I had Ubuntu and Windows installed on this 480Gb drive (on my laptop) and decided I'd like to try Linux Mint.

One of the options given in the Linux Mint installation Wizard was to delete Ubuntu 15.04 and install Linux Mint in its place.

During the installation, an error occurred and I had to hard restart my laptop. Turning it back on revealed that something was wrong. Booting up Mint from the same USB again showed that the drive now only had 3 partitions.

  1. Fat32 - 512Mb - boot
  2. ext4 - 438.74Gb
  3. linux-swap - 7.89Gb

Nothing inside the ext4 partition was from my Windows install.

Did the installation really delete my Windows partition (it seems so)? Did I go about installing Mint incorrectly? And how could I go about recovering any data from my Windows partition (I had nothing on the Ubuntu install)?

  • 1
    Restore from your backup or reflect on this as the event that convinced you to make backups in the future.
    – casey
    Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 1:18
  • I like how you assume that I have a backup... hah. Reflect I will. At the very least, weekly backups. Thankfully I had the most important things backed up on the cloud. Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 6:26

2 Answers 2


There might be nothing to recover; mkfs.ext4 executes TRIM by default unless explicitely prevented by making use of the nodiscard option.

                      Do not attempt to discard blocks at mkfs time.

Try photorec on it, if that doesn't find anything (and no encryption was involved), then there is nothing to be done. The data is dead and gone.


If you've only deleted the partition - you stand a better chance of getting your data back. See http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/linux-data-recovery.html for exmaple.

If you've overwritten data - not just changed your partition table you'll need to use a data carving tool such as scalpel.

You'll get back bits and pieces of a puzzle you'll need to learn how to put together without a filesystem to guide you... Unless you're looking for something specific (like an important document) it's usually not worth the trouble... but can be quite educational.

Good luck!

Similar question:

  • Linux Mint was partially installed, so I'm guessing there's a very slim chance, as you said, of recovering anything. Damn. I guess there's no harm in attempting to salvage some things. Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 6:30

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