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Recently when I was installing Ubuntu on my Laptop, I had an external 500 GB SeaGate hard-drive attached to the Laptop. During the installation setup Ubuntu asked where I would like to have my Operating system installed.

2 options were listed:

  1. My 500 GB laptop hard drive.
  2. My 500 GB Seagate external hard-drive.

By mistake I clicked on option 2 and proceeded to install. After 10 seconds I realised my mistake and hurriedly unplugged the Seagate device.

Now when I plug in this hard-disk into any computer, that computer is unable to detect it. No icon appears on the desktop in Ubuntu and I dont know how to access all the data stored on the hard-disk.

However when I go to the boot manager of my BIOS, (which is used to decide which device to boot from) , I can see that device being detected as "Seagate Freeagent GO"

Please let me know how I should proceed and retrieve all the data from this device.

I currently have Ubuntu 11.04 installed on my laptop

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Have a look at testdisk which might be able to recover the MBR/partitions on this device. If this does not work anymore try photorec which will attempt to pull of the data of the device by identifying file headers. This is 100% reliable but will also work if crucial parts of the file system were already overwritten.

And oh: Do not perform these tests on the hard disk but instead create an image of it via dd where you can safely experiment on. This way you do not risk to damage the data further in case you decide to hand over the HDD to a professional data recovery company later.

The dd command basically works as follows: dd if=<INPUT> of=<OUTPUT> bs=1M where INPUT would be something like /dev/sdX(n) and OUTPUT would be a filename like ./diskimage.img

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Ahh thank you for the suggestion.....I will look into it. I did not know there were companies that dealt with data recovery. Thanks for the info... – smilingbuddha May 13 '12 at 1:22
can you tel me how to use the dd command in this specific case. online tutorials seem a little confusing on this point. – smilingbuddha May 13 '12 at 6:49
There are, but their services are expensive, so in most cases this is only an option if the data is really important. I've included basic instructions for dd in my original answer – leepfrog May 13 '12 at 10:20
@leepfrog Had this company recover 1.3tb data after a similar mistake, got 100% recovery for $199 + shipping one – Moab May 13 '12 at 13:10

protected by Journeyman Geek Jun 28 '12 at 6:51

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