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Thread: How to Unpartition a drive to get back to XP

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    21

    How to Unpartition a drive to get back to XP

    Hi...new thread.

    By mistake, I partitioned completely over my Windows XP partition on my Sony VAIO and installed ubuntu. A lot of files were left on XP.

    I've now moved on to a newer computer so I'd like to go back on the old one, unpartition the drive and retrieve the files I left on XP.

    Anyone know how I can do this?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    322
    Distro
    Xubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail

    Re: How to Unpartition a drive to get back to XP

    Did you actually "partition over" XP, i.e. replace it, or did you create a new partition out of free space and install there? If you don't know, use one of the partition managers to check. Gparted is a good one and should be on the installation disk for Ubuntu, just boot from the installation disk and then run gparted.

    If the Ubuntu partition and the swap partition are the only two shown then you are probably out of luck. If there is still an XP partition even though you don't normally see it then you should be able to mount it and access it.

    Note, however, that if there is an XP partition GRUB should have found it and it should be listed as an option when you boot your machine, so don't hold your breath. For future reference I find it useful when installing a new system to use a partition manager to make space for it and then load it beside my most recent replacing only older ones that I definitely will not need to get into any more. Of course if I have windows also installed than I hang on to it, too.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    21

    Re: How to Unpartition a drive to get back to XP

    Yeah...it was the very first ubuntu install I did back in 2008, 8.04...maybe? I looked at 8.04 then backed out and then installed. The second time the disk just partitioned the entire drive.

    Hoping against hope that there's a chance...but I won't hold my breath. Probably need the FBI lab to get those files.

    Thanks, ~Rob

  4. #4
    ahallubuntu is offline Chocolate-Covered Ubuntu Beans
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    Re: How to Unpartition a drive to get back to XP

    It's still not clear exactly what you did. So it's really hard to offer you much help.

    By "partitioning" do you mean you ERASED the existing XP partition? Or did you SHRINK it to make room for Ubuntu?

    If you ERASED it (only two partitions showing as poster above said), then those XP files are probably gone forever.

    If you SHRANK the XP partition to make room on the disk for Ubuntu, the XP partition is probably still there and so should be your files.

    Try Gparted as mentioned above.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    21

    Re: How to Unpartition a drive to get back to XP

    I believe I completely overwrote the original XP partition. I say that because 8.04, nor any later editions, allowed me to see an additional drive, FAT32 or otherwise.

    I'd hope that there may be something 3rd party that would allow me to unpartition 8.04's and attempt to recover the original xp files.

    Is that an unrealistic hope?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Beans
    322
    Distro
    Xubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail

    Re: How to Unpartition a drive to get back to XP

    Yes, it is probably an unrealistic hope. However, to make sure use one of the partitioning programs or disk utilities that show partitions and see what is there. If XP were there GRUB should have picked it up. But there could be reasons it doesn't and the only sure thing to do is to look at the partitions. Once you do that you will know what you are faced with.

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