i have a hdd that has lots of files i would like to keep that has been run in an older version of linux ubuntu. THe main hdd on the computer malfunctioned and had to be replaced. THe new drive runs both linux and windows, but niether will recognise the file system, and offer to format the drive
Sounds to me like you may have a problem with the drive. What file system was it formatted with under ubuntu? File system formats are pretty stable, and it seems unlikely to me that the old format is simply incompatible with the current Linux version.
After OP gives filesystem information, could someone with more Linux experience please help out? I last administered Unix systems (Solaris) fourteen years ago; I am a little rusty.