Accidentally Started Installing Ubuntu on Hard Drive --> Not Working

A few months ago, I started installing Ubuntu on a desktop computer. Unfortunately, I clicked through the setup too quickly without realizing that the default install drive was set to the external drive. I noticed my mistake within a few seconds and yanked the usb connection out of the desktop.

Now my external hard drive isn't being recognized by any computer (I've tried Windows 7 and Ubuntu). Also, it's not spinning even when it's plugged in (the power light is on, though).

My family has a lot of photos and memories stored on there and I really got chewed out for messing this up. Is there any way you guys could help?
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  1. if its not even spinning up you may have a damaged drive, or perhaps it is just the external hard disk enclosure. you can remove the drive and install it into a different enclosure, or into a desktop computer.

    TestDisk, Data Recovery
    TestDisk is powerful free data recovery software! It was primarily designed to help recover lost partitions and/or make non-booting disks bootable again when these symptoms are caused by faulty software, certain types of viruses or human error (such as accidentally deleting a Partition Table). Partition table recovery using TestDisk is really easy.

    TestDisk Step By Step to recover lost partitions and repair damaged FAT/NTFS boot sector
    Recover deleted files from NTFS partition

    NOTE If seeked lost file are still missing, give PhotoRec a try. PhotoRec is a signature based file recovery utility and may be able to recover your data where other methods failed.

    PhotoRec is file data recovery software designed to recover lost files including video, documents and archives from hard disks, CD-ROMs, and lost pictures (thus the Photo Recovery name) from digital camera memory. PhotoRec ignores the file system and goes after the underlying data, so it will still work even if your media's file system has been severely damaged or reformatted.
  2. Thank you so much for the reply.

    Just to be clear, you are saying that I need to remove the drive from the enclosure before I'll be able to recover anything, right?
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