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Windows 7: External harddrive fails

23 Feb 2013   #11

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bigseb View Post
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......
That is indeed strange. It should hardly matter whether you copy the folders/files into your internal drive or another external drive. Windows should be able to open the folders and read the files. If the folders are empty, I would wonder why!!!!!!

Have you copied all the data and checked all the folders? Are all of them empty?

EDIT: Go to Folder Options in Windows , unhide the files and check. ( off now to bed.)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Feb 2013   #12

Windows 7 x64 Professional

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jumanji View Post
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

It is light and only 132.6 MB.

Make a Bootable pendrive with Rufus v1.3.2 (442 KB) 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 to create your bootable pendrive with Peppermint Linux
- whichever is easy on you.
Just tried this method... the recovery wizard doesn't see drive H: at all. Not showing up in My Computer either.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Feb 2013   #13

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

Again it is strange. If the drive did show up in Disk Management, I do not see any reason why Partition Wizard will not show, unless something serious has happened to the drive since you posted the screenshot.

Again you must plugin the drive, before you run Partition Wizard.

Does it still show in the Disk Management?

Are you still able to access the drive with live Linux? If so, do copy all the files to another external drive.

Try the recovery with Partition Wizard on another computer or download the bootable CD of Partition Wizard, burn it on to a CD, boot with it and try the recovery. (That should keep the Windows out of the loop)

What is the status of folders you recovered? Did you check for the files after unhiding?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

28 Feb 2013   #14

Windows 7 x64 Professional


The files are still if I view them using a Linux live disk. However when I try to copy them over to another harddrive it starts the copy but then an error shows and ext harddive disappears.

I was hoping to fix this myself but it looks as if I'll have to get my company's IT guy to take care of it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2013   #15

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit SP1 x64

Minitool Partition Wizard is generally suitable for both MBR and GPT style HDD.
UNFORTUNATELY its Partition Recovery Wizard is NOT suitable for use on GPT

I STRONGLY RECOMMEND the freeware Lazesoft Recovery suite :-
Download Lazesoft Products

I have a GPT style 600 GB HDD that twitched state into MBR due to a glitch in the Boot up transition from BIOS into Windows.
A 25 GB partition became RAW.
A 500 GB partition became unallocated space.

The Lazesoft Recovery suite has recovered my files,
and even 6000 MB Partition image backup files are intact and Macrium has verified their checksums.
This was done without any need to perform Partition Recovery
(I hesitated to use any partition recovery tool that might be misled by Windows into creating MBR partitions on the GPT boundaries)

NB Previously commercial software costing $69 also retrieved those files but that attempt failed Macrium verification.
I think the difficulty with a 6 GB file is that it was probably in perhaps 200 fragments,
and simple file recovery can only identify the "first extent" (technical term which I think means the first fragment),
hence I am impressed that both recovery tools found every one of 200 fragments and built up the same sized output files,
and astounded that the free recovery tool was able to find and fit several hundred pieces together in the correct order.

Just two "defects" which I reported to the developer and should be corrected in the next release :-

Although it identifies the actual time-stamps of the files available for recovery,
when I tell it to save them (on a different drive) it allows Windows to save them with "today's time-stamp";

Some recovery actions require it to use Windows "handles" on partitions,
and in anticipation of such a need it assigns drive letters to valid partitions that have no letters,
and those letters remain after the tool has finished and closed.
My 100 MB "System Reserved" partition became drive G:\ - it still is G:\ because it causes me no concerns,
but those who are purists may be horrified if this happens and you a slow to recognise and then fix.

N.B It can also build a WinPE Recovery Bootable CD/Flash

Amazing free software.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2013   #16

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers

Hi there
try some of these "Freebies"

15 Free File Recovery Software Programs (Free Undelete Software)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2013   #17

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bigseb View Post

The files are still if I view them using a Linux live disk. However when I try to copy them over to another harddrive it starts the copy but then an error shows and ext harddive disappears.

I was hoping to fix this myself but it looks as if I'll have to get my company's IT guy to take care of it.
I do not know much about Linux but I have just seen many Linux users complaining that they are able to mount the NTFS drives but cannot copy the files. There was also some discussion on which driver Linux uses to read NTFS, may be sometimes read only.

So I would suggest that you go with the tried out Linux solutions as indicated in my post #6, either Lucid Puppy or Peppermint 3.

If you strike gold, let us know.

I am continuing to look at Linux not copying problem and will come back if I can find any discernible solution. You may also google search on the problem and perhaps you can understand and decipher better than me.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2013   #18

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit SP1 x64

Please note that there is no mounting of partitions required with my suggestion
Download Lazesoft Products

That can see the physical drive and recover RAW files that Windows sees as neither FAT nor NTFS,
AND ALSO recover files without mounting partitions that originally occupied what is now unallocated space.
It does it all under natural installed Windows with zero need for LINUX.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2013   #19

Windows 7 Ultimate 32-Bit & Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit


Lets try this ...

We can run CHKDSK from Windows Recovery Environment, steps to follow:

Put the Windows 7 installation disc in the disc drive, and then start the computer.

Press a key when you are prompted.

Select a language, a time, a currency, a keyboard or an input method, and then click Next.

Click Repair your computer. ( Bottom Left hand side )

Click the operating system that you want to repair, and then click Next.

In the System Recovery Options dialog box, click Command Prompt.
Type in what is in the code box press ENTER after each command

information   Information
Take note of the driver letter

Once you're done type
information   Information
That will exit Diskpart

then do a

chkdsk n /f /v
information   Information
n= drive letter
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 External harddrive fails

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