install mint 16 to usb flash wiped laptop's hard drive?

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install mint 16 to usb flash wiped laptop's hard drive?

Postby 1000beats on Fri Jan 03, 2014 8:55 pm

Hi, I have been reading on the forums and on the internet and tried a few things to fix my problem.
To explain it from the start:
I thought it would be nice to try out the new mint 16 installed from dvd disk to flash.
in the instalation from dvd disk procedure I selected:
-do something else
until then i had a few partitions on my internal hard drive I think 5 sda partitions and I left them alone.
- i selected "sdb" the kingston flash 8gb and selected use this partition and selected the "/" for boot;
-selected no swapping space

well then I chose my language and time zone and went to practice on the guitar in the meantime. After an hour I returned and updated the linux rebooted it through pressing F12. Then i installed bleachbit to tidy the linux. I got my touch pad tap to click sorted and thought, hmm how nice. let me log on to windows 7 .........and then the screen showed toshiba press F2 or F12 for the options as normal and then black screen and blinking little dash at the top left corner. I tried windows recovery console from windows cd, the windows checking went on scanning forever so i shut the pc down even the scan warned me it couldnt be stopped. but it shut down from the console. then i rebooted into the windows cd and went into the command prompt and typed diskpart, list disk, select disk, list partitions..... I did this thing sometime ago and it listed all my hardrive partitions including the boot partition which needed to be set active but this time it is different.
Now the command prompt only shows disk 1 and disk 0 and when i select (the only drive with space) around 280gb i think disk 1 and type in list partitions it sayes there are no partitions to list.
Then I booted into puppy linux flash, lubuntu cd, and again mint16 flash. my internal laptop hard drive is either unrecognized or cannot be mounted. also when I managed to view the partition through some mint16 system app and throu g parted it only shows 1 partition of unalocated space accross the whole toshiba hard drive.
I did not do any recovery or partitioning as I am hoping to at least retrieve my documents from the windows system. Or ideally bring windows 7 back without reinstalling windows.

Please can you help somebody, i am frustrated and tired and jolly depressed and clueless and do not want to mess my dead windows7 any further. It would be a disaster to lose all the data a documents, I did not expect this happening as installing linux to flash never caused me any trouble until now.
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Re: install mint 16 to usb flash wiped laptop's hard drive?

Postby computerbob on Fri Jan 03, 2014 9:51 pm

Sounds like you deleted the partition table on the hard drive. TestDisk is the tool to get to find and restore original partitioning.
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Re: install mint 16 to usb flash wiped laptop's hard drive?

Postby 1000beats on Fri Jan 03, 2014 10:19 pm

am I looking at the right TestDisk info here ?: http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk_Step_By_Step
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Re: install mint 16 to usb flash wiped laptop's hard drive?

Postby wayne128 on Fri Jan 03, 2014 10:37 pm

1000beats wrote:am I looking at the right TestDisk info here ?: http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk_Step_By_Step



Yes, your link is correct.

Please can you help somebody, i am frustrated and tired and jolly depressed and clueless and do not want to mess my dead windows7 any further. It would be a disaster to lose all the data a documents, I did not expect this happening as installing linux to flash never caused me any trouble until now.


You should not do ANY works like installation, partitioning etc on your hard disk

All you should do is recovery of your data.

Use the testdisk as you already linked, try step by step procedure, if you are lucky you can recover the partition table and thus all your Win7 folders and files.

Just FYI, I once lost all my partition table, by a installer, it wiped my USB backup drive.. 30+ partitions with a backup ntfs partition. No OS ( any Win, any Lin) can read that USB backup drive.
It took me 2 days to deep scan and inspects so many partitions, eventually I recover ALL partitions except ONE ( permanent lost but I can reconstruct this one from backup).

I learned the hard way.
To backup partition table it took less than one minute, to restore partition table it took 1+ minute.
Nowadays I have more than USB flash/USB drive, server to backup ALL my partition table for ALL important drives ( usually USB drives).
and I always make assumption that anything to do with installation, partitions, can create total lost !! so I always backup, backup and backup. :mrgreen:

Wish you can recover all your data. and learn from this...because it might just happen...
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Re: install mint 16 to usb flash wiped laptop's hard drive?

Postby 1000beats on Sat Jan 04, 2014 4:09 pm

thank you very much for your input and your reassurance guys. I am going to read the manual now. I may come back with more questions :mrgreen:
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Re: install mint 16 to usb flash wiped laptop's hard drive?

