We have many questions about how to recover a whole partition. Typically it's an NTFS partition, destroyed by telling Ubiquity to install Ubuntu using the entire disk instead of alongside other operating systems.
We should have just one--others should be closed as duplicates. However, we don't seem to currently have any canonical or obviously best question for this. We don't even seem to have a question with answers that really explain how to attempt recovery. Some say what programs can be used. Some link to good resources. As far as I can find, none of the partition recovery questions on Ask Ubuntu contain answers even approaching the quality of the oft-cited Ubuntu wiki page:
That guide is excellent; I frequently recommend it and I think everyone who wants to use Ubuntu to recover data (or who is an Ubuntu user who needs to recover data) should read it. Twice. I think answers to data recovery questions should almost always link to that page. But I also think we should have a comprehensively answered partition recovery question, because:
We have a lot of questions for this. They should get duped to something. The thing they're duped to should be a good resource. Or at least an excellent portal to other resources.
While excellent, that wiki page is quite dated. It says, "This guides [sic] applies to Ubuntu 7.04, 7.10 and 8.04." While the methods it outlines still work, that doesn't inspire confidence in in panicked users. And it occurs to me that there might even be more useful information about data recovery; or some newer, better tools; or newer versions of the same tools that are different in some way meriting mention.
Of course, that wiki page could itself be updated. That would be fine too. Then we could have a canonical answer summarizing it (and linking to it for reference).
That article is an overview of data recovery. We have many questions that are specifically about how to recover a partition that has been deleted or overwritten. This is a narrower situation, and it should be possible to answer it specifically.
I'm not sure if the best course is to pick one of the existing partition recovery questions here and start posting answers with the aim of creating a canonical reference ...or if a new question should be asked for this purpose.
Which should we do?
If we pick one that already exists, which should we pick?
How should we get a good answer?
- Should someone (I?) offer a big bounty?
- Should someone (I?) just write it themselves? (It could then be edited and improved, of course.)
- Should we copy-and-paste the relevant sections from DataRecovery? It's licensed CC-BY-SA 3.0, just like user content here, and thus can be republished here with or without modification (so long as proper attribution is given, of course).
Here's a list of partition recovery questions I've found on Ask Ubuntu:
This list is probably incomplete; please feel free to edit this meta question to add to it. However, please keep in mind that not all questions about partition recovery can reasonably be duped to a general canonical question on partition recovery. For example, a question about how to recover a Windows partition after installing Ubuntu using the entire disk should be listed here. A question about recovering a partition just deleted in GParted could even be listed here. A question about how to figure out how well partition recovery worked after being performed (we have at least one of those) should not be listed here, although it might end up duped to a canonical question if the canonical question includes good material on that issue.
- Ext4 and NTFS partitions recovery
- NTFS recovery software for Ubuntu?
- How to recover a deleted NTFS partition with data
- Recover Lost data/partition
- Accidentally partitioned over entire hard drive - cannot boot
- Recovery from hell - undeleting partition overwritten by Xubuntu 12.10 installer?
- How to recover data from a drive that was erased during the Ubuntu installation?
- How to recover files after changing partition filesystem?
- How to recover lost partition and files after installation of Ubuntu on Windows partition?
- How can I recover my data after choosing “Erase disk and install Ubuntu”?
- How can I recover my data after replacing Windows with Ubuntu?
- Recovering broken or deleted NTFS partitions