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I just installed Linux Mint 11, 32 bit in my system which was already running on windows 7. When it asked for SWAP partition during installation, I just directed one of my drives for it, but the drive already had my documents and files, and now, the drive is not visible to me in either in windows environment, or in linux environment. I installed linux using manual partition. Is there a way by which I can reclaim my docs in the drive, even by reinstalling Linux? Please reply if you can do anything for the problem. I need it asap..
I can't help you recover your data (maybe testdisk can help, or PhotoRec), but I can offer 1 piece of advice: do not run anything (except Windows, which doesn't use a swap partition) on that computer until it's recovered, or you may lose data that'd otherwise be recoverable.
The first step is to turn the machine off - the less activity on the system the better. Then try to recover your data, there are plenty of tools available ranging from forensic to file recovery - TestDisk seems to be popular so may be your best bet.
I told you to shut off Linux because, as far as I know, most Linux distributions automatically detect and use swap partitions (your install certainly uses that swap partition). Swap, if you don't know, is used to extend the apparent memory of the system -- running with that partition active will almost certainly overwrite data.
To recover your data, you'll either have to use Windows, or you'll need an OS that does not automatically use swap. The only one I know of off the top of my head is called BackTrack (which contains lots of computer forensics tools, if I remember correctly), but I don't know how hard it is to use.
Others with more experience can help you recover your data -- I just needed to clear up what I said earlier.
Good luck, hope you don't lose any important data.
When it asked for SWAP partition during installation, I just directed one of my drives for it
Any Linux installation will ask for a partition to use for swap, it won't use the whole drive. It's not clear exactly what you did but it would help if you posted drive/partition information so we could see if you do in fact have a swap partition or if you still have windows partitions. I don't know how you are running testdisk but, if it is from a Linux CD, just open a terminal and log in as root and type: fdisk -l(lower case Letter L in the command) and post that output here. If you use the Mint CD, use sudo fdisk -l.