"Replace Windows with Ubuntu" produces unintended results

Bug #1358543 reported by Guanyang Luo on 2014-08-18
This bug affects 2 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
ubiquity (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

"Replace Windows with Ubuntu" in 14.04 acts the same as "Erase disk and install Ubuntu" in previous version.

If this is intended , then the current description is very misleading. The option and warning message suggest Windows and Windows related files are the only things being removed, while in reality the partition table has been rewritten, effectively removing all files.

I thought Ubuntu was able to detect Windows installation partition and try to install Ubuntu in that area of the hard disk, but I was horrified when my data storage partition has seeming merged with the system partition.

Note that the warning message for the old option isn't exactly very clear neither. Both the new and old options talk about files and operating systems at the same time. People know files are separate from OS because they can open files in different OS, so when the description puts the two together, they will assume it is specifically about the files of the OS.

I suggestion using more overreaching and simple wording such as "erase hard drive", "remove all files on computer", and "re-partition" to make sure everyone is truly warned, even those action might not technically be the action the installer is performing. Reminder such as "data loss will occur, please backup important files" would be exceedingly useful as well.

Thank you for taking the time to report this bug and helping to make Ubuntu better. It seems that your bug report is not filed about a specific source package though, rather it is just filed against Ubuntu in general. It is important that bug reports be filed about source packages so that people interested in the package can find the bugs about it. You can find some hints about determining what package your bug might be about at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Bugs/FindRightPackage. You might also ask for help in the #ubuntu-bugs irc channel on Freenode.

To change the source package that this bug is filed about visit https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+bug/1358543/+editstatus and add the package name in the text box next to the word Package.

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tags: added: bot-comment
affects: ubuntu → ubiquity (Ubuntu)
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

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

Changed in ubiquity (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Guanyang Luo (luoguanyang) wrote :

Just want to post a short tutorial on how to recover files (took me the entire US Labor Day weekend to figure it out). If you think this may useful to other people (such as those in ubuntuforums, askubuntu, and ubuntu launchpad "Answers" section), please share this with them.

The following is mostly derived from https://help.ubuntu.com/community/DataRecovery

1. Stop using the wiped hard drive.
 2. Use/borrow another hard drive or computer for recovered data.
 3. Make a live-CD/usb if necessary (I used lubuntu and pendrivelinux's Universal USB Installer)
 4. Run the live-CD or the recovery computer and use GNU ddrescue to make an image of the wiped hard drive so that we have a !backup!. Store the image on the recovery hard drive or computer.
 5. Use testdisk on the image to recover the lost partitions and copy desired files http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk_Step_By_Step

If everything goes well, you should be good to go. For me, some additional challenge occurred.

6. testdisk shows that my NTFS partitions have the correct sizes, but does not show any file. Still, use testdisk on the image to get the partitions back.
 7. On a Windows computer, use OSFMount to mount the image http://www.osforensics.com/tools/mount-disk-images.html
 8. Use chkdsk on the mounted partitions, use the "/f" option if fix is needed
 9. Copy files from the mounted partitions, or unmount the partitions and use testdisk under live-CD (or Windows) on the fixed image

Milan Pozzi (milan-pozzi) wrote :


year and half ago the installation wipe my data as well.
Maybe my experience will be useful to somebody. I did try testdisk to save my data, but without any success.
I decided to try different tool then. I plugged the disk to a different Windows running computer and used EeaseUs Data Recovery.
I got all data back together with the tree structure. That was about half a year ago.


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