While using Testdisk, I think I recovered the incorrect partition

Asked by Michael Franklin on 2012-01-25

I have a Ubuntu 11.10 and had an unbootable (due to a virus) Windows XP partition on my 160 GB hard drive. The Ubuntu was allocated 40GB and the Windows was allocated 120GB. But the data I wanted to save from the Windows XP amounted to more than 40GB so I was forced to choose what to save. I moved everything I could to Ubuntu and then deleted the Windows partition so that I could reinstall another Windows OS in its place. But before installing the new Windows XP, I learned that I could recover the partition using Testdisk so I baught a huge 16GB USB flashdrive and had plans to back up more from the Windows partition.

But in the recovery process, I think I might have picked the wrong partition to recover. I just didnt know how to read the interface so I went for it (bad idea, I know). Now when I boot my computer, I get a black screen with "Grub Rescue" at the top lefthand corner. Is this some sort of recovery terminal? Or am I screwed, because when I try to boot from a Ubuntu 11.10 CD I burned (thankfully) it doesn't boot automatically, is that a bad sign? Can't I boot from a "previous state"?

I really need some of those document files from the hard drive. Please help,


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Ubuntu testdisk Edit question
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Michael Franklin
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primefalcon (primefalcon) said : #1

usually data and partitions can be recovered as long as they have not been overwritten, problem is if they have been written over even once..... no one has actually been able to recover that data regardless of some flamboyant claims out there.... which unfortunately it sounds like you have done

Michael Franklin (psychmike23) said : #2

Well that doesn't sound assuring. Can you give me any diagnostic commands to do from the Grubrescue prompt? I mean, isn't there anything? I did a hard drive diagnostic from the menu at boot up and it said it "passed", doesn't that mean anything? If you could, give me a straighter answer, "it sounds like" is very vague.

Please help, someone :\

Alessandro Menti (elgaton) said : #3

As primefalcon said, when you recovered the wrong partition you actually overwrote some (or all) your disk with the data of the "wrong partition" itself.

During that process any "good" data was erased by the "wrong" one you chose to restore, so your Ubuntu and Windows installations are probably gone (they have been deleted - at least partially - by the restore process), as well as any documents stored on the drive.

The best solution would be reinstalling Ubuntu and Windows from scratch and then restoring your programs and backups. If you haven't got them and the documents are of value, you might want to consider contacting a data recovery company, but they tend to be pretty expensive.

Regarding the Ubuntu CD: are you sure the computer is indeed booting from it (and not from the hard drive)? If possible, could you please check (on another computer) that it was burned correctly? (I'm asking that because with that one we could try recovering at least part of your documents, if possible).

As for the "GRUB rescue" prompt, that is in fact a sort of rescue terminal, but you can give only some commands to choose an operating system to boot - nothing else.

Michael Franklin (psychmike23) said : #4

Prime falcon, you are troll and *primely full of crap*. I was able to recover all of my data in full. Thanks for nothing. Get off the Internet.