How to recover files saved on windows drives after installing ubuntu 11.10 many times?

Asked by Denni Agung Pambudi

A month ago, my desktop PC was installed Windows 7. A few weeks later, i installed ubuntu 11.10 twice and before i installed, i choose replace windows 7 with ubuntu 11.10. And it happened twice. But, my brother ask me to recover his data seved in Windows 7. How can I recover all those data? Please, explain in detail. Thanks.

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enubuntu (mr.tennents) said :

I think that this files is no longer available, because you have installed two times Ubuntu and you have used it for a while, so the erased data was probably rewritten by your current data.

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Denni Agung Pambudi (denni-pambudi) said :

So, what is the solution? Please, anybody helps me!!!!!!!!!!!

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enubuntu (mr.tennents) said :

Yu can try to use a tool for recovery the data, but I don't think that it works. Maybe you have lost the file.

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Denni Agung Pambudi (denni-pambudi) said :

so, can you show me the way?

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DarkJavi (darkjavi) said :

Ok, so after rewriting 4 times the hard drive don't expect to recover much, but there's stilll some chance you can recover some files.

testdisk package is used in those situations.(terminal tool)
you can install it with:
sudo apt-get install testdisk

Keep in mind that you would need a second drive/external drive for saving the recovered files!(SEVERAL GBs free)

Now, there are two approches:

#1 Try to recover "media" files like pictures/video/documents
This is done with photorec command, you just open a terminal and type:
sudo photorec
The program will guide you trough the process:
First you select the disk you want to recover, when prompted about partition type answer intel/pc.
Next step is about partitons, you don't want it to look only into the linux's partition so you should select no partition/whole disk.
Then you will be prompted about fylesystem type, say other/fat/ntfs as you are looking for traces of the old fat/ntfs partition.
Then you will be prompted where to store the recovered files, and you shoud choose a directory contained in another drive.

Get yourself a coffe and get confortable, is taking a while.

When it finishes you will see a bunch of files on the specified directory,they all have lost their original name and now are named in numerical order with his proper extension, now its your job to sort and filter the things(about 40-70% is junk).

#2 using testdisk command to restore the windows partiton.
Well, I've never tried this path, and since your drive carries several reinstalls I don't think it will succed

Hope it helps

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