Solved Trying to save data from an old Maxtor SATA HDD

December 4, 2012 at 18:37:08
Specs: Windows XP
Hello All. I am hoping someone here can help. I am accessing this SATA 3.5 drive using a USB adapter to laptop. The hard drive shows up in both BIOS and Disk Management.

When I go to Disk Management the hard drive shows as Online but it is Unallocated. When I right click on the drive "new partition" is my only option. In properties the location is 0. And the drive isn't visible under my computer (like a USB flash drive would be).

I downloaded Seatools diagnostic and the hard drive appears healthy.
I don't want to format the HDD to make it accessible because I don't know what is on it. I would like to recover the data if possible.

Any suggestions or advice?
Thank you.


See More: Trying to save data from an old Maxtor SATA HDD

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✔ Best Answer
December 5, 2012 at 11:17:57
You can't post a screen shot directly but you can post a link to a hosting site like photobucket.

I don't see any advantage to posting a screen shot.

The MBR is the traditional method of tracking files on a partition/ hard drive.

"Convert to GPT Disk" is another new way to partition a hard drive. I don't know much about it myself but Wikipedia does address it. See the link below. Dynamic disk is basically an extension of your C: partition.

We are getting off topic here. The point is this. You are going to need a drive letter in order to check the disk with recuva. I am not sure if other recovery software might work without a letter or not. If they run from a boot disk they may be able to see something. Most of them are crippled in some manner and want your to pay to play.

You don't know if there are any useful files on the drive but you have gone without them since the host computer was set aside so how important can they be.

If it were my drive I would partition it and try to assign a letter. If you can't the use the quick format option and a drive letter should be assigned.

Then run recuva.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GUID_P...

MBR is what you want because surely that is what was originally used on that drive.



#1
December 4, 2012 at 19:33:25
If you're not sure what's on it maybe it's empty. Could it have been wiped before you got it?

Also, I'm not sure if the USB adapters are always the best way to go. You may need to connect it to a desktop having a regular SATA port.

You could try recovery software as a last resort. There's some recommendations in this previous thread:

http://www.computing.net/answers/ha...

Some may only work with the flash drive specified there.

Or others may post in with recovery recommendations.


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#2
December 4, 2012 at 21:02:47
Thanks Dave.
So far, as a result of the link you provided I went here http://www.powerdatarecovery.com/do... and downloaded Mini Tool Power Data Recovery 6.6. I performed a lost partition recovery scan with no partitions found.
So is there a way to tell if there is even any data on the drive or am I just wasting time? I don't know why I would have kept an old hdd if it was empty. I don't even have a PC anymore, strictly laptops.
Is it possible that if I create a partition that any data still on the hard drive could still be accessible?

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#3
December 4, 2012 at 22:16:52
Try to assign a drive letter while in Windows Disk Management. IF you can get a letter assigned then use recuva to search for any files that might be available.

Even if the partition was formatted using quick format recuva will probably find files.

If you can't assign a drive letter, then go ahead and format the partition. That should assign a drive letter, then run recuva. That should work unless the drive was formatted using something other than NTFS.

Get recuva from the link below.

http://www.piriform.com/recuva


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Related Solutions

#4
December 4, 2012 at 22:38:33
Hi Othehill. Thank you for your response. Can you give me any idea on how to format the partition? If I remember correctly, when I was in the disk management I was not able to assign a drive letter. When I right click on the drive "new partition" is my only option.

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#5
December 4, 2012 at 23:58:39
That's what you have to do. create a new partition on it, assign a drive letter and then quick format. after that try the recovery software.

Goin' Fishin' (Some day)


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#6
December 5, 2012 at 03:34:18
Do it like Richard said. If the original partition filled the entire drive and it was NTFS and someone didn't scrub the drive, you may find files.

The fact the drive is SATA indicates it isn't that old, so it most likely was formatted NTFS.

