Installer deletes entire disk without warning

Bug #173954 reported by David Balažic on 2007-12-04
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
ubiquity (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Binary package hint: partman

Boot from the "Ubuntu 7.10 "Gutsy Gibbon" - Release i386 (20071016)" CD

When loaded, double click the "Install" icon to start the installer.
Click through the install wizard.
On the partition page just click Next (leave the "Guided - use entire disk / SCSI3 (0,0,0) (sda) - 4.3 GB VMWare, VMWare Virtual S" selection).
Click thru to the end of wizard, so that is starts installing.
(each time just click NEXT, without changing any option; except on the last screen, wher eg. "qwe" can be entered into all text fields)

Expected :
 - present files on disk not deleted
 - asking/warning before erasing users files from disk

 - disk is formatted and all data is lost, without any warning or notice

Fell free to ask for any details. I can reproduce this anytime.

Related branches

David Balažic (xerces8) wrote :

The installer offered two choices :
 - Guided - use entire disk
 - Manual

fdisk -l before :

Disk /dev/sda: 4294 MB, 4294967296 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 522 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x16f5da51

   Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 1 100 803218+ 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda2 101 200 803250 c W95 FAT32 (LBA)
/dev/sda3 201 522 2586465 5 Extended
/dev/sda5 201 522 2586433+ 7 HPFS/NTFS

(the partitions are formatted and have files on them)

fdisk -l after :

Disk /dev/sda: 4294 MB, 4294967296 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 522 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x00082018

   Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 * 1 492 3951958+ 83 Linux
/dev/sda2 493 522 240975 5 Extended
/dev/sda5 493 522 240943+ 82 Linux swap / Solaris

Colin Watson (cjwatson) wrote :

"Guided - use entire disk" means "erase entire disk". I'm nearly certain that a warning message would have been displayed at the final step (the one where Next changed to Install) saying that the following changes would be written to the disk, including the text:

 WARNING: This will destroy all data on any partitions you have
 removed as well as on the partitions that are going to be formatted.

I suspect the real issue here is that "Guided - use entire disk" doesn't adequately describe what's going to be done. This was identified as a high-priority usability issue at our last development summit, and we will be rephrasing this for 8.04.

Changed in ubiquity:
importance: Undecided → High
status: New → Triaged
Arjan Kon (arj-nkon) wrote :

I do not yet see any change in the phrase "Guided - use entire disk" nor a warning except the one mentioned above, which can be easily overlooked......
daily-live 20080329

Rodolfo Bonnin (bonninrodolfo) wrote :

I agree, I think the installer should show a popup window before any format occurrs, explaining the possible data loss the . An "Are you sure?" addition could prevent many accidental disk formats.

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

This bug was fixed in the package ubiquity - 1.11.10

ubiquity (1.11.10) jaunty; urgency=low

  [ Evan Dandrea ]
  * Map partman-auto translations to more ubiquity appropriate translations,
    removing the 'Guided -' part of the automatic partitioning options
    (LP: #173954).
  * Move the resize functionality into the segmented bar widget.
  * Copy the Distribution Channel Descriptor (DCD) file into the target
    filesystem if it exists in /cdrom/.disk/.
  * Disable the encrypted home option. This cannot be considered secure
    without encrypted swap. The option can still be enabled by preseeding
  * Automatic update of included source packages: debian-installer-utils
    1.65ubuntu2, user-setup 1.23ubuntu11.

  [ Jonathan Riddell ]
  * Merge in port to KApplication from lp:~shtylman/ubiquity/kdeui by Roman Shtylman

 -- Evan Dandrea <email address hidden> Wed, 18 Feb 2009 09:45:16 +0000

Changed in ubiquity:
status: Triaged → Fix Released
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