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Windows 7: External hard drive lost data

03 Jul 2011   #1

Win XP Home SP3 / Win7 Ultimate dual boot
External hard drive lost data

I had a message about errors when I plugged in my WD external hard drive. I let the Error Checking run and when it finished it said I needed to format the disk. I cancelled this and looked in my computer and although the drive appeared, no details (i.e. space usage) was present.

I re-ran Error Checking with "Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors" checked.

After running this the drive appeared properly in My Computer.

However there are many files missing, and the space usage of what is there doesn't match up with what my computer says.

Files I can physically see: ~ 120 Gb.

Space usage according to Explorer: ~420 Gb.

So it looks like tha data may still be there but Windows can't see it???

Any suggestions on possible ways to recover??

Edit: BTW, forgot to say, all this is booted into Win7 not XP on my dual boot system.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jul 2011   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


You may be able recover some of the data with this apps.
Recuva - Undelete, Unerase, File and Disk Recovery - Free Download

Check the hard drive with the manufacturer's diagnostic tools.
Hard Drive Diagnostics Tools and Utilities (Storage) - TACKtech Corp.
HD Diagnostic
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jul 2011   #3
James Colbert


Welcome, Bobthebass :).

Can you see the files with a Linux Live boot CD?:

Download | Ubuntu

I would try that first to copy data off the drive

I would then try running chkdsk/f from the command prompt (or if from windows, "Automatically fix file system errors" only) followed by checking the HD with the manufacturer's diagnostics.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

03 Jul 2011   #4

Win XP Home SP3 / Win7 Ultimate dual boot

Thanks for the responses.

Recova can see some files but not all.

So far, repeated use of chkdsk from the command prompt seems to be getting somewhere. It keeps stopping with unexpected errors, but each time it runs it gets a little further. I've been able to get about 60 Gb of files back so far (and the photos I've recovered are the only things that I couldn't eventually replace!)

I have a Ubuntu CD somewhere, so I'll fire that up next and see how it goes.

Thanks again.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 External hard drive lost data

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