Please Help - Possibly lost all my files

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Please Help - Possibly lost all my files

Postby kbkb » Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:14 pm


I have been using LMDE for several years.
LMDE was installed using three partitions:
1 for home
1 for Operating system
1 for swap file

I have been using this configuration for some time. I have in the past reinstalled my OS, carefully selecting the OS as root and selecting my home as home without formatting.
When the OS finished installing. I had a fresh system with my files all in tact.
I also created a new user called PU. It appeared along side paraline and both were in the Home folder. The computer name was called praline. The PU folder has many important files that I need.

I did something different. I installed Linux Mint 14. I used the same setup. This time it wanted a partition of a size 1mb fora "Bios Grub???", so I created a partiton taking a few MB from the swap file. I was careful to stay away from the home partition.
Before proceeding, I checked to ensure /home was not to be formatted and it was assigned /home.
After rebooting the system, I was expecting to see praline and PU under the home folder. What I found was only praline and it was empty.
My pictures and files are all gone. The amount of free space suggests that as well. My pictures and files are all gone!

Can someone help me. Is there a way to recover? If I were to install LMDE64 back onto the computer using the same partition structure I have always used, can I get my files back?

Please help. It means a great deal to me.


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Re: Please Help - Possibly lost all my files

Postby xenopeek » Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:11 am

First, do not log in to your installation again. Only access the hard disk from an operating system on another storage device. Be that the Linux Mint installation DVD or USB stick, or another operating system. If you log in to your installation again, you risk that additional writes to your hard disk will overwrite critical bits of information needed to recover your files.

With you may be able to recover your photos and perhaps other files. You'd boot from the Linux Mint installation DVD or USB stick, and install and run it from there. Have an external storage device for copying the restored files to. Ubuntu wiki has more suggestions, but I'd start with PhotoRec: You may also first check with GParted to see if there are indeed only your home, os, swap and grub boot partitions. Perhaps you made a different choice in the installer than you thought, and it has made additional partitions. So check.

This is a painful situation and I don't want to rub anything in, but I want to remind you that hard disks can and do fail unexpectedly and unrecoverable (whether through mechanical wear & tear, or force majeure). If you do manage to recover your files, I strongly recommend you implement a regular backup scheme for your important personal files!

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Re: Please Help - Possibly lost all my files

Postby kbkb » Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:11 pm

I appreciate the help.

So far I have not been able to find a way to restore the partion itself to it's former glory.
I've reinstalled the operating system a number of times. This has never happened before.
Anway, I'm still looking for a solution if anyone has one that could help me with my unqique situation.

I have been sucessful at retrieving individual files (pictures) however the file names are destroyed. All of them have the same name with a numeric suffix.
If anyone has an idea on how I can at least retrieve folders containing files, that would be a help or a means of retrieving the original file names.
These files are important to me.

I have not changed the home parition at all when I installed Linux Mint 14. Unfortunately I did boot into Linux Mint 14. That may have caused damage.
If anyone can help, I really would appreciate it. I appreciated your suggestions xenopeek.


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