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Windows 7: External Hard drive format problems.

20 Sep 2009   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate
External Hard drive format problems.

Well I have an external hard drive that was formatted in NTFS on an XP machine not too long ago. It is a 160 GB Western Digital. It has been working great on windows 7 for a couple of weeks. Just today it won't let me access the drive and it is telling me that I will need to format the drive before I can use it. I have so much important data on here . I am really worried about losing it all. Why is this happening?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Sep 2009   #2


Could be a number of reasons - have you installed any new software recently? Reinstalled Windows recently? Changed your permissions on the drive recently?

if not, then try powering down everything (including the drive) then booting up in Windows with drive off, and finally powering on the drive and attaching it to the system.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Sep 2009   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate

very strange it does work now after a reboot. also before i was using a 16 ft usb extender cable and i dont think it is an active device. anyway it is functioning now. good time to get some backing up done in case it does happen soon again. thank you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

17 Dec 2011   #4
SciFi girl

Windows 7 Home Premium

I had this same problem with an external WD 500GB drive.
I suggest you copy all data to another drive. Adjust permissions of the copied folders and files.
Then go to Administrator Tools>Computer Manager> Storage>Disk Management
Right click the drive and delete the Volume, then you can format it and copy back the data.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Dec 2011   #5

Windows 7 Pro x64

If you are using a 16' USB cable I hope you have it on a external powered USB hub otherwise you will get problems. A 10' USB cable is the maxium that you want to use on a standard USB port.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 External Hard drive format problems.

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