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External hard drive.

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Help' started by mthkumudo, Dec 18, 2014.

  1. mthkumudo

    mthkumudo Established Techie7 Member

    I have an external hard drive I have been saving information in for a few years. Today I went to access it and got a message to format the drive. How can I access it? If I format it won't I lose all the information?
  2. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    This is why we keep backups. ALL drives WILL fail - eventually.

    Since it appears you can see the drive, that suggests the enclosure is working and the drive itself has failed. :( You can try a different pair of USB ports, but don't hold your breath.

    If me, I would attempt to recover any data using Recuva from the makers of CCleaner.
  3. mthkumudo

    mthkumudo Established Techie7 Member

    I guess I really learned a good lesson, ya gotta back up the back up. I tried Recova and it really seemed to be working through stage 1 and 2, but at stage 3, nothing. Told me that there wasn't any information that they could recover.
  4. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    Absolutely! I keep multiple copies of my important files in multiple locations. But it sounds like this drive contained your ONLY copies of these important files. So the backup was not a backup. :(

    Too bad Recuva was not successful. You can try other recovery programs, but since they all use the same protocols, I don't see them helping. So your only other option is to take the drive to a "data recovery service". These "forensic" recovery services will disassemble the drive and attempt to recover any data directly from the platters. This is very labor intensive and requires the use of very sophisticated, specialized equipment. This service can cost well into the $100s, or even $1000s. So you will need to weigh how valuable the data is to you.

    Sorry I could not be of further help. :(
  5. vom53

    vom53 Established Techie7 Member

    mthkumudo, I also faced a similar issue. However, unlike your external drive, my problem was with an internal drive.
    First, I tried Recuva to no avail. At this stage, I began to look at other software. Like Digerati mentioned, there are numerous options available. For me, I chose to use Zero Assumption Recovery.

    The difference was that Zero Assumption Recovery provide a deeper scan and will try its best to retrieve the data you lost. Remember that not all data may be retrievable. This is recommended to STOP most of your activities with the external hard drive and find a suitable recovery software that will help you recover your files.