I'm facing a strange issue, I will try to give as much details as I can. I already tried lot of things from stackexchange and ubuntuforum and nothing seem to work.

My HDD looked like this :

  • /dev/sda5 : empty partition (~90GB)
  • /dev/sda3 : Linux Mint 17.2 (~60GB)
  • /dev/sda4 : Linux Swap (4GB)

I needed to install Win7 for my work so I did on /dev/sda5, I knew that the MBR will be erased but I already did it in the past and I kept my Live USB to reinstall GRUB.

First Step

I installed Win7, reinstalled GRUB then I reboot and here start all my problems. Mint is not showing up as intended. So I boot again from my Live USB, I tried to mount Mint partition and it's empty, nothing is shown.

Second step

I removed Win7 and try to install a fresh Mint on /dev/sda5 to check if it can fix things by itself but no luck.

Third Step

I wandered from post to post on stackexchange & ubuntuforum. I tried lot of things to check superblock, partition integrity : no problem ever found.

Is the partition really empty ?

So I was left with an "empty" partition with all my data. I was sure that all was still here laying on the disk. I found the "foremost" package and used it on an image of /dev/sda3. I was able to recover some files (so i am sure all is still here) but it is very messy and there is important stuff I did not found back.

If someone know what could happened or how to get my data back I will anwser all your questions.

Thanks !

Some random facts :

  • Most of the files I am willing to get back are : txt / pdf / tex /php /python files. "Foremost" does not seem to find them
  • I never touch the partition /dev/sda3 except to create an image with "gddrescue"
  • When I tried to mount (even before messing up) Mint partition from Live USB (Kali & Mint) the disk was always empty (even if I can see that around 3GB are used in GParted)
  • I am posting from the fresh Mint install and I can run whatever command is needed and install any package required

Edit :

Result of parted -l :

Model: ATA ST9160821AS (scsi)
Disk /dev/sda: 160GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: msdos

Number  Start   End     Size    Type      File system     Flags
 1      1048kB  90,0GB  90,0GB  extended                  boot
 5      1049kB  90,0GB  90,0GB  logical   ext4
 3      90,0GB  156GB   65,7GB  primary   ext4
 4      156GB   160GB   4294MB  primary   linux-swap(v1)

Identifying filesystem type by posting the output of the following commands as root:

parted -l
cat /proc/partitions

Good luck on your quest to finding the solution.

  • According to parted -l the filesystem type is ext4
    – mckl2228
    Sep 18 '15 at 17:08

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