Cannot read from hard drive

September 20, 2008 at 07:29:13
Specs: Windows XP MCE, AMD 64 X2 4200/2 GB
OK, so I have this hard drive I plug into an enclosure and I use it to transport data. Well I booted it up yesterday and it wouldn't let me access the drive. So after checking everything, the only program that would read it was WD's Diagnostics, and somehow CHKDSK read through it and told me the partition was fine. But every other program (PTD, Acronis, PM, WinHex) all say that the MBR is screwed. Any way I can fix it, or at least get my data back?

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September 20, 2008 at 07:40:21
You could try to repair the MBR or you could try copying the files by using a live version of Linux, like Knoppix. You would need a place to copy the files though. How much data is on the drive?

Is the external formatted FAT32 or NTFS?

BTW, an external drive is no different than an internal one in one respect. You should always maintain at least TWO copies of any data you wish to keep.

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September 20, 2008 at 08:07:28
It is NTFS, but Linux isn't able to see the drive either. In Windows it just comes up as Local Disk and asks to format, but CHKDSK tells me the volume label and file system.

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September 20, 2008 at 08:16:17
Did you try a live version of Linux that can access NTFS drives? What did you try to use and how? Knoppix can access external drives and can read NTFS drives.

You could try to run fixmbr from a command prompt. Be sure to apply to the correct drive.

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September 20, 2008 at 10:27:50
If this drive is USB connected, you may need to plug it into a different USB port, or you may have an IRQ sharing problem.
See response 3 in this:

Most, if not all, USB connected external hard drive enclosures require you connect a power adapter to them, or TWO USB connections, because a single USB connection alone cannot provide enough current.

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September 20, 2008 at 14:18:03
You should be able to rebuild the partition table with winhex(tools-disk tools-scan for lost partitions)if you have paid for the program.

Or get a copy of TESTDISK
be sure to read the How-To-use first.

(all say that the MBR is screwed) posting the exact error would be more helpful.

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