I had Windows 7 installed on first partition of hard disk and other two partitions had my data. All partitions were based on NTFS file system. I installed Ubuntu by using default method and lost all my partitions including data. Ubuntu created a single partition containing ext3 file system and installed Ubuntu. I lost all my NTFS partitions. I plugged the drive into another computer containing Windows 7 and installed data recovery program. I was about to recover data from a Linux based file system by using a Windows based data recovery software on Microsoft Windows. The hard disk that was to be recovered data from, was on Linux file system. Question was to format the concerned hard disk to NTFS file system, to just delete the Linux file system before I recover data or leave it as is? It was not clear to me that data recovery software that is Windows based, would recover data from drive that was on Linux based file system or not. I found the answer.
No. You should not even use the hard drive or partition after you have lost data. Just Plug it into an available computer (with data recovery software installed on it) and put the hard drive in deep scan process. The data recovery software offers several options depending on recovery requirements. If you have lost a partition, you should first scan for lost volumes by using deep scan mode. After it finds lost volumes, you should recover that data from that lost volume. Data recovery software will populate all the current partitions and the lost partitions with their file system information.
If you are recovering data by using a Windows based system, it will indicate lost volumes as Std. volume or Adv. volume. Depending on the recovery software, label may vary but you get the idea. Lost volumes will br there. You will recognize those by file system mentioned. Data recovery might not show the ext3 file system and it may label it as FAT32 file system, because you are working with a Windows based recovery software. Few data recovery software may mark it as Linux file system.
After you loose data or partition, you should not do anything with that hard disk. Do not format it. Do not copy more files. Do not delete file system or anything. Just plug it into another computer and run the deep scan for recovery. Data recovery software can even scan a raw unrecognized partition or even an unrecognized hard disk.