My back up files on a windows partition have been erased when I partitioned my linux partition and re-installed ubuntu

Asked by Ephaedrus on 2012-12-06

I made a full back up of my linux partition on my windows partition of my netbook so that I would be able to restore my information later. I then erased my linux partition (ubuntu 10.10) and installed Ubuntu 12.04 . When I went back to my windows 7 starter partition the back up folders were now empty. I had checked them previously to make sure that the back-up had been successful. I don't understand what went wrong and I am not without my data. Photorec did see some gzip files that I thought might be the missing backups but they were not recoverable (0 data). Any suggestions ? Have I missed something? Are the back-ups there but not visible because of issues about myself not being root? Any help would be appreciated.


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Anton (feenstra) said : #1

It sounds like you are out of luck, certainly because you say you did see the backup files previously. But offhand I can't think of a likely mechanism that would have erased your data (unless you have a particularly bad setting for the backup cleaning in sbackup).

But it's difficult to diagnose your situation without being actually at the machine. Any chance that you could have a local guru have a look at it?

Osmo Laitinen (osmo-laitinen) said : #2

Bad luck and as Anton said, without access to your pc it is hard to say what is going on. Anyway, Linux installation doesn't remove just some data from other partitions. I think, by default those sbackup files should be visible other than root user and certainly they should be visible in Windows, I'd assume.

A few hints for the future:
1. have a separate /home (/data /whatever) partition which isn't touched during update/new installation. In that way you have all your data safe (unless you want to change filesystem).
2. have backups on external disk (local disk or other partition may have issues, as you unfortunately noticed)
3. have backups somewhere else (ie. cloud).

Anton (feenstra) said : #3

Just one additional note, as general 'good practice' regarding backups.

A backup is intended as a *fallback* option in case your primary data gets lost. In the situation you describe, as soon as you erase all (primary) data your backup becomes your only copy of the data, and you therefore have no backup! So, whenever you are planning something like this, make sure you have *two* *independent* copies/backups of your primary data before you erase the primary data!

(To be sure, I also found this out the hard way, a long time ago, when a backup failed to restore and it was the only copy of my boss's data at that moment.)

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