Formatted wrong drive: recovery possible?

Tommy yeah allornothin.tommy at
Sat Dec 26 20:43:14 GMT 2009

Dear Paul in Seattle
Yes, there is hope, as most of your data isn't gone at all.
You just need to boot into an Ubuntu LiveCd
this is from the community documentation:
Lost Partition

If you made a mistake while partitioning and the partition no longer appears
in the partition table, so long as you have not written data in that space,
all your data is still there.

GNU Parted

Run Parted from the command line to recover your partition.

When changing the partition table on your hard drive, you must ensure that
no partition on the disk is mounted. This includes swap space. The easiest
way to accomplish this is to run the live cd. Parted is installed on the
base Ubuntu system. Once at the desktop, open a terminal and run_:

sudo swapoff -a

Next run parted and tell it to use the device in question. For example, if
your /dev/sda drive is the drive from which you want to recover, run:

sudo parted /dev/sda

Then, use the rescue option:

rescue START END
where Start is the area of the disk where you believe the partition began
and END is it's end. If parted finds a potential partition, it will ask you
if you want to add it to the partition table.
check out this link:

Tommy in Pensacola

On Sat, Dec 26, 2009 at 2:31 PM, Paul DeShaw <pauldeshaw at> wrote:

> Greetings,
> While attempting to make a bootable USB drive, I accidently formatted the
> hard drive with all my recorded work on it.  Is it lost forever?  Are there
> people who can recover data in such a case?
> The drive does not mount, and Gparted says:
> "Unable to detect file system!  Possible reasons are:
> -The file system is damaged
> -The file system is unkown to GParted
> -There is no file system available (unformatted)"
> This was the drive I used to back up my main system drive; I didn't have a
> backup for my backup.
> There were no completed projects, but a lot of work-in-progress.  It feels
> like when somebody dies. Is there any hope?
> --Paul in Seattle
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