External Hard Drive Error

February 29, 2016 at 06:42:42
Specs: Windows 10

My external hard drive is showing an error.

G:\ is not accessible.

The disk structure is corrupted and unreadable.

Does anyone know how to fix it without formatting it? Have a lot of file on there that I'd like to recover if possible.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated

See More: External Hard Drive Error

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February 29, 2016 at 09:32:22
Well for starters, one drive is not enough since it means the data is not backed up and that's never a good position to be in. Hard drives fail, so you have to be prepared for that.

I have four external hard drives all containing the same data.

Something in this external thread may help if it's not too late:

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February 29, 2016 at 11:07:02
Certainly echo phil22's advice re' having at least two (external) media storage sources. Ideally two hard drives; or else dvd copies of "all" important files - 2 sets...

If the pennies will allow... consider a simple NAS system; 2 drives mirrored (RAID-1). That way if one of the two drives goes down you can easily (well relatively) replace it; and then rebuild the mirror system - using the data from the surviving drive. The simple mirrored system system is the absolute minimum to go for (IMHO); as it provides dual storage that is constantly kept in sync. And even with an NAS - still useful/wise to copy "really important stuff" to DVD as well; and regularly check and update those DVDs.

I have QNAPS 210ts - does the job perfectly.

One tip re' NAS systems. Install the heavier duty hard drives that are designed to be left "on" as it were for prolonged periods; rather the standard drives usually found in most laptops and desktop systems.

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February 29, 2016 at 11:54:01
Yeah, I've already bought another hard drive solely for backing up.

Just looking for some advice on how to recover the files that are on the failed drive

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Related Solutions

February 29, 2016 at 12:09:21
Does the drive spin up?

A very long shot... which has been known to work...

Remove the drive from its housing; wrap in a paper towel; place in a sandwich bag or similar small plastic bag; expel the air and seal the bag. Place it in the freezer for about an hour. Remove from freezer; open the bag and loosen - but do not remove - the paper towel; leaving the drives till wrapped in the bag. Leave to sit for about 5-10mins. Restore drive to its housing and see if it all allow access when connected again via usb?

If it does... very quickly copy as much as you can to another hard drive; and also to DVD...? If the drive is accessible again after the freezer routine, it will likely fail again shortly afterwards. At which time you repeat the freezer process again... There will come a time when the drive will fail to revive...It is a very long shot - but if possible worth a try - if other non freezer methods don't pan out?

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February 29, 2016 at 14:18:43
I just want to confirm that I've successfully used the freezer trick to retrieve data from a failing HDD. You will have to move quickly because as the drive warms up & internal components expand, it will begin to act up again. I think I had to refreeze it 3-4 times but ultimately, I successfully retrieved all the data I needed.

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February 29, 2016 at 15:00:14
If the disk structure is corrupt and unreadable then I suggest that you NOT try the freezer trick.

You need to use a utility to reconstruct the file system on the drive.

Testdisk or Easeus partition recovery.

Get them at the links below. Be sure to read all the instructions BEFORE attempting to use. Easeus MAY be shareware now, not sure. Test disk is absolutely free.

If you have bought another eternal drive I suggest you clone the corrupted disk to the new one and attempt to recover the partition using that drive.

Go to Disk Management and see if the external drive you are having trouble with shows there. If so, the file system may show as RAW. That is a good sign and you should be able to fix the partition. If that is the case the most likely cause is improperly removing the drive. You should always use the safely remove icon the the tray by the clock.

What Phil and trvlr are telling you is to maintain a MINIMUM of TWO copies of any files you wish to keep. More if they are irreplaceable. I back up to external drives and for things like family photos, burn them to DVDR.


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February 29, 2016 at 15:08:53
I agree wih OtH re' trying data recovery software first, before giving the freezer routine a go.

The idea of cloning the faulty drive to a new one and then trying to recover data is an interesting one.

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