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I had a 480 GB SSD with Windows 7 on it. I had a 120 GB SSD with Linux Mint 14 and BackTrack 5 on it.

I was using GRUB 2 to boot to the operating systems. It was a flawless install consisting of installing Windows 7 first, then disconnecting SATA cable on Windows 7 SSD, installing Linux Mint then BackTrack 5 on other SSD. Then, using os-prober and install grub2 update to find Windows 7 boot member and install to Grub 2.

Again, no problems at all.

I had another 750 mechanical hard drive that I wanted to use for Windows (NTFS) backup. So, I popped in the GParted Live CD, created a new 750 GB (obviously, it wasn't actually 750 GB) partition with NTFS file system, and then created the new partition. At some point, GParted asked me whether the disk had a GPT partition table, and I clicked "yes." O_o

Anyway, I rebooted, and then Windows 7 SSD is gone. Nothing on Grub 2 about Windows 7. Just Linux Mint and BackTrack. What happened? I am almost 100% certain that I did not delete the primary SSD with Windows 7 on it. I was very cautious, and I only have one HD with that much storage space on it (i.e., 750 GB) so it would have been nearly impossible for me to mistake it for another one.

So, in this whole process, was there anything besides that that I could have done that would have caused the Windows 7 to be completely wiped out? I mean, it said "unallocated space," as thought it wiped clean.

  • Have you tried plugging the Windows 7 SSD into another Windows 7 computer? Just to make sure the data is or isn't there. – imtheman Feb 15 '13 at 1:54
  • No, I didn't have another desktop on hand. And my wife has a laptop. I already partitioned it again. I did try to use the data recovery on GParted before I did that, and it took forever, so I just stopped it and repartitioned. I was more or less wondering just for the sake of knowledge because I don't want it to happen again. It's not like I installed an OS on the backup HD, but even then, only the MBR of the Windows HD should have got overwritten, not the entire HD. I dunno. – user76275 Feb 15 '13 at 2:20
  • Sorry for the delay. Try going through this, you might just need to add Windows back to Grub 2: erickoo.wordpress.com/2009/06/14/… – imtheman Feb 27 '13 at 21:57
  • "How did primary hard drive get erased?" -- This question is based on a faulty conclusion/assumptiom. You have not offered any evidence that the Win7 partition was actually erased. All you wrote was that Win7 was not in the GRUB boot menu; there's a big difference. A loose SATA or power cable would cause a disk to not appear in the boot selection menu. – sawdust Sep 12 '13 at 8:00
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Offhand, I can think of two possibilities, and it's unlikely you'll ever know which one is the culprit:

  1. User error
  2. A program bug

Moving forward, you could use TestDisk or a similar tool to try to recover your lost partition(s).

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