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Usb hard drive-lost file system

Discussion in 'Windows XP Help' started by betty, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. betty

    betty Techie7 New Member

    Messages:
    48
    Operating System:
    Windows XP
    I have a 400 g/b usb hard drive which I have uploaded several files and photos for storage. It has lost its file system so although the drive is loaded and recognized I can't access it. Windows xp says it needs formatting. Any idea how I can save the files? If I format can I still recover the files?
    Thanks.
  2. Jim23

    Jim23 Dedicated Member

    Messages:
    608
    Operating System:
    Windows 7
    Hi betty

    If you format you will lose any files that remain on your hard drive.

    When you say its lost its file system.
    Can you give more detail of what exactly happened when the problem occurred and any error message you can recall when it happened.

    Can you also right click on My Computer and select Manage
    In that window goto Disk Management
    Can you see your USB hard drive listed in the right hand pane?

    Jim
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2010
  3. betty

    betty Techie7 New Member

    Messages:
    48
    Operating System:
    Windows XP
    Thank-you--Yes it's listed in the right hand pane as drive E, there is no file system associated with it, i.e no fat32 or ntfs. I have been using it as a backup for 3 months, it suddenly stopped working, because of the the above. There was no indication of anything amiss. It has lost its file structure and I would like to know if I can get the files back somehow without it?
  4. Jim23

    Jim23 Dedicated Member

    Messages:
    608
    Operating System:
    Windows 7
    Could you go back into Disk Management and select the drive then right click on it
    and select properties.
    In that window select the Tools tab. Now select the Check now button.
    Now tick the boxes Automatically fix file system errors and Scan and attempt recovery of bad sectors.
    Then select Start.
    It could take some time to complete this and it would be best if you do not use your PC until its completed.

    Jim
  5. Top

    Top Techie7 New Member

    Messages:
    30
    If post by Jim23 does not work , try "testdisk" , be sure to read the How-To use first. Paying most attention to recover XP boot record in the advanced sub menu.
    TestDisk - CGSecurity
  6. betty

    betty Techie7 New Member

    Messages:
    48
    Operating System:
    Windows XP
    Thanks for your replies, I have resolved it after someone suggested using Easy recovery pro, in the raw recovery utility it allows recovery of files with no file structure. Although it took 11 hours I have recovered the photo files.
  7. Jim23

    Jim23 Dedicated Member

    Messages:
    608
    Operating System:
    Windows 7
    Glad to see you got it sorted.

    After you recovered the files did you reformat the drive?

    Jim
  8. betty

    betty Techie7 New Member

    Messages:
    48
    Operating System:
    Windows XP
    Yes I formatted o/k and it is working again. The drive is under warranty so I have asked for a replacement, don't want that happening again. Thanks to all who helped.

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