Please help. I wanted to install Ubuntu so I follow this guide: http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop/create-a-usb-stick-on-mac-osx I used my external hard drive to do this but then after I finished everything, when I plugged in my external hard drive I get "The disk you inserted was not readable by this computer" and I cannot see my external hard drive in Finder, but I could see it in the Disk Utility. Does this mean all my data was erased? How do I get my external hard drive back? I don't want to delete everything on my external drive because I have about 300gb of data on it. Thank you.

1 Answer 1


First of all test your external HDD on your installed Ubuntu system. There is a chance that Ubuntu can still read it. If so, backup all your data from it (to have a copy at least), and go back to Mac and using the Disk Utility:

You will have 2 options:

  1. If you succeded with making a copy: format your external HDD, and copy back all your data from the location where you made the backup.
  2. If it failed: ask a professional to help you. Don't try to use "magic" softwares to recover your data, because it is a huge chance that you will destroy for good your data.
  • Hi. Thank you for answering. So I tried plugging in my external HDD on Ubuntu and I was able to read it but it only has Ubuntu stuffs on it like install, boot, etc.. Did I just wipe all my data? How can I recover it back? Commented Nov 5, 2014 at 7:54
  • Well, probably that you formatted the drive by mistake when you made the install media. You have a small chance by using photorec to take back some of un-overwritten files like documents, pictures, etc. Remember, that you will loose all your filenames! As a personal opinion: how I would do this? first make a disk image copy with dd and try to recover from that image (just to have an untouched copy on your original HDD). Never work or try to do modification on the corrupted media itself! If you are not familiar with these tools, better take the HDD to a professional.
    – Frantique
    Commented Nov 5, 2014 at 8:26

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