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I'm having a problem with a friend's old external hard drive. The hard drive (1.5TB WD Caviar Green) isn't detected by any computer regardless of the OS installed.

So I disassembled the hard drive from the external case and plugged into my PC (I had to remove my normal hard drive in order to do so). I then tried to install Puppy Linux, which didn't work, because of some problems partitioning the drive (something like Error writing to /dev/sdb: Input/output error or similar).

That's why I decided to give the Gparted live disk a try, which didn't detect the hard drive at all.

Later on I burned an Ubuntu 13.04 64-bit installation DVD and tried to install it, creating only Read/Write errors similar to those I got when trying to install Puppy Linux.

Then I decided to just launch Ubuntu as a live CD and ran Gparted again, which surprisingly detected the hard drive, but failed to partition it, because of a missing partition table. Unfortunately neither Gparted nor the Disk Utility were able to create it.

Do I have a chance to create this partition table and partition the drive, or is it just broken?

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I think the hdd is fried, if it gives you i/o errors. – Yet Another User Jun 13 '13 at 15:17
Yet_Another_User could be right, but did you try to partition it while it was unmounted. If it is mounted, you will most likely get errors. – Max Tither Jun 13 '13 at 15:38
When unmounted gparted doesn't detect the hdd. – Jonas Jun 13 '13 at 16:09

Try using Disk Utility to check the drive's SMART information. You can also run some low-level tests on the disk from here which should help confirm whether the drive is faulty.

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