I am using a Western Digital 160GB External USB drive. It was working fine earlier but for some reasons I formatted it using the 'Disk Utility' in my Ubuntu 11.04

I chose 'Dont Partition' while formatting it. And since then, its unreadable in my or any other system. I also used 'Master Boot' formatting after that but to no avail.

Now I can still see it being detected in my 'Disk Utility' but its not being readable.

I am using an aspire acer one netbook.

Please help.


By formatting a drive, you are essentially erasing all data boundaries ("partritions") on the drive, which in turn causes your data to no longer be usable.

In all likelihood, you erased the drive's partitions (and thus its data in the most rudimentary sense), but did not create storage space on the drive in the form of a partition.

Open up gparted. (If it doesn't exist on your system, install it with sudo apt-get install gparted.) Find the drive in the devices dropdown in gparted, and see it says "Free Space" or "Unpartitioned Space". You will need to create a partition there. If that is the case, make sure that you create a partition that is readable on both systems (i.e. if one system is Windows and your netbook is Linux, then make an NTFS partition).

Then after that is complete, try using the drive on the other system, and see if it is readable.

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  • created a partition using Disk Utility and it worked. Thanks a ton ! :D – Swapnil Narendra Aug 6 '11 at 5:26

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