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External Drive just died?


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#1 lolcats

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 04:09 PM

Help!

We had an external USB drive with tons of media files on it connected to computer A running Windows 7 Pro SP1
The drive was safely removed and connected to another computer that was running Windows XP Pro 2002 SP3.
I was told that the drive was not recognized in XP and that it was disconnected (I cannot say for sure "Safely") and returned to the Windows 7 computer.
Once the drive came up I get the following:

K: is not accessible.
The disk structure is corrupted and unreadable.

I know every drive fails eventually and I'm not sure how old this drive is.
Any suggestions on utilities to use to try and repair the file structure, or any other advice?
I have only tried rebooting the Windows 7 computer and that did not change anything.
Thanks in advance.

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#2 FrankOtheMountaiN

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 06:09 PM

SP1 only supported smaller hard drives, so it could not recognize the large partition. Upgrade that computer to sp3.
I'm not sure what occurred when the disk was removed from the XP computer & attached back to the win7 computer. Did scandisk run on win7?
It may have been unplugged while XP was trying to figure out the partition and corruption occurred.

Don't plug it into the sp1 XP machine again until it has been upgraded.

I personally use Active@ Partition Recovery and have had success with similar problems. It was 50 bucks.
I would wait to see other users advice on how to proceed.

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#3 coxchris

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 07:54 PM

Plug it into Window 7 computer

Open a command prompt

Start>cmd and press enter

run the following command as instruction by FrankOftheMountaion

chkdsk (Drive Leter): /r

Note (Drive Letter) is K: or whichever is your external hard drive

please post the output and see if you can access it after you run check disk

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#4 FrankOtheMountaiN

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 08:03 PM

Chris,
I never tried to run scandisk to save a blown partition.
I looked at it more as a warning not to, because I have seen scandisk destroy data further.
If scandisk starts recovering what it deems to be "orphaned" files, it will start saving them in a new folder on the same drive.
My understanding is that ANY writing to a drive with a bad partition should be avoided.
I'm not a recovery expert, just sharing my experiences.

Maybe you are correct. I am not 100% sure, so I'm just throwing out a warning flag.

Edited by FrankOtheMountaiN, 15 January 2013 - 08:05 PM.


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#5 FrankOtheMountaiN

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 08:10 PM

The limit for XP SP1 hard drive partition size is 137 GB.

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#6 lolcats

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 08:21 PM

SP1 only supported smaller hard drives, so it could not recognize the large partition. Upgrade that computer to sp3.
I'm not sure what occurred when the disk was removed from the XP computer & attached back to the win7 computer. Did scandisk run on win7?
It may have been unplugged while XP was trying to figure out the partition and corruption occurred.

Don't plug it into the sp1 XP machine again until it has been upgraded.

I personally use Active@ Partition Recovery and have had success with similar problems. It was 50 bucks.
I would wait to see other users advice on how to proceed.


I think you're saying that SP1 for XP only supported smaller hard drives, but the XP computer is running SP3. The Windows 7 computer is running SP1.
When the drive was reattached to the Win 7 computer scandisk did not run, the drive seemed to have lost its file structure at that point :(
I will see about getting Active@ Partition Recovery and try running that.
I think I'm going to pass on scandisk for the time being.
I also found a free data recovery program on download.com called FileScavenger 4.0 that seems to be making a run at recovering the files on the drive.
Thanks for all the input on this.

#7 FrankOtheMountaiN

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 08:38 PM

Oh sorry there. Misread that bit. I did that once, so maybe my brain wanted to see it that way. Hope the scavenger finds all of your files.

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#8 coxchris

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 12:07 AM

Chris,
I never tried to run scandisk to save a blown partition.
I looked at it more as a warning not to, because I have seen scandisk destroy data further.
If scandisk starts recovering what it deems to be "orphaned" files, it will start saving them in a new folder on the same drive.
My understanding is that ANY writing to a drive with a bad partition should be avoided.
I'm not a recovery expert, just sharing my experiences.

Maybe you are correct. I am not 100% sure, so I'm just throwing out a warning flag.


I'm sorry for suggesting that. That was the wrong switch. Thank you for the pointing that out I appreciative your input.

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#9 lolcats

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:37 PM

Update to failed drive.

It seems that FileScavenger (free trial version) only restores up to 1GB of data. I figured I'd go ahead and see what happened.
There were several thousand files recovered and FS seems to have spread that 1GB evenly across all files.
Either that or the files were simply not recovered properly. I was hoping to get 1GB of contiguous data.
Anyway...after reporting that the files were not initially recovered with FS, user who connected drive says he actually checked Disk Management and saw that it had said it was a GPT Protected Partition.
How he says something...?

So, about that Active Partition Recovery...I have a P.O. now. Which version do I need?
Thanks again.

#10 FrankOtheMountaiN

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:52 PM

I know nothing of GPT protected partitions, but this free recovery program claims to deal with it:

http://www.catacombae.org/hfsx.html


Active@ Partition Recovery for Windows. I believe I bought a bundle that had file recovery too.
You could always call them to be sure.


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#11 lolcats

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 04:02 PM

Thanks, Frank!

I just got off the phone with a very nice woman who advised me to purchase the Pro version.
I'm going to d/l that and see if it will do what I need and I'll post the final result so this thread can be closed.
Thanks again.

#12 lolcats

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 07:31 PM

Final update on failed drive.

I purchased and ran Active @ Partition Recovery with Active@ File Recovery and I was able to recover ALL of my media! :thumbsup:
With the exception of a few video files whose properties indicate they are "Microsoft Video" as opposed to QuickTime or MPEG, MP4, everything is playing back.
I'm guessing those videos were made on a specific computer that has the necessary codec.
I already have a great program called Video Converter Factory that will convert just about any video format to any other format and I have saved the MS Video as QT
The videos are already compressed so for my purposes that is not an issue.

Thank you again for pointing me to Active @ Partition Recovery!

Moderator, please close!


Edited for spelling.

Edited by lolcats, 17 January 2013 - 07:31 PM.


#13 FrankOtheMountaiN

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 07:39 PM

Glad it worked out for you. Yes, sounds like a missing codec problem. VLC player by Videolan is awesome, and installs just about every audio/video codec you would need. It's free.

http://www.videolan.org/vlc/index.html

Active@ only lets you update for a year I think, so make sure you check for updates right before then!

Frank

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#14 lolcats

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 12:20 PM

Ooh, good to know about Active @
I just put a reminder in my Calendar for next January.
Thanks again :thumbup2:




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