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Windows 7: External harddrive fails

23 Feb 2013   #1
bigseb

Windows 7 x64 Professional
 
 
External harddrive fails

I have a 500Gb external harddrive which is connected to my PC and pretty much on whenever the PC is on. Used it as back-up for all my work data. Today (half an hour ago) I see that it is not visible when I click on My Computer. Noticed that it was off so I turned it back on but got a message that Drive H: must be formatted before it can be used. I can't afford to lose all that data. There must have been 4 years of client file on there and I need them back. Not to mention my own business back-ups.

Please help me restore this harddrive


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Feb 2013   #2
jumanji

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

Please post the screenshot of Disk Management with your external drive plugged in.

Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image

The data should still be there but you may have to work out in a graded manner in trying to recover. The screenshot should be able to give out more information for further advise on the matter.

In the meanwhile, 1. Do not try to format the external drive. 2. Do not run check disk that can possibly corrupt the files in the drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Feb 2013   #3
bigseb

Windows 7 x64 Professional
 
 

Here you go. The drive in question is H:. What concerns me is that it says 100% free I really hope this can be fixed...

External harddrive fails-capture.png


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Feb 2013   #4
Mark Phelps

Win7 Pro 32-bit, Win8 Pro 32-bit
 
 

If the partition table gets corrupted, Windows will then think the partition is empty -- as you see here.

Based on my experience at doing this successfully, my suggestions are the following:
1) Download and install the trial version of RecoverMyFiles from Runtime Software in MS Windows.
2) Right-click the RecoverMyFiles shortcut and select "Run as Administrator"
3) Select the option to Recover a Drive
4) You will get a list of drive, scroll down to find the one for your USB stick or memory card
5) Select Automatic Driver recovery, press Start button
6) It will run for a while but when done, will show a directory tree in the left pane. Do NOT interrupt it.
7) When done, browse the folders in the directory tree -- and be SURE to check the filesizes of the files you want to recover. If the filesize is zero, the file is trashed and you will NOT be able to recover it.
If the files look OK, you will need to contact Runtime Software to purchase a license for the recovery. You won't have to reinstall the app; instead, they will email you an activation code which you can use to turn on the recovery feature.

According to their website, the "standard" version of the app is $70 USD. They also have a Pro version for $99 dollars, but if you go to the website below, you can compare the features and (at least for me) the extra cost wasn't worth it:
Recover My Files: Purchase GetDatas Recover My Files data recovery software

Your data ... your money ... your choice.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Feb 2013   #5
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

I don't know if this will be of any help but is what I use is a bootable Ubuntu disk and once in the OS the drives can be seen and any data on them - without any passwords etc and then the data retreived and I think this is very similar although I have to say I haven't personally tried Goldens tutorial yet

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials...cy-backup.html
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Feb 2013   #6
jumanji

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

Not to worry. Why pay for a licenced software when you can try to get it done with freeware?

For the drive to present itself as RAW there can only be two reasons. Either the partition table or MBR got corrupted. Most likely the former.

You can straight away try the Partition Recovery Wizard in MiniTools Partition Wizard home edition.

Download and install it Best Free Partition Manager Freeware and free partition magic for Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Vista and Windows XP 32 bit & 64 bit. MiniTool Free Partition Manager Software Home Edition.

Then straightaway head to the topic Recovery with Partition Wizard: SanDisk Cruzer Blade 16GB in
Recover a flash drive turned RAW Partition Wizard and TestDisk.

If you want to be extra cautious, then before embarking on Partition Wizard you can create a live Linux pendrive, boot from it and try to copy the files from the external drive in question to another external drive, both of which should be connected when you boot Linux.

Download Lucid Puppy (Ubuntu-Compatible Build) v5.2.8 ISO from http://puppylinux.org/main/Download%20Latest%20Release.htm

It is light and only 132.6 MB.

Make a Bootable pendrive with Rufus v1.3.2 (442 KB) http://rufus.akeo.ie/ It takes less than 2 minutes to create your bootable live Linux pendrive.

For more guidance on the recovery process directly get into the heading Recovering files from the non-bootable Internal Drive - applicable to recovery from any hard drive - in

Lucid Puppy way to recover files from a non-bootable computer

You may also use this tutorial by Golden http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/256518-peppermint3-create-live-cd-dvd-usb-use-emergency-backup.html to create your bootable pendrive with Peppermint Linux
- whichever is easy on you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Feb 2013   #7
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Agreed jumanji Goldens tut that was the one I was referring to and my own fix is to make a bootable Ubuntu disk and use the TRY version when it boots to Ubuntu to open up the drives it takes no time at all to make or use.

Download Ubuntu | Ubuntu
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Feb 2013   #8
jumanji

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

Yep, ICit , any live Linux should be OK ( I take quite sometime to compose my posts and as I was almost finishing, I saw your suggestion which is quite valid. An actual "walk-through" may make it easier for the OP. Even with such walk-through, I have known some OPs reluctant to indulge in Linux - the fear of the unknown. The fact is even me was reluctant till I mustered courage and try it and the result was that thread - the Lucid Puppy way. )
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Feb 2013   #9
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jumanji View Post
Yep, ICit , any live Linux should be OK ( I take quite sometime to compose my posts and as I was almost finishing, I saw your suggestion which is quite valid. An actual "walk-through" may make it easier for the OP. Even with such walk-through, I have known some OPs reluctant to indulge in Linux - the fear of the unknown. The fact is even me was reluctant till I mustered courage and try it and the result was that thread - the Lucid Puppy way. )
Agree jumanji a bit OT but the Linux stuff is really quite useful and I found it quite by accident testing Ubuntu
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Feb 2013   #10
bigseb

Windows 7 x64 Professional
 
 

Actually I tried the Linux route as I have been using Linux on-off for years. While I can open the harddrive and copy over the folders, the folders - when checked in Windows - are empty.

Come to think of it I never checked the contents of the folders in Linux. Will do that now and report back.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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