Hard drive loss all data

January 21, 2010 at 22:59:26
Specs: Windows XP
I have a Maxtor 3.5" hard drive I bought >5 years ago. I used it to back up my files occasionally. The last time I used it was more than 6 months ago. Recently when I connect it to my PC using USB connection as I always do, the PC detected the drive but there is no folder/files inside. When I click on the drive, it said the disk in drive is not formatted. And system asked me if I want to format the drive. I know if I format it, I will lose all my data. I tried to connect it again for last 3 days and the same thing happen. Can anyone advise me what I should do to recover the files and folders beside senting to the data recovery center which is costly.

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January 22, 2010 at 00:05:21
trying using the cmd to read data...

Start > Run > CMD and type the drive of letter of your HDD
and column hit enter and type dir

see if anything comes up then, if nothing try changing the
letter of your HDD to something else.

Right click my computer > Manage > Disk Management and
locate the HDD you want to change drive letter to - then right
click and "Change drive letter and paths" and select another
letter and see how that goes...

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January 22, 2010 at 05:51:12
Try 'testdisk' , be sure to read the how to use first. You need to pay attention to recover XP boot record section.

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January 22, 2010 at 05:54:32
When is disk management look at how the drive is configured there.

You mentioned this is a backup drive. Does that mean the files are also on the internal drive in your computer? If not then that isn't a backup but the primary copy. That is an invitation to lose valuable data.

You are fortunate that the drive still shows. That is an indication the drive is still functioning.

You may have improperly removed the external drive without using the safely remove command.

If that is the case then it may be possible to rebuilt the partition using a program called testdisk. Testdisk may work or it is possible it could make matters worse.

you may want to first use file recovery software to copy the files from the external to another location. You can use a live version of Linux like Knoppix or Puppy or use file recovery software. Look at the links below for recovery software and to the testdisk site.


PC Inspector (freeware)
Zero assumption Recovery
The demo is limited
It will only recover 'up to' four folders per run
But you can make multiple runs
IMO the best, but not free

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January 22, 2010 at 18:28:53
Have you always used it externally or was it previously used as an internal drive? If it was an internal drive hook it up that way again and see if it makes any difference.

You're not really green until you're soylent green.

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