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Windows 7: Corrupt/lost data on NEW external HDD


01 May 2013   #1

Win 7 - 32 bit
 
 
Corrupt/lost data on NEW external HDD

Hi,

Firstly sorry for long thread but i thought it best to give as much info as possible.......

I recently purchased a Barracuda ST3000DM001 HDD for use as storage within an external Thermaltake 5G USB3 enclosure.

I connected it directly to one of my PC's and installed Win 7 (32bit) onto a 1.4TB partition with the remaining space partitioned up to the 2TB limit, therefore making the partition approximately 600GB; (I was not aware of the limits at the time!!!), to be used as a data with no operating system installed. The remaining data above the 2TB limit did show up within the Disk Manager!

I transferred all of my data onto the drive and decided then to do a fresh install of Win 7 on all of the other drives.

Once I had done this I connected up the external HDD only to find that the data could not be accessed; Win 7 was saying that the HDD needs formatting.

I then tried it on a different PC with the same results.

I also tried it within a Startech USB2 enclosure and directly connected to SATA (on two different systems) all with the same results in addition to trying it on a Win XP system.

One thing to note that the 3TB HDD DID boot several times prior to the HHD’s being reformatted and reinstalled with Win 7; I only checked the data was there, I did not check that anything was corrupt at this point. The fact that it started and everything was present without any obvious errors was enough at the time (hindsight’s a wonderful thing!!).

Finally I have used Get Data Back (GDB) software to try and recover the contents, which I was able to partially do but there seems to be extensive corruption with many files unreadable. I am currently running GDB under XP (it takes 30+ hours!) having already run it under Win 7; just to try and see if there are any different results obtained.

I have also tried Recuva and Panda Recovery which neither work as they both claim that the drive needs formatting.

An extremely curious issue is that within the photos that are recovered via GDB, many of them are not the original photos but the same photo four times (but not always!!) i.e. the correct photo on the first file and then three copies of the same photo BUT with the original (correct) file name. Also the preview image of the file when going into is quite often incorrect; corrected by deleting the Thumbs.db and then refreshing though.

The same effect has happened with my MP3 files; the song playing matches the track name but then the same song for track 2, 3 and 4; again with the track name being the correct one. Then it starts again with song 5 matching the track name but then track 6, 7 and 8 still showing the correct track name but upon opening playing song 5.

Excel files upon opening are, generally but not always, not the files that they should be but a different file maybe that was next in the list or nearby, with many being corrupted.

The files contain accounts data for a friends company so are rather important; as are the personal photos.

I do have some backups (made with Genie Backup) and these were moved temporarily onto the 3 TB drive (hindsight again……..) for the short time that I formatted the other drives.

It will take a long time to sort through the current files and the backups (the ones that haven’t become corrupted), to find what is and isn’t useable; and I know that some of the data is older than the current data that has been lost.

Please can anyone advise what can be done to safely recover the data.

Thanks

Neil

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

01 May 2013   #2

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Hi Neil and welcome to the Forum
First off let me try to get this straight. You have one instance of Windows 7 on an external HD? Then I read quote: "and decided then to do a fresh install of Win 7 on all of the other drives" Just how many instances of Win 7 have you got on the one PC?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 May 2013   #3

Win 7 - 32 bit
 
 

Hi,

Thanks for the quick reply.

I have 2 computers both with one HDD in (one XP and one Win 7), a laptop (Win 7) and now the external disk (2 partitions, 1 with Win 7, the other partition formatted just for data storage).

Regards

Neil
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


01 May 2013   #4

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

HI Neil
Well I can't see why you want to install Windows on an external drive. Windows 7 is not a mobile OS so it wont work properly, indeed I doubt it will boot up unless you connect the actual disc direct to a PC. Have you tried to boot from it?
So far as retrieving the data on the Ext HD does that mean you have deleted the files where they were originally stored?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 May 2013   #5

Win 7 - 32 bit
 
 

Hi,

I always install an operating system on 1 partition of external drive as a backup should another device fail; NOT as something to boot from as an external drive.

Yes i have tried to boot from it and it no longer boots.

I have also tried the recovery console on the Win 7 disk but that didn't work either.

The files on the original drive were overwritten due to an error on the HDD (the reason i bought the new HDD); i had to LLF it as there were errors; unfortunately it didn't remove the errors and is used within the USB enclosure as a secondary backup.

Regards

Neil
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 May 2013   #6

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Hi Neil
As far as having the OS on the ext Drive I would strongly recommend that you discard that idea, format that partition an use Macrium Reflect to create ISO images of the OS from time to time, then you can restore your system in 10 minutes to a perfect state even if you have a complete HD failure and have to use a new HD. But more of this later.
Back to the data retrieval. I think you are wasting your time trying to recover from his new HD as if the data got corrupted during transfer then all you will ever get from that HD is corrupted files. I would still go back to the HD where the data was orignally sored and try Recuver on that. The way I read your posts suggests that you transferred the data to the new drive, then without checking that it had transfered correctly you found that the oroginal files had been overwritten. How on earth did that happen without you making it happen? Try the Recuver on it anyway, I think that is your only hope!
P.S. Will be ot now until about 5ish so replies will be delayed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 May 2013   #7

Win 7 - 32 bit
 
 

Hi,

As i mentioned earlier, I did a low level format on the faulty HDD AFTER using Crystal Disk and HDD Scan to confirm that there were errors, with the HDD Low Level Format at HDDGURU: Laptop and Desktop Hard Disk Drives, Tests, Software, Firmware, Tools, Data Recovery, HDD Repair

I have already tried recovery from the disk but not unsurprisingly nothing was found.


Regards


Neil


My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 May 2013   #8

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Yes I know but have you tried Recuver? Recuver will find data even if a full format is done. But you didn't check to establish that the data files has successfully been transferred to the new Ext HD before formatting the old drive. That being so I think your data is lost!
Reading back to you first post it looks as if the new Ext drive had been originally formatted to FAT32 system. Can you confirm this?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 May 2013   #9

Win 7 - 32 bit
 
 

Nope........was formatted NTFS!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 May 2013   #10

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

I thought Seagate had managed to work round the 2.2TB limit on 32bit systems so you should be able to use all 3TB's but that's for another day.
I know it's frustrating but nothing but a little time will be lost in trying Recuver!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Corrupt/lost data on NEW external HDD




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