Postby Mark Phelps on Sat Jan 04, 2014 5:52 pm

First off, I wish you the best of luck -- as I have had poor results using Linux utilities to try to recover MS Windows filesystems.

Second, unless you know for sure that your hard disk is NOT being accessed, you need to stop using it -- NOW. If it is being accessed, every usage is running the risk of overwriting former files and folder, making their recovery less likely.

Third, if Testdisk does not recover the Win7 partitions, then you need to consider connecting the drive to a Windows PC, downloading and burning a CD of the Minitool Partition Wizard Boot CD, booting with that -- and seeing if it will give you the option of recovering the partitions on the disk.

Fourth, if that doesn't work, you are now faced with recovering the files from the MS Windows partitions. And that, in my experience, is best done using MS Windows utilities. One of the best is RecoverMyFiles, which you can download and run for free. Do that in the deepest discovery mode. IF it finds the files you want to recovery, you will need to go online and purchase a license to do the actual recovery.

Your PC -- your money -- your choice.
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Re: install mint 16 to usb flash wiped laptop's hard drive?

Postby 1000beats on Sun Jan 05, 2014 12:54 pm

I will try to recover it with linux approach first.
I will attempt to recover the whole partitions not the individual folders and files.
This brings me to ask new questions.
1) Should I recover one partition one at a time and reboot to linux each time and star the proces again ?
2) or recover the partitions one by one and when they are all recovered then boot into linux or straight into windows?
3) is there a partition recovery priority to star with first? e.g. recover the windows7 MBR first or all primary partitions first or logical first ? or the order does not matter ?

Thank you all for your help
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Re: install mint 16 to usb flash wiped laptop's hard drive?

Postby 1000beats on Mon Jan 06, 2014 8:00 am

I spent all night using the testdisk tool. I found a tutorial on youtube and plunged into the process. I recovered 3 partitions and backed up the files from 2 partitions i needed. there is still one more partition which i need to get my files from, that one partition gets listed when deeper scan is run on the testdisk but when i reboot, it does not show up like the other 3 partitions. Also i attempted to rebuild the small master boot partition but when i attempt rebooting into windows now i get (reporting some 0x000000 error) prompting to insert windows repair disk and select repair computer. before there was only black screen with a white dash at the top left corner, so in comparison it is moving in the right direction. so now i will try to fix the boot sector and if i manage to boot into windows i will look for an unallocated space and create partition without formatting (i did something like it in win xp and it worked) and hopefully it will do the trick.
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Re: install mint 16 to usb flash wiped laptop's hard drive?

Postby wayne128 on Mon Jan 06, 2014 8:58 pm

1000beats wrote:there is still one more partition which i need to get my files from, that one partition gets listed when deeper scan is run on the testdisk but when i reboot, it does not show up like the other 3 partitions.



it seem you are on the right track.

what I did was, after recover 'other partitions'
I deep scan to another one, then, from the partition table, let it take over ( ignoring other partitions) and thus I could recover data from this partition.
During this process, NO ( NO) need to reboot, rebooting reset and lost all the partition table unless you backup that partition and reboot to use it.
remember, all you wish to to recover partition and thus all data as much as possible and you should try to prevent reinstallation or other stuff until you are satisfied 'wanted data' are already recovered..

the process is lengthy, but it is worth as far as learning the reason you have to go thru it..
just repeat here, do not trust ANY distros installer, always backup and backup ( double backup to two separate USN flash/drive) your partition tables.. it took just a minute to backup and two minutes to restore.. insteads of panic when some smart installer or distros wiped out the partition tables....
we learned because we went thru the painful process. :mrgreen:

good luck
good luck
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Re: install mint 16 to usb flash wiped laptop's hard drive?

Postby 1000beats on Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:06 pm

Just want to share that finally I have recovered the last important partition with all its files and got my windows 7 up and running. I had a problem with an "extended" partition so I recovered the parent partition (which had no important data on) of which the extended was created from long long time ago. then when I booted into windows I tried the Microsoft manage disk tool - create simple volume - refused to proceed. but the easeus master partition manager free edition and its recovery tool showed the parent merged with the extended partition as one - but thankfully easus managed undeleting the extended partition with all its files but did not find the parent's partition content( which was a bit of a surprise ) now all is up and running like before.


Again thank you very much for your help !!!! :D
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