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Old 06-30-2009, 01:11 PM   #1
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Urgent help regarding SWAP partion during UBUNTU installation.

Hi Guys,

I am new to this forum, and just got the ubuntu installed in my system(dual boot with xp). I did a mistake while the installation, now I feel that linux needed a better understanding. Anyway coming to the point,

I have 2 hard drives in my system, 160gb(partitioned as c,d,e,f, and 320(partioned as g,h,i). Mostly I have lot of video files for for editing.

Now, while installing ubuntu, I choose E: Which was already formatted (30gb).

while installing it came up with a screen where to install UBUNTU, I remember it did not straight away install in the E:, and i was playing with other options.

somehow I selected SWAP and selected H: (Total 90gb out of which I had about 30 gb of video files)(I thought the files in this partition will not get affected).

Now finally after installing UBUNTU, I could not see the H:,(from UBUNTU and also win xp) there is some files like restore{00D12A6B-83CF-435F-B79B-85D7D168AC21} and a log file. I am afraid all the video files drive has been formated.

Kindly help me how to restore the partition and the files.

Old 06-30-2009, 01:31 PM   #2
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You can try to use testdisk to restore the partition table to the way it was. This should recreate the partition with minimal file loss. There's a version for Windows if you're more comfortable in that environment.

If that doesn't work, try using photorec (testdisk's sibling -- again there's a Windows version) to recover the video files. It supports many different file formats. Just be aware that you need a LOT of empty disk space and that the files will NOT be named properly. But they should be recoverable.
Old 06-30-2009, 01:43 PM   #3
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You did bad thing. I can't help with recovering your data but I can help you understand better about how to install linux.

My experiance is based on Debian which the bunto's are based on so bear that in mind. After you get your partitions back, if you succed, you need to create some free space on one of your drives. I find that the QTparted live-cd works well for that. It might also recover your data but I don't know how to do that.

Basicaly you pick a partition that has plenty of free space in it and shrink it. That may include several steps.

I hope you have learned to make backups of you important data befor you start. In fact I would think you should make a backup of the damaged partition before you try to restore it.

Remember that linux does not use drive letters like windows. So you will see the drives listed like hda, hdb for ide drives and sda, sdb for sata drives. The partitions will be listed like hda1, hda2 and so on. I don't recall if the numbering starts with Zero (0) or 1, so if there is a zero that is the first partition.

When you get some free space on your drive the install should give you the option to install to that free space. Remember I am not familar with the ubuntoo installs, but debian gives you a couple of partition options. Like "install all files to one partition" and one to "install in seperate partitions". I would use the single partition option.

Hope that helps.
Old 06-30-2009, 02:12 PM   #4
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?- I would do this.

I assume that your system is in a tower and that you can come to the cables connecting the HDD controllers to your HDD.

I would not want to do anything that wrote data to that swap partition, including running any form of linux while that swap was present, also including rescue and restore CDs.

However, were you to disconnect the HDD containing H, and use a copy of PartedMagic or some other linux live-cd with the ability to refresh and re-find devices such as has GParted in PartedMagic, linux would boot without finding and using the swap partition.

After linux has booted, connect the other HDD, refresh the devices, open a terminal, and use the command <fdisk-l> (list) to read the partition tables and post the information here. See man fdisk. You might use the same avoidance method with any other program on a live-cd.

If it is a problem burning an ISO image in Windows, you can burn PartedMagic with several burner programs. I have used this.

Before trying any recovery operations, I would use Clonezilla or the command <dd> to make a copy of H to a partition or device that I could use as a work copy. I would not want to try working on the original, nor would I change the existing swap/H in any way.

Last edited by thorkelljarl; 06-30-2009 at 02:34 PM.
Old 07-01-2009, 12:22 AM   #5
Wim Sturkenboom
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Originally Posted by thorkelljarl View Post
.... After linux has booted, connect the other HDD ....
I would add a warning to this that if your disks are NOT hot swapable, you have the risk to fry the disk or the PC.

For me this would be the absolute last resort if everything else fails.


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