300 gig full of data now "unallocated" after pc unplugged?

I had a 300 gig ext maxtor hd usb'd to my pc, approx 85-90% full of data.
During a burning process (using Nero) of data from the drive my pc got unplugged, i rebooted to find the maxtor wasnt listed in my computer or windows explorer.
i went through to computer management where the drive shows, but it states unallocated and calls for formatting?
What i really need to find out is if theres any chance the data may still be on there, saved, accessed or retrieved......
is it possible that the pc being unplugged has wiped ALL 270 gig worth??
is it worth stripping the sealed maxtor to plug in internally?
i have tried the hd on another pc and get the samw unallocated message from computer management....drivin me nuts.
any help, suggestions greatly apprciated, as you can guess i'm gutted, its alot of data to loose!
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  1. I had a similar problem once where I was resizing some partitions on my sister's computer and I accidentally screwed up the partition information itself. Windows showed the drive as unallocated but I knew the info was still there.

    Unless there's been some over-writing of the data on the drive itself, anything you had on there should still exist. Also, as long as Windows can 'see' the drive at least in Computer Management, you shouldn't have to crack the external drive casing open.

    Plug it in as you normally would so Windows recognizes 'the drive', then use a piece of data of recovery software to retrieve all your stuff. I personally recommend Handy Recovery. I've used it in the past, most notably on my sister's computer, and at work and I personally haven't had any problems with it. It is shareware though so it's up to you to decide whether or not the $39 purchase price is worth it.

    You just need to make sure that you have enough free space somewhere to recover all 270GB. After you've gotten everything back you can re-allocate the space on your external drive and move everything back there. At that point everything should be shiny.

    P.S. I've even been able to use Handy Recovery on a floppy disk that when I tried to access it said something like 'Disk not formatted. Would you like to format now?'
  2. there are better programs for doing something like this

    If the partition information is messed up, then (if it's NTFS formatted) the partition information can be recovered. Cant remember what the programs are called but look through google and you should find a guide that will explain the recovery process and some freeware programs that can help you.

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