PureOS installation process overwrites all HDD contents

Hello guys,

I just tried the ISO from a USB and I was not aware that this installation will not let you choose where do you want to install the OS. It goes ahead and uses the whole HDD. No matter that you have already installed a Linux system and you want to keep the /home/username directory intact…

Please warn anybody about this, I’ve got really surprised and I’ve got now lots todo to recover all that data.



This happened to me too. I have :

  • an M.2 SSD, on which i wanted to install pure OS and
  • a SATA HDD, on which i have backed up my files.
    The installer arbitrary chose to install on the HDD. I noticed this was happening when “copying files” was going slow and i could hear HDD sounds.
    I stopped the installer immediately, removed the HDD, done the installation again with only the SSD present, added the HDD again.

Now i see 2 partitions

  • 255MB with a few files
  • a 500GB, when i put the password, it says “Unable to mount 500 GB Encrypted, Operation was cancelled”
    Did PureOS destroy my backup? or can i recover it somehow?


Robert, thanks for your report, this will be corrected in PureOS 3.0. I hope you sucessfully restored your data.

patata, we already discussed this on IRC, I hope my suggestions there will help you restore your data.

Guys, we are sorry for the troubles you experienced, please let us know if there’s a way we can help you more.

i followed your suggestion, and booted with an external flash drive.
Unfortunately, it looks like my HDD’s backup was completely erased before the installer started “copying files”.
My previous backup is 3 weeks old. I lost several days of work which i have to re-do, and some of it is completely lost.

I suggest the PureOS 2.0 is unavailable for download until this critical bug is fixed, before it destroys more people’s data.
Or at least, a big warning before the download button, that we should “make a backup on an EXTERNAL drive and leave present only the drive which will be ENTIRELY formated”.

Patata, I’m terribly sorry this has happened. We’ll soon have PureOS 2.1 release with a fix for this bug. May I note that installer probably quick-formated your partition, meaning you probably can restore it using some of the tools I suggested you on irc.

Recovery is possible (RIP) Linux is a good recovery Distribution. dont bother about old CD.

ddrescue can be used to dd a disk with bad sectors to another disk - preferrably 2-3 times larger, so you can run photorec.

photorec can restore files on deleted Systems if they have not been overwritten

dry-test new OS in a VM, all the time. make sure you sniff Network traffic on the vm Interface when you do that.