Changing a partition type from ext3 to ext4 with Formatting unchecked in Ubuntu 12.1 installer formatted the partitions and erased everything

Bug #927917 reported by Andras Szigethy on 2012-02-06
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
partman-base (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

I installed Ubuntu 12.1 on my linux server. There were two ext3 partitions. In the old days, when I changed from ext2 to ext3, it could be done easily without changing any file on the drive. I thought it is the same situation in the latest Ubuntu installer, and I changed the partition type from ext3 to ext4, but the Format partition option was unchecked, not to erase the data. When started installing, Ubuntu formatted all the two partitions and erased all my last 14 years data without asking anything. I do not think this should be the normal behaviour. The installer should alert the user when changing the partition type without Formatting checked that all the data will be erased, or whatever.

Colin Watson (cjwatson) wrote :

Well, the basic behaviour here is by design - *any* filesystem change in the installer will result in formatting, and I think if you had looked closely you'd have seen that the option to format or not was in fact disabled. However, I'm sorry for your data loss (although I thoroughly recommend backups before installing an operating system!), and I suspect that we could make it much clearer what's going to happen here.

affects: ubuntu → partman-base (Ubuntu)
Colin Watson (cjwatson) wrote :

Could you please clarify whether you were using the text (server/alternate CD) or graphical (desktop CD) installer? It does matter somewhat as this bug is essentially about presentational issues.

Changed in partman-base (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → High
status: New → Confirmed
Andras Szigethy (szigand) wrote :

Well, I just saw the unchecked - but ok, maybe disabled and just a bit more gray - Format checkbox, but... :)

I used the Ubuntu 12.1 DVD graphical installer. (ubuntu-11.10-desktop-i386.iso 729.1MB) I used the Install Ubuntu - or whatever - option when booting.

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