data are not being overwritten.

You must try the gparted tutorial.

You are right, I had 3 drives on my hard disk namely C,D and E. I have almost recovered all data from E drive. But which recovering from C and D drive is not sucessful yet, and i think that i am loosing data from C drive, as i am using my hard disk continueously. but I think I should be able to get some data back, thats why I am stilll trying :)

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