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Windows 7: HDD problem not read - Windows 7. WD HDD 500Gb thought trying TestDisk

22 Sep 2015   #1

Windows 7 Enterprise 64 bit
HDD problem not read - Windows 7. WD HDD 500Gb thought trying TestDisk

1. Problem:
I have a 500 GB (effective 467GB) WD Passport external hard drive. Long story short, I was going to backup something from my second laptop (Windows Vista) and the computer froze so I freaked out and disconnected the External Hard Drive because I could not select "safely remove". Now it can't be read neither on that laptop nor on my main laptop (windows 7). I installed the correct WD drivers for my main laptop and the warning message disappeared from device manager but the hard drive cant be read (takes too long to try to read and fails) and appears as a Local Disk (E: ). Windows has many times suggested me to reformat the drive. I won't reformat it. I want to recover aprox 200Gb stored in it.

I have downloaded TestDisk and before repairing the partition I want to use TestDisk to take a look at the files and do a test by recovering one random video. Following the steps in this thread I encounter that When Selecting the Drive (the last line of TestDisk), TestDisk identifies that there is no partition table type in my drive. But when I select the HDD in the second line of TestDisk, it identifies a Intel/PC partition table type. I am attaching 3 captures of TestDisk to illustrate this:
  • Disk and Drive as shown in TestDisk.
  • Drive None partition table type detected.
  • Disk Intel/PC partition table type detected.

Now my doubts are:
  1. Is it ok to use TestDisk to solve this problem? I think the problem is the HDD partition got corrupted when I disconnected it.
  2. If yes, should I select Disk or Drive in TestDisk?
  3. Then, should I follow the identified partition table type?
I think choosing Disk (the second line in TestDisk) and then choosing Intel/PC as identified is the way to go but I am not sure nor confident so I prefer to ask the ones who know, you :).

2. Details of HDD:
Brand: Western Digital
Model: My Passport
Size: 500Gb (465Gb)
Product Number: WDBKXH5000ASL-03

3. Screenshot of Windows Disk Management: (Image to illustrate this)

I would really appreciate your help. I have learned a lot already reading this thread and others in this forum but I am not totally confident in trying to repair the partition or copying the any file from the HDD by using TestDisk (or any other software).

PD: I used the free version of Recuva to try to identify something in the HDD. I ran it without the deep scan option, it took like 8 hours but nothing was found so I decided to try with TestDisk and before experimenting with TestDisk I found this forum and the useful guide in Regain a lost drive using Test Disk - An Illustrated Guide . I hope Recuva has not damaged or made the recovering harder. I have never recovered a HDD before but it is my second HDD I have mistakenly disconnected inappropriately and that HDD has I think the same problem as this one. But first I will attend this one and after I do it successfully I will attend the other one.

PD 2: I posted in the before mentioned Thread (the one with the link I pasted). I will delete it once it appears approved. Sorry for that.

Attached Thumbnails
HDD problem not read - Windows 7. WD HDD 500Gb thought trying TestDisk-windows-disk-management.jpg  
Attached Images
HDD problem not read - Windows 7. WD HDD 500Gb thought trying TestDisk-testdisk-partition-type-disk.jpg HDD problem not read - Windows 7. WD HDD 500Gb thought trying TestDisk-testdisk-partition-type-drive.jpg HDD problem not read - Windows 7. WD HDD 500Gb thought trying TestDisk-testdisk-drive-disk.jpg 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Sep 2015   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

Hi Andres, I just had a cursory look at your post.

For the moment just do not do anything. Keep your WD passport away and do not try anything.

I have an appointment with my physician today. That means whole forenoon out. Afternoon I just want to nap for a few hours and refreshen myself.

So I shall be looking into this only after 12 hours from now..
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Sep 2015   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

OK, In all cases where Windows has difficulty in accessing a drive, our first effort is always to check whether Linux can access it , and if it does copy all files to another drive.

So go ahead with Lucid Puppy. Is there any way of saving a completely unrecognisable hard drive?

If you have any problems, post your query.

Now just as a matter for discussion and to answer your queries:

Whether TestDisk can be used in a situation like this where Windows has difficulty in accessing the disk?

May be.May be not. We have not tried. TestDisk being interactive, even if it is possible the procedure is going to be tedious and normal users may have to be walked through each and every step.. Easier with Linux.

In the Select Media screen only the "Disk" should be selected. ( The partitions as drives started appearing in only the latest version of TestDisk. I still do not know under what circumstances one should select the drive. Needs to be researched.)

Insofar as we know the disk is being used in Windows, the Partition Table Type," [Intel] Intel/PC partition" should normally be selected even if TestDisk is unable to find the partition type.. In the case of GPT drives "[EFI GPT]" should be selected.

Normally I recommend TestDisk only if the disk shows as RAW in Windows Disk Management. Even here Partition Wizard will be first choice considering ease of use.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

24 Sep 2015   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

Hello Andres89!

I'm sorry this has happened! :/

Still, it does look like disconnecting the drive when your second system froze could have actually caused the problem. :/

Personally, I would follow Jumanji's suggestions and advices. I can't give advice on the steps in using TestDisk. Still, I could say that using a live Linux CD to check if your drive can be accessed through it, is worth it. Linux has a simpler programming than Windows, allowing it to often be able to successfully access presumably damaged/dead/RAW drives. Let's hope there's luck with this case!

Another thing I could suggests is before doing anything with TestDisk, to try and clone the drive. This would give you the opportunity to work on the problem further if, I hope not, things go south with the software. :/

I leave on Jumanji the rest and shall take a look here again tomorrow! :)

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 HDD problem not read - Windows 7. WD HDD 500Gb thought trying TestDisk

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