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Old 07-02-2012, 12:58 PM   #1
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Windows Recovery - did this wipe Ubuntu?


I am pretty new to Linux, and I am on a dual boot machine, Windows 7 (for games) and Ubuntu for everything else. About two weeks ago I was doing the kernel upgrade for Ubuntu, and when I went to reboot, my system hung. I eventually powered down, not knowing what else to do. When I tried to get back into Ubuntu, the option was entirely missing from GRUB - it was just Windows 7, and a Windows Disk recovery partition where my Linux should have been. I have since tried using a USB boot disk, and when I try to mount my former Linux partition, all that is there is the Windows recovery stuff. I can still boot into Windows normally.

My question - is my Linux partition toast? Is there anything I can do to save it (or at least some of the data on it. Some, but not all was backed up). Should I run the windows drive recovery, or will that entirely obliterate anything that might be left on the partition? I'm less concerned with saving the installation - if I can save my data, I might wipe Ubuntu anyway and put another distro on, but I'd love to save my data.

Thank you to anyone who is able to help me (I did a search, and I couldn't find this exact issue. My apologies if I missed something).
Old 07-02-2012, 01:14 PM   #2
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I do not think the linux partition is toast. Boot up with the ubuntu disk (I belive Ubuntu disks are live disks) and then you can mount the linux partition and back it up.
As far as upgrading the kernel is concerned I do not think that it should touch your bootloader (GRUB) in anyway. The standard practise is to keep the old kernel for sometime until you verify everything is alright with the new one.
As far as Windows reinstallation is concerned it is a bit dicry. It will wipe off GRUB for sure and there is not a lot that anyone can do about it.
There is also this rescue cd that has worked wonders for me many many times guess you need that as an easy solution to a complex problem.
Hope this helps.
Old 07-02-2012, 02:56 PM   #3
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Thank you - but as I mentioned, I tried entering linux with a (USB) boot disk, and mounting the drive. All I can find on what used to be my linux drive is a bunch of windows recovery stuff.
Old 07-02-2012, 03:04 PM   #4
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The recovery could nuke your partitions and would only try and rebuild the MBR for the Windows side. You should be able to boot into the recovery console or off a live USB/CD like knoppix and view your partitions to verify that it is still there, it may have a bad super-block or may need to have grub-install run on it.
Old 07-02-2012, 04:13 PM   #5
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It depends exactly what kind of "Windows restore" you're talking about. If it's the system restore built into Windows, it will only affect the Windows partition. If it's the restore from the start-up options, typically provided by the computer manufacturer, then it may format the entire hard disk (except for itself, of course). That's hard to predict. Normally a Windows installer will ignore a non-Windows partition. It's not clear to me how a system upgrade would toast a partition like that, unless the partition table was corrupted when you rebooted while the system was "hung". Are you sure it was hung, or just "working" on something in the background? If you reset it while it was writing to disk, the results are completely unpredictable. I suspect that the partition you think was your Linux partition was always there, and your Linux partition is no longer visible because the partition table is corrupted. You may have to delete all partitions and reformat the whole disk to get it to work properly again.

Last edited by guyonearth; 07-02-2012 at 04:58 PM.
Old 07-02-2012, 04:37 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by guyonearth View Post
You may have to delete all partitions and reformat the whole disk to get tit to work properly again.
I've always wondered how to get those "tits" to work properly again.. lol
Old 07-02-2012, 06:12 PM   #7
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possible plan of action

1) boot live cd
2) launch a terminal
3) run 'sudo su -' to get a root prompt
4) create a mount point
mkdir /recover
5) run -fdisk -l to determine if an ubuntu partition still exists
6) if the partition exists (it won't be the windows partition or the swap partition), mount the partition
mount /dev/{ubuntu partition} /recover
7) write this script into a prompt
for dir in {proc,sys,dev}
mount --bind /$dir /recover/$dir
8)run chroot
chroot /recover
9)if you are successful at this point you will be in an environment loaded from your hard drive, from this point it should be just a matter of reinstalling grub
grub-install {raw device} (the ubuntu partition minus the partition number)
update-grub (for good measure)
10) reboot and see if the grub menu pops up again

this is the 'manual' way of doing it, tedious perhaps but reliable.

Last edited by frieza; 07-02-2012 at 06:17 PM.


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