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Windows 7: Seagate 2TB external drive - cannot find any partitions

11 Aug 2014   #11

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

OK, run chkdsk from an elevated command prompt.

(Click on the down arrow icon at the left bottom of Start page > Apps > Windows System, right click on Command Prompt and Run as administrator. User Account Control say Yes)

At the Command Prompt, C:\windows\system32\ type "External drive letter" eg : E: <enter>

At the resulting prompt Chkdsk /r /f <enter>

Note:Any data on bad sectors repaired might be lost. Inevitable.

If this fails to correct the problem run SeaTools for Windows and try to repair the disk.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Aug 2014   #12

Windows 7 Pro 64-bit

E:\>chkdsk /r /f
The type of the file system is RAW.
Cannot lock current drive.
CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives.

Seatools for Windows:
Drive Information - Test Unavailable
Short Generic - Short Generic - FAIL
Long Generic - Long Generic - FAIL
Advanced Tests - pressed F8 to enable but nothing dropped down when clicked on the menu
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Aug 2014   #13

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

May be I am missing something - my brains ? . I have sent a PM to Anshad Edavana to have a look at this thread. Please wait.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

13 Aug 2014   #14

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

OK, Till Anshad Edavana comes online, I shall briefly put my thoughts and why I am in a fix on this issue.

1. From the time you had stated that you had to plug out and plug in power to the external drive for it to be recognised I have been musing whether your AC adapter has gone temperemental.

2. It is very hard for me to ignore the Windows Disk Management screenshot at post #8 which shows your external drive is 74% occupied with 26 % free which is a clear indication that data is still there.

3. Personally, I have had much less exposure to Windows 8.1 and running PW or Seatools for Windows on it and so I am not prepared to take that results as sacrosanct - coupled with the suspicion your power brick may be faulty.

4. It is quite possible that an intermittent AC adapter that powers your external drive may be causing these indifferent results. So should I recommend trying the external drive with a new adapter? What if it turns out that it is not causing this problem? Should I put my head under the guillotine?

A second opinion from other heads is desirable and that is why I am pulling in Anshad Edavana. It is open for others also to put in their views.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Aug 2014   #15
Mark Phelps

Win7 Pro 32-bit, Win8 Pro 32-bit

Seagate drives are failing all over the place! No, really! I've used Seagates for years and then, a few weeks ago, I started seeing threads about Seagates failing -- with the symptoms just like yours. Intermittent file failures were followed by the dreaded "bad disk" in WDM. Then, my own 2TB Barracuda drive failed -- same symptoms. Then, a fried told me that their 5-drive NAS had three of the Seagates fail in the same day.

I tried all the recovery apps I could find and nothing worked on my drive. I sent if off to a drive recovery service and they told me the heads had crashed -- and wanted $1000 USD to fix it. OF course, I declined.

I then read a recent drive review thread that showed that Seagates now have the worse recent history of drive failures. Seems they do fine for 2-3 years and then suddenly, without warning, crash on you.

You are likely to have to send the drive to a data recovery service to get the data back.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Aug 2014   #16

Windows 7 Pro 64-bit

Hey Mark, thanks for sharing your experience too. I am hoping I would not need to resort to data recovery service because as you said they are usually very expensive and there is no guarantee the data could be recovered.

Jumanji, the reason I unplugged/re-plugged the power cable is that it seemed to be the only way to get Windows out of the "hang" state. There is no power switch on the device. I guess the other alternative I could use is unplugging/re-plugging the USB cable, which I am yet to try. I prefer the power cable simply because it is easier i.e. I don't need to worry about which way the cable goes in which I do need to worry for USB cables. Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Aug 2014   #17

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers

Hi there

sometimes Work computers have some software like Bit locker (or alternatives) that USB devices have to be either encrypted or have something like Bit locker on them - this is done usually to stop all and sundry running Portable apps and who knows what else from USB drives on Work supplied PC's. There might be other software around on the PC as well to stop users from plugging in certain types of USB devices.

If the HDD works on your NON office computer then you'll have to see your admin if you want to use the external HDD.

Unless the place is dusty or you bash the HDD around a bit IMO HDD's are far more reliable than most people might think -- they can and DO fail but only rarely IMO.

Note also that these 2TB external HDD's work better when run from a POWERED USB port - the laptop might not be delivering enough "juice" to the HDD. You can in this case run it from a separately powered USB hub.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Aug 2014   #18

Windows 7 Pro 64-bit

Hey Jimbo, thanks for the reply. My Seagate Expansion 2TB external USB drive is externally powered and it is not working on either my work laptop running Windows 7 or my home PC running Windows 8.1.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Aug 2014   #19

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1

I have seen some bad reports on seagate drives and this is moving me towards WD. Nevertheless I have 6 of them as internals on 3 PCs and non have failed me yet.

For the external you have 4 areas for failure
1) the micro USB connector
2) the internal USB to Sata interface
3) the HDD Sata interface on the drive itself
4) the physical HDD

I'd start by seeing if a new micro USB cable makes a difference. I've had problems on a couple of externals with the terribly designed micro USB connectors (on WD externals). A very small movement can cause them to disconnect.

After all the repair attempts you may have damaged the file system and need to attempt RAW data recovery but first you need to have consistent/reliable data connection.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2014   #20

Windows 7 Pro 64-bit

Hi mjf, thanks for the advice. I changed the USB cable but I still can't access the data. Interestingly this time I cannot even access the drive from the command prompt.

The system cannot find the file specified.

Perhaps the above is just part of the erratic behavior and not specifically caused by the change of cable, I think.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Seagate 2TB external drive - cannot find any partitions

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