I tried a fresh install of the current daily on to my USB HDD (Western Digital Elements 1TB). I chose 'replace existing Linux installation' because I wanted it to overwrite the installation that got corrupted by the automatic update on reboot. All seemed to be going well until an unexpected error popped up and it said that the entire drive had to be reinitialised - this despite the fact that the Linux install was only in 350MB of the drive. I accepted the option to abort, as it said that reinitialising would wipe all the data, but then found that something had gone seriously wrong. First, my PC wouldn't boot with the USB drive installed. Then, after shutting the PC down and booting into Windows 7 64 Pro without the USB drive installed, I found that the drive was not recognised by Windows when I plugged it in. It first said "attempting to install the driver software failed" then the next time, listed it as unrecognised device, then subsequently, nothing at all. Now, the drive light is constantly flickering on it, but Windows 7 (and Vista on my laptop) just act like nothing's happened if I connect it.
I'm not worried about the data, as everything on it, bar a half dozen jpegs, is also on my main HD, but is there any way to get my drive back - in any operating system?