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Windows 7: Lost data on WD external hard drive

15 May 2010   #11

Win 7 Ultimate 32bit

Seriously,, WHS is correct. You are going to need to learn how to use the app,,, but Testdisk is what you need. If the data exists on that drive, Testdisk will recover it.
Oh,, and yeah,, it's free.

It is not a very user friendly app. but it's not too difficult either.
It takes a while to run,, I will try to write up some quick instructions......

Off the top of my head..,,,.

Get the Testdisk and extract it to some location
Open it and find testdisk_win.exe and (just to be safe) right click and run as admin
Hit Enter to Create a log,, not important really

Use arrow keys to select the correct drive,, you will see it....
Hit enter to Proceed
Hit enter to Select Intel
Hit Enter to select Analyse
Hit Enter to select Quick Search
Select Yes or No as to the next question.
It will wither start scanning, or you will need to hit enter again.
If you can,, hit cancel,, if you get the option at the bottom to do a Deeper Search (this is the option you want) select that and hit enter...

The search is going to take a while to run, so relax and let it do it's thing.
You will need another location to copy the itmes that it does find to, as You do not want to try copying them back to the drive they are on as you are recovering them.

Testdisk is what you need. It has saved my data more than twice.

During the recovery process,, you will need to use the arrow keys and enter to move around and copy files,, just follow the on screen prompts.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 May 2010   #12

Windows 7

Thanks for the instructions and I will try this and get back to let you know how I get on- worth a try if its free-
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2010   #13

Windows 7

Thanks to all that assisted especially WHS and Tepid with good instructions. I have now recovered most if not all of the data using TestDisk. i used the photo recovery element but it did recover my music, docs and movie files. Ask it to search the whole drive - it did take a while but worth it. If you like me and made the mistake of putting too much on the external drive then I would buy another just to write the found files onto the new drive as Testdisc will finf loads of broken files too. Thanks again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

24 Nov 2010   #14

Windows 7 x64

I found my data!!

I realized the properties on my external drive were still showing a large portion was still used despite the apparent deletion. My files were not on my C: drive in $INPLACE. However, I found there was a $INPLACE folder hidden on the external drive too! Everything is in there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Lost data on WD external hard drive

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