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I was trying to get OpenELEC installed on a Compact Flash Card to try out Linux' XBMC on our Media PC.

I downloaded a version of OpenELEC specific to the architecture on the Media PC, and followed the directions.

Step 1 was to install the program to a USB drive. Done.

Step 2 was to boot to the USB drive, starting a small version of Linux that would allow me to format the Compact Flash Card to be a bootable OpenELEC OS with XBMC installed.

Unfortunately, our Media PC will not boot from a USB drive, so I took it to my desktop.

I put the USB drive in and the Compact Flash Card into my development PC, and booted up.

The Linux thing went to work, but appears to have tried to install something onto my primary Hard Drive instead of giving me the option to select the Compact Flash Card.

Note: The Linux thing never did format my primary Hard Drive like it was supposed to. I'm guessing because something was wrong with the architecture on my development PC.

Right now, I have the Hard Drive from my development PC pulled out and Windows 7 has loaded the drivers successfully, I just can't get it to open.

How can I salvage my data on this drive?

Device Manager

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Oh, and this drive does NOT show up in Windows Explorer, and I know just about NOTHING about Linux. – jp2code Jan 7 '13 at 1:48
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Plan A

Reinstall your Windows boot loader:

  1. Get your Windows Install CD
  2. Boot from the CD
  3. Choose repair your computer
  4. Choose Repair and Restart


Plan B

Copy the data to a USB drive and wipe and reload:

  1. Download Knoppix
  2. Burn the ISO to a writeable CD
  3. Boot from your new bootable CD
  4. See Knoppix auto-mounted your drive
  5. Copy your files to a USB key

If you need more some help with one (or more of these steps) this is a great guide to on how to How to Recover Data with Linux

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This is a large 500 GB drive. Is there some way to say, "Take the Linux note off and put it back to NTFS?" The Linux program never formatted anything. It did all of its damage in about 15 seconds. – jp2code Jan 7 '13 at 2:15
@jp2code I've updated my answer to include how to reinstall your Windows boot loader – JamesBarnett Jan 7 '13 at 2:24
I went right over to try that. Unfortunately, Windows wanted me to select the NTFS file system to recover, and it did not show any in the list. Crap. – jp2code Jan 7 '13 at 3:58

I would boot a linux distribution from a liveCD and check if you can read the files. Linux can read many more file systems that Windows.

Then backup my data and the repair the bootloader with a Windows install disk.

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