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Question Messed up my drive :( any help?

rkma

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Oct 12, 2019
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I was attempting to dual boot PopOS alongside Windows 10 when it gave me an installation error.
> I attempted to replace the windows 10 bootloader with the PopOS bootloader so because the installation failed I could now no longer enter windows.
> I installed PopOS to an external drive successfully (where it gave me 2 options when booting, Ubuntu and PopOS)
> I used this to copy the important windows files to said external drive and keep them on there.
I was able to boot into PopOS without any issues from the external drive multiple times without any issues.
> I attempted to do a clean installation of PopOS so that it would be the only OS on my system... it failed.
Now the data I want safe has been overwritten, but I have it stored on my PopOS external drive.
> I attempt to boot into said drive and it gives me a few errors. "ERROR: no such device""ERROR: no such partition *insert UUID*""ERROR: you need to load the kernel first"
Now I'm terrified because I can't access the files important to me, I have no OS on my laptop and I can't boot into the external drive.
I remember that there was the Ubuntu GRUB menu entry and hope that maybe I can access my files since it may share the same root folder?
> I boot into it, get happy when it asks me my encryption password, unlock it but.... it's just an empty fresh install of PopOS. My wallpaper, installed apps and more importantly my files are not there.
Fear intensifies, I freak out and try to boot into the regular PopOS again to the same error.
Googling around doesn't help so I look at the advanced settings for Ubuntu, I boot it into recovery mode. (Note that I tried recovery mode for the PopOS entry first but had no success)
> Ubuntu recovery mode, update grub, repair system
BIG ISSUE
> Now it doesn't show Pop!_OS in the GRUB bootloader anymore...

I'm holding onto hope that since the actual LUKS partition hasn't been modified (since I could boot into both Ubuntu and the PopOS entries and it didn't affect my files), am I being optimistic and is there a way to recover my files or am I absolutely f*****?

Thanks.
 

rkma

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Oct 12, 2019
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Was this copying done to a separate partition or onto the Pop installation?
I copied it onto the PopOS desktop on the external drive.
So onto the Pop Installation.
It has 3 partitions, boot, luks and swap. (Thus onto the LUKS partition)
 

rkma

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Oct 12, 2019
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I managed to get back to the original screen by finding the UUID of the LUKS partition on a live boot of PopOS (I edited the GRUB menu entry for Ubuntu)
This is what it says (note that I still don’t have the PopOS accessible in the GRUB menu).
 

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derpOmattic

Pop!_Muse
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To start, unplug the external drive and put it to the side for now. If you're happy to install Pop only on the first drive then You can go ahead and do that. It seems you tried anyway. If you want to dual boot with Windows I suggest you wipe the drive with a live USB of Gparted, Install a fresh Windows ISO, then follow the dual booting with Pop instructions. If you have any problems with either way you can check this list to get you going.
Once you have successfully installed what you want on the first drive, then plug in the external and see what you have. You will probably need an instance of files that has root privileges to see and manipulate things on the external drive. Get this far and we'll see how you're faring.
 

rkma

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Pop doesn't use grub. It uses systemd boot and kernel stub.
I've decided to just install Pop!_OS on the entire system and have successfully installed.

Weird, for me it says GRUB 2.02 at the top when I boot from the external drive.

I had it installed in legacy mode.

When I was booting previous to using the recovery mode from the advanced Ubuntu it would show two four entries on the GRUB 2.02 (systemd I guess?):
- Ubuntu
- Advanced Ubuntu
- Pop!_OS
- Advanced Pop!_OS

>The drive is LUKS encrypted.
>I had a user with the files I need stored on the desktop of the Pop!_OS.

I tried booting into the Ubuntu once and none of my files/installed applications/changed settings/background were present so I assume they were somehow independent even though on the same partition.

Eventually, when I formatted my laptop's drive, it stopped allowing me to boot into the Pop!_OS and (still) only allows me to boot into the "Ubuntu" menu entry.

"error: no such device
error: no such partition
error: you need to load into the kernel first" is the error it would give me when trying to boot into the Pop!_OS.

I attempted to use the recovery mode in the Advanced Ubuntu entry to fix it, but that just removed the Pop!_OS entries from the menu.

How do I go about recovering those important files from the drive? Have I lost those files permanently?

When I use the nautilus tool and access the external drive it just shows me the "Ubuntu" entry's /home/ files (the empty one)
 

derpOmattic

Pop!_Muse
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Nov 23, 2018
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Wow, that was quite a mess. You've done well to get back to a working main drive. The first thing to try is open terminal and type sudo nautilus. This will give you an instance with permissions to work with those files if they're there. You may have to mount the volumes you want to see. The easiest way is just to attach it again if its external.
 

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