Ubuntu installation wipes windows 8 recovery partitions

Bug #1266437 reported by Tomasz Kuczak
This bug affects 4 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
ubiquity (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

I wanted to reinstall ubuntu on my laptop. Here is the partition table as I remember before the installation:

1. 100MB - EFI
2. 900MB - windows8 recovery partition with label "Recovery"
3. ~150GB - windows 8
4. ~130-150GB - Ubuntu
5. ~300MB - another recovery partition which was probably created after windows8.1 update
6. ~350-400GB - Data
7. ~20GB - another recovery partition with label "Restore"

In the installer I chose this option: "Erase Ubuntu 13.10 and reinstall" with the text "Warning: This will delete all your Ubuntu 13.10 programs, documents, photos, music, and any other files" under it. I was sure it will only touch Ubuntu partition (4th one)

This is how the partition table looked after reinstallation:

1. ~500MB - EFI
2. ~700-750GB Ubuntu
3. ~8GB swap

As you see it wiped all of my partitions including the recovery ones. Now I'm left without windows and I don't have any backup/recovery media. Ubuntu should not even touch recovery partitions or ask user if he wants to remove them.

Unfortunately I can't give any log files beacuse I have alredy deleted ubuntu partition in order to try to restore my recovery partitions. I did it but due to the swap partition windows image was corrupted.

tags: added: saucy
Changed in ubiquity (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → High
Revision history for this message
Matthew N. Dailey (dailey-matthew) wrote :

I just made the same mistake on my Acer Aspire S7 392 while attempting a reinstallation in EFI mode. I got the exact same pattern from the repartitioning.

Revision history for this message
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in ubiquity (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Revision history for this message
Phillip Susi (psusi) wrote :

Please attach the log files from /var/log/installer.

Changed in ubiquity (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Incomplete
Revision history for this message
Tomasz Kuczak (tomasz-ks9) wrote :

I discovered a method to get your windows back in (almost) legal way if you don't have any recovery media. The product key for preinstalled windows is now stored in BIOS. You need to find windows 8 iso on the internet (it needs to be an OEM version) and then just install windows using this iso, either by burning it on a CD or on a pendrive. It won't ask you for a product key because it will get it from the BIOS. I'm sure the iso I found was not cracked because I tried installing it on a virtual machine and somewhere in the beggining was asked for a product key. I suggest to check the found iso before installation.

In the description I mentioned I don't have any logs now, my ubuntu partition is now overwritten by windows 8 but I hope other people affected by this bug can give the logs.

Revision history for this message
DrPotoroo (mcq-public) wrote :

I was also affected by this installing on a Surface Pro. Thankfully I had access to another Surface Pro with intact recovery partition.

Revision history for this message
James Eniti (jpeniti) wrote :

I Just reproduced (unintentionally) using 14.04 BETA2.
It correctly identified that I had F20 installed and offered (default) install with or remove and replace.
I knew that My disk was full with Win 8.1 and F20 (LVM), so I sellected replace F20.
Note I also selected LVM install FAIL

Disk now has sda1, sda2,sda3 Looks like a Full rebuild.

Revision history for this message
bilal (bilal-jan-bilal) wrote :

Dear Readers,
I am facing the same problem. I have installed correctly ubuntu 14.04 .1LTS but it has wiped out my win8 paritition.
I had really really important data. How can i recover my lost partition. In the start-up there is not option for entering into BIOS.
Ubuntu is installed (i think) on the same drive where win8 was installed previously. Is there any way to recover lost parition.


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