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External Drive shows no folders 0 bytes


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#1 Chic Bowdrie

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 04:54 PM

It should be a simple problem to fix.  I was trying to download a portable program to an external USB drive (Seagate Free Agent).  I tried to make a new folder on the fly and XP wouldn't allow it.  I got stuck in some kind of loop trying unsuccessfully to name the folder and then cancel took me back to rename again.  Finally I cancelled the download, but folders on the external harddrive were gone.  The disk still shows 100+ GB used out of 250GB total.  I see recommendations for Recuva and Testdisk as good for file recovery.  But I didn't delete any files and nothing has been written to the disk yet.  Are either of these programs best to restore the folder and file directories?  Or maybe some other fix will do.

 

My computer is a Dell Dimension 8100 with an upgrade from Millenium to XP 10 years ago.



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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 07:57 PM

In Device Manager, how is the external drive listed. Does it have a drive letter. If not right click and assign a drive letter. If it is RAW then you either have to use TestDisk to recover the partitions or there is another piece of software called Partition Find and Mount. This will read the external and try to mount any partitions it can detect. You can then transfer the files to your computer hard drive. After that, you can reformat the drive.

 

If you use TestDisk make sure you can see your files before writing a new partiton table as explained in the link.

 

If TestDisk or Partition find and mount do not work, you will need to use recovery software like PhotoRec which scans the drive. Any data recovered will have generic file names and you will have to determine what they are.



#3 Chic Bowdrie

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 08:41 PM

In Device Manager it is Seagate FreeAgentDesktop USB Device.  It shows up in MyComputer as Drive G: as usual, but with no objects and no bytes.  However the properties show 68GB of used space (not 100+ my mistake).  Does that means it is RAW?

 

I need the directory restored so I can save anything worthwhile.  I won't be using PhotoRec as there are thousand or so files over 10 years worth.  



#4 JohnC_21

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 09:09 PM

It would say RAW in Device Manager. If it does not say that you should have a pretty good chance of recovering the directory structure in TestDisk.

 

Edit: See if Find Partition and Mount can see the directories. You should do a though scan which may take awhile.

 

raw-status-hard-drive.png


Edited by JohnC_21, 24 March 2014 - 09:10 PM.


#5 Chic Bowdrie

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 10:56 PM

I didn't look at Disk Management till just now and my G: drive doesn't show at all!

 

The intellectual scan found no partitions which there would only be one for that drive.  The drive letter didn't show either.  

 

Based on the result for my 2GB flash drive, Partition Find and Mount doesn't show folders, but it does show the file system and drive letter.  I'll do a normal scan, just to be more thorough.

 

BTW, this help is really appreciated.


Edited by Chic Bowdrie, 24 March 2014 - 11:27 PM.


#6 JohnC_21

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 08:59 AM

Have you tried rebooting the computer and then attaching your USB drive?



#7 Chic Bowdrie

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 09:29 AM

Good idea.  Unfortunately, I rebooted the computer this morning after malware scanning last night.  Now the drive doesn't show up at all.  Do you recommend I shut down, disconnect the drive, reboot, and then reconnect the drive? 



#8 JohnC_21

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 10:02 AM

Yes, try that. Can you attach the drive to another computer?



#9 Chic Bowdrie

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 12:08 PM

Well, I'm embarrassed to say all I had to do was unplug and reboot the drive.  Duh. It worked on my laptop and is now back with the desktop in the usual G: location.  All files and folders intact. 
 
Thank you JohnC. Also, My C:/ drive is old and some programs cannot be replaced without great time and expense.  Can I use the Find and Mount or any other program(s) to make a copy of my C drive and then replace it with a brand new drive?  I only have 40 GB drive that I have to clean constantly to keep enough free space available.  A new computer is out of the question right now because of the irreplaceable programs I use.
 
I'm glad to learn about this forum and all the tools I can use to keep my XP system going in perpetuity.


#10 JohnC_21

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 12:19 PM

If you plan on replacing the drive, I recommend you download and install Macrium Free. It will create a system image that can be used to restore to a new bare drive. It allows you to create a bootable disk, either linux based or WinPE base (small download required) that will let you restore your image to a bare drive. Just make sure that after you create the bootable disk, test it and be sure your external drive which will have the backup image is detected. You can also use it to restore your computer in case it no longer boots because of malware or some other problem except a bad hard drive of course.

 

I would recommend you download Macrium Free from Softpedia

 

http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/Back-Up-and-Recovery/Macrium-Reflect-Free-Edition.shtml

 

Edit: I am Glad your data was intact.


Edited by JohnC_21, 25 March 2014 - 12:21 PM.


#11 Chic Bowdrie

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 02:01 PM

Wow, that's exactly what I wanted to hear.  You're the man!



#12 Chic Bowdrie

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 12:32 AM

JohnC_21,

 

I wasn't able to create a rescue disk with Macrium Reflex.  It looks like a nifty tool, but it seems to need "reparse points" on the drive to be imaged.  Reparse points are for NTFS drives and mine is FAT32.  Now I have to ask if there's any other software to make a rescue disk.  

 

Just to be sure, is it possible to create/store the image on my external drive which is NTFS?  Being a novice, I'm just flying blind here.  However, the Macrium forum indicates others are having problems making rescue disks.

 

A new computer would be nice but won't help preserve my unreplaceable programs.



#13 JohnC_21

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 07:50 AM

Are you saying the hard drive that has the OS is on a FAT32 partition? I know it is possible to backup and restore an image to and from an external drive that is NTFS because I have done it. The linux rescue iso is in the directory of Macrium Free. I do not know the exact location but I can look for it. If you find it, burn the iso file with something like isoburner. Then boot it and see if can detect your FAT32 and NTFS drives.

 

As a note: I do not think you could create the WinPE rescue disk on a FAT32 partition.



#14 OldPhil

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 08:45 AM

What about cloning the old drive to the new drive?


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#15 Chic Bowdrie

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Posted 29 March 2014 - 12:07 PM

JohnC, yes my OS drive is FAT32 (vintage 2000).  Did you say you have backed up a FAT32 drive to NTFS with Macrium?  This is what I want to do, but reluctant to do without a rescue disk.  Am I too paranoid?  (BTW, I tried to backup to another external FAT32 using XP and that failed.) I'm not familiar with linux, but if that's a way to make a rescue disk, I'll go there.  Thanks. 
 
OldPhil, an image is as good as a clone, right?  My concern is knowing that I can recover from whatever I do and that's why I focused on making a rescue disk right now.  Eventually, I think I will clone to another computer with a bigger/newer drive maybe even one formatted to NTFS.   I being too cautious probably?  Never done this stuff before.





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