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Recover harddrive data

I've got a WD 500GB external hard drive. I've been using it for over a year now but suddenly ran into this problem where neither Windows 7, nor Ubuntu 12.04 are showing the drive when it is plugged in.

However, disk utility (Ubuntu 12.04) and disk management (or something like that in Win7) are listing the drive. I've got the disk utility details in front of me, and according to that, its showing me 500GB of free unallocated space and a SMART status of 'Disk is healthy'. I remember Win7 also showing the drive as unallocated free space, when in reality I actually have half the drive full of data.

This problem started when I plugged this drive into a friends Macbook Air. Initially we could access the drive, but after a couple of hours, I guess due to the connecting cable being lose, the Mac couldnt detect the device anymore either.
I should be able to format the drive via the disk utility, but is there any way I can save my data?

marked as duplicate by Mokubai, Dennis, ChrisF, Simon Sheehan, Gaff Jan 1 '13 at 17:36

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • The answer below was simply spam. – slhck Jan 1 '13 at 11:41
  • Mods- The other (duplicate) question has totally different symptoms in the problem. If someone has the problem listed in my question, then he wouldnt look at the other (duplicate) question, as the problems faced there are totally different. – Urban Jan 2 '13 at 19:05
  • This question serves as an anchor, so even if they don't have the same symptoms, visitors will automatically be redirected to the other question. – slhck Jan 2 '13 at 19:08
  • oh I see. Well, thats ok then. – Urban Jan 2 '13 at 19:56

Your drive is missing its partition table. The data may well still be there and it is likely that you can recover it with software that can find the "missing" partition and rebuild a correct partition table. TestDisk does this fine and is available for both Linux and Windows (it's my understanding that it works better under Linux, though). Under Ubuntu, you can sudo apt-get install testdisk and then follow the TestDisk Step By Step guide to try to detect your lost partitions.

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