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I have a 250 gig external hard drive and I need to make a small partition on it and run Ubuntu live from it to recover files from a corrupt hard drive that Windows can no longer read. I want to make sure that I can use the rest of the external hard drive to store the recovered files on while im in Ubuntu. using Windows7 how do I go about doing that?

as a side note, the reason my hard drive is corrupt is because something happened(sudden power outage, apparently) to it and now Windows can no longer read it as a dynamic disk and therefore I need to convert it back to a basic disk before I can use it again. but I cant do that without losing 160+ gigs of files first.

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You can install Ubuntu via the liveCD or liveUSB to a partition of the external hard drive that will be created without deleting the rest of the data (it will only shrink the others partition of the disk).

But the installation of Ubuntu isn't needed at all for your problem: all you have to do is boot up your computer with the liveCD and copy your data from the Windows drive to the external, and then reinstall Windows or try to convert it to basic disk.

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I would've done that before except I don't have a usable optical drive at the moment so I'm stuck with my external and the latest Ubuntu ISO file –  defurious May 20 '12 at 16:30
    
Then if you have access to another computer you can prepare a liveUSB to boot on the laptop, or you can extract the internal disk and plug it in another computer with an external case. –  toasted_flakes May 20 '12 at 16:35

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