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My system wont boot because it says there is no hard drive (witch there is but may have just given out)if this is so would ubuntu work to recover the data on that drive or is it a done deal?

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When are you seeing the "No hard drive" error? In the BIOS? – Thomas W. Feb 18 '13 at 18:24

If your systems BIOS/UEFI does not recognise that hard drive, chances are low that you can recover anything with ubuntu.

What you can try is to enter your systems BIOS/UEFI, load the defauls, save and exit, then shut down your system, unplug power, then unplug data and power cord from your hard drive, wait ten minutes, replug power to the system, boot it with an ubuntu live cd/usb, replug power cord to your hard drive and then replug data cord as last.

If it gets recognised then you can maybe get off some data from your drive.

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