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Windows 7: How to read FAT32 formatted external drive on Windows 7?

05 Dec 2014   #1
bitmug

 
How to read FAT32 formatted external drive on Windows 7?

I had a DVD recorder with internal HDD (Nortek, ndvx hd 160 p).
It was repaired once, but the second time it stopped working, the repairer said the vendor didn't longer provide spare parts.
I asked him to give me the HDD back as I had downloaded tons of home made movie of
my kids from a videocamera.
I bought a logilink bridge (USB2.0 to IDE & SATA) and I expected to see it as an external drive once collected to the PC.
Actually the tool seems to work fine but I do not see any drive.
I found on the web few information about how files are stored on that recorder, they used FAT32 file system.

On a previous thread "Windows 7 unable to read external drive formatted FAT32"
there is a nice procedure from user "balak46", last point is:
"4. Start ->Mycomputer->Rightclick-> Manage ->System->diskmanage.
See if your drive shows up without a letter. Assign a letter and it will work."
Actually my external drive shows up without a letter, but how can I assign one to it?

Thanks




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05 Dec 2014   #2
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

Right click the drive in Disk Management to assign it a letter.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Dec 2014   #3
Berton

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit, Windows 8.1 64-bit, Mac OS X 10.10, Linux Mint 17, Windows 10 Pro TP
 
 

In Start right-click Computer and choose Manage. In the Disk Management section locate the drive in question, right-click it and make a choice. If it has a partition on it and has been formatted you should be able to assign a drive letter. It won't allow using a letter already in use. I find no problem using FAT32 drives with Windows, a number of USB Thumb/Flash drives will be FAT32 or sometimes FAT/FAT16 if 2GB or smaller size.

Sorry AddRAM, got interrupted in my typing by arrival of computer to clean up and hadn't hit the submit.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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06 Dec 2014   #4
bitmug

 

Thanks for the suggestion. I am cautions as I don't want to damage the HD content.

The annexed picture shows what I get using disk manager.

The possible option rightclicking on the "Disco1" icon are:
- convert to dynamic disk
- convert to GPT disk.

Which one should I opt for? Thanks


Attached Thumbnails
How to read FAT32 formatted external drive on Windows 7?-disco-n5.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2014   #5
Berton

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit, Windows 8.1 64-bit, Mac OS X 10.10, Linux Mint 17, Windows 10 Pro TP
 
 

Quote:
I am cautions as I don't want to damage the HD content.
I've always found that situation means the content is lost.

However, there are firms such as Kroll's Ontrack that usually can recover data as long nothing was done to the drive, not cheap. I've used them a couple of small businesses to retrieve the company books when a backup wasn't available.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2014   #6
jumanji

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

Hi bitmug,

Are you sure that that HDD uses FAT32 file system? It could be some misinformation unless you can point me to the exact references. (Windows 7 can read FAT32 format. Most USB pen drives are FAT32 formatted.)

What I have read is "The file system used on the hard drives of these recorders is a variation of UFS that is deliberately designed to be unreadable by anything but the recorder itself. Standard UFS recovery tools don't work because they can't fix whatever proprietary file glitch is preventing the recorder from reading the drive." Those HDDs are usually not the consumer drives but specially manufactured for use in DVD recorders.

That would mean that it is as good as gone with the wind.

If the manufacturer is still alive and kicking, you can contact them to ascertain the true state of affairs.

EDIT: The only solution I can think of: If you can find another willing owner with the same machine, you can substitute your HDD and if it reads well, play and copy the contents to some other media with conventional file format.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2014   #7
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Disk1 has no partition and no drive letter. Use this program to define it.

Free Partition Manager for Window PC | MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Dec 2014   #8
bitmug

 

Thanks everyone, based on your answers I realise that the problem is probably due to how files are stored on the HDD by the DVD recorder. I took for good the indication I found on a chat and tried to act accordingly (FAT32). Unfortunately it is a discontinued product and it's not easy to find information about it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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