If the drive came out of a pre-configured computer then there may have been a recovery partition in addition to the working partition.

If you really want to play with this drive then you could partition it and then try assigning a drive letter in Disk Management without formatting it. Then try using Easeus Partition recovery to reconstruct the original partitions. Then use recuva.

The key with recuva is the drive must have a letter assignment before it can access the drive.

Even without doing that recuva may find files. I am guessing you wiped the drive anticipating giving the desktop away and then removed the hard drive as an extra precaution.

I would say this to you. Don't save anything to hard drive that you want to keep out of others hands. I never save passwords, bank account numbers, etc. on my hard drives.

Get Easeus Partition Recovery from the link below.

http://www.easeus.com/partition-rec...



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#7
December 5, 2012 at 04:01:40
Hi Gav,

if you want to save files off a disk, the things you *DO NOT DO* are partition and/or format.

Would first do as Dave suggests and install it in the expected manner.

Good Luck - Keep us posted.


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#8
December 5, 2012 at 04:51:56
Mike, the poster has stated they don't have desktop computers anymore, only laptop.

The drive appears to have been altered in some manner. Probably had the partitions deleted. Putting it into a computer will not change that.


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#9
December 5, 2012 at 05:40:38
I appreciate all the new responses. So when I go to partition the drive should I use Windows XP? I hear that it can be kind of brutal and may affect any existing data.

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#10
December 5, 2012 at 05:51:08
Partition while in Windows Disk Management. As I stated above, you can elect to ONLY partition and not format at all. I believe that you should either see a drive letter assignment or be able to manually assign one. Then recuva should be able to access the drive.

Once you are finished with any recovery you could use the drive for backups or storage. You would format at that time.

Assign a high letter so as not to conflict with any other external media you may already use.


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#11
December 5, 2012 at 07:50:10
Alright so I turned my laptop on from last night and the still attached USB hard drive showed not initialized through the disk management screen. When I right clicked and hit initialize it would give me an error. So i reseated the USB and the laptop then detected the hard drive again, just not through my computer, only in BIOS and Disk Management.

But now when right click on the hard drive in disk management I have different options. When I click on the left column that identifies the hard drive I can either "Convert to Dynamic Disk" or "Convert to GPT Disk".
When I right click on the right side in disk management (this part is striped and shows unallocated) my option is"New Simple Volume". Last night my option was "New partition".

What is all this telling me?


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#12
December 5, 2012 at 10:07:08
You don't want either of those options.

When the option is new simple disk is there a drive letter assigned or is the space still showing as all unallocated?

What version of Windows are you using on your laptop?

Do see an icon in the tray that indicates an external drive is connected to the computer?

What is the model of your laptop?


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#13
December 5, 2012 at 11:00:50
When the option is "New Simple Volume" the hard drive shows as unallocated. When I right click it does not allow me to access "change drive letter and paths".

Right now I am on a Dell Inspiron N7110 running Windows 7. I've Yes, there is an icon in my tray, and I am able to eject manually as I would a flash drive.

On this forum is there anyway to attach a screenshot of the hard drive properties? Under volumes it shows the partition style as MBR (Master Boot Record).

I've also tried accessing hard drive via USB on a Lenovo T410 with WIndows XP.


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#14
December 5, 2012 at 11:17:57
✔ Best Answer
You can't post a screen shot directly but you can post a link to a hosting site like photobucket.

I don't see any advantage to posting a screen shot.

The MBR is the traditional method of tracking files on a partition/ hard drive.

"Convert to GPT Disk" is another new way to partition a hard drive. I don't know much about it myself but Wikipedia does address it. See the link below. Dynamic disk is basically an extension of your C: partition.

We are getting off topic here. The point is this. You are going to need a drive letter in order to check the disk with recuva. I am not sure if other recovery software might work without a letter or not. If they run from a boot disk they may be able to see something. Most of them are crippled in some manner and want your to pay to play.

