Recover deleted files

I didn’t see another thread that was the same problem I have. Some were similar, but not the same. I have been working toward migrating from W10 to Linux ever since I was able to try W11, and knew I did not want it. I have tried a few distro’s, So Sunday I decided to try Solus. I like it, and decided to install it. Problem #1, Somehow, while using a partition manager, I managed to make Windows unbootable. Second problem, I tried to install it about 15 times. It kept telling me that “no EFI partition was found”, then “No EFI partition big enough was found”. So I finally managed to increase the size of my EFI part. up to 10GB, and it still wasn’t big enough. So I said, “oh well”, and grabbed my other usb that I already had Manjaro flashed on. It was going to be my next trial if the Solus didn’t work. Which it didn’t. So I ran the live usb for about an hour, while fighting with the puppies we are trying to give away, and my son that is Autistic, not to mention a few other things (coughwifecough) lol. So I start installing Manjaro, and being distracted as I was, I failed to check “Manual partitioning”. for just a split second, I realized what I did as soon as the window changed, and it wasn’t the partition manager.

So I immediately stopped, and backed up, but too late, it had already deleted every partition on the disk. The problem is, for years, ever since Vista came out and I used Linux for the first time, My disk is set up as follows
Part. 1.Windows
Part 2. Shared Files (Documents, Photos, Downloads, etc…)
Part. 3 Linux
Part 4 Unassigned
Part 5 Staging area for Backups (also clone of Shared Files), My backup run overnight, next morning I copy them to one of two 500GB external HDDs, both bought about 1998. This partition formatted as FAT32

My first reaction was to say naughty words. Then I thought about it, I have every thing backed up on ext. So I get Manjaro installed, and working, I grabbed my external with the newest backup, plug it in, and open Dolphin, the 500GB HDD, is showing exactly 10.3 GB. WOAH! I double check it with Partition Manager, it shows 10GB. I try it on two other pc’s, they only show 10GB. I’m dying here now. But I do have another back up, it’s just a week older, I’ll only lose about 4 documents, and I guess 8 updates, no bigdeal. I plug it in, and it shows 500GB size. But it’s completely blank. I try to save a random file, just to see what happens, Manjaro says it wrote to the HDD no errors. But the HDD is still completely blank. How does one person have this many screw ups, in one week?

So what I need right now, is some way to scan the end of this internal HDD, where the backup file was located, and try to recover any files possible. In Windows, there are hundreds of programs for this, and the majority work great. But I lost windows, when I did whatever I did. I was going to uninstall it eventually, so that’s not a big deal, I just need to know my chances of recovering information, and what program, or cli or whatever will recover that much. Otherwise I have lost everything, some should have been deleted already, other stuff was irreplaceable, documents and pictures and such.

From reading this
I still do not know
what your actual problem is. :man_shrugging:

You might want to re-phrase it?
… more to the point?

You had problems before you even embarked on your current misadventure.

You’re finding out the hard way that it doesn’t matter what the OS is, a backup is not a backup unless it’s been tested and verified in some kind of contrived disaster situation.

Reading your missive, it seems you’ve wrote to all of your drives. At this point, you need to disconnect all of those drives, and search for and engage a data recovery service. It probably won’t be cheap, but

you have some choices to make.

Good luck.