You don't know if there are any useful files on the drive but you have gone without them since the host computer was set aside so how important can they be.

If it were my drive I would partition it and try to assign a letter. If you can't the use the quick format option and a drive letter should be assigned.

Then run recuva.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GUID_P...

MBR is what you want because surely that is what was originally used on that drive.


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#15
December 5, 2012 at 11:26:08
Othehill, thanks again for all your time and patient responses.
I have a feeling they're old pictures of family members no longer with us. It would be nice to see if they could be salvaged. So is "New Simple Volume" creating a partition?

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#16
December 5, 2012 at 13:14:42
In that case try these recovery programs.

Zero assumption Recovery
http://www.z-a-recovery.com/

The demo is limited
It will only recover 'up to' four folders per run
But you can make multiple runs
not free

GetDataBack
http://www.runtime.org/

For whatever reason these are not becoming links. Copy and paste to the address bar.

If you have no success with those there is a link in #2 above to an old thread that has other recovery programs listed.. You can always format later if all else fails.

Or there is professional data recovery services. They are not cheap.



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#17
December 5, 2012 at 14:47:10
Well I tried again with ZAR from http://www.z-a-recovery.com/downloa...
I completed a scan and it came up with the following message:

Unable to Continue
There seems to be no files on the volume.
Unable to continue processing, program will now terminate.
Not a bug - data is probably beyond repair, or something is misconfigured.

So it looks like you may have been right all along. All the same I wanted to give it a shot. I thank you again for all your time and assistance with this issue.


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#18
December 5, 2012 at 14:54:05
I would recommend you partition the drive in Disk Management and then use quick format. The drive should then have a letter assigned. Then try recuva. It may find stuff even if the drive was formatted using full format.

Worth a try.


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#19
December 5, 2012 at 15:55:33
That's what I was saying before, I no longer have that option to partition. I only have the options detailed in response 12.

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#20
December 5, 2012 at 17:39:24
Well, somehow that doesn't make sense. You stated you got different results when booting with the drive connected and with connecting it after up.

If you feel tired of it all then try to go for the dynamic disk route. What should happen is the external will become an extension of your internal drive. No additional drive letter. The external will be part of the C: partition. Recuva should then work. If you find anything you will need to save it to another location like CD or flash drive to be sure it isn't just saving it to the external.

Do you have any option to connect the external to any other computer?


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#21
December 5, 2012 at 17:56:09
I know, I'm not sure what happened that I now no longer have that partition option.
I don't know if I want to take that much more time trying to hook up to another computer. I just tried the dynamic disk option and Virtual Disk Manager tells me that "The operation is not supported by the object".
What does "New Simple Volume" do?

Would anything change on an XP machine?


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#22
December 5, 2012 at 22:33:40
Is your laptop an HP brand? If so, is the model on the linked list?

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsuppor...

Those laptop models have the options you describe above in #12 above. Possible you may see different options when using a different computer.


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#23
December 6, 2012 at 14:25:09
Alright so I tried again today with my XP laptop. And right away I had an option for new partition like you suggested. I was able to create new partition and quick format and now the drive shows as healthy. I was able to assign a drive letter and can now access via "My Computer". However, it doesn't look like there is anything left on the drive. I am currently running a Recuva (from Piriform) deep scan just in case.
In any case you were right on with answer #15. I hope others in the future are able to find this thread helpful. Thank you again Othehill for all of your help and patience.

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#24
December 6, 2012 at 16:28:15
Well, we did what we could. Thanks for getting back to us.

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#25
December 12, 2012 at 18:36:12
Let us know if you find anything! You left me on a cliff hanger!

~oldie
Not everyone can decipher Klingon script...
chay' ta' SoH tlhe' vam Doch Daq


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#26
December 12, 2012 at 18:50:34
Hi Oldisgood, like we suspected that drive was empty. Good walkthrough on how to get data either way!

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