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Can't Access External Hard Drive!


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27 replies to this topic

#1 Toraneko

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Posted 15 July 2016 - 02:19 AM

Hi all,

 

I really need some help here. I have a HP Windows 10 PC and store a lot of things on a Seagate 5TB external hard drive.

Something went terribly wrong though and I can no longer access any data on it. When you plug in the USB cable the

PC will assign it a drive letter and the icon appears, though there is no other data like how much space is available on it

etc. Right clicking and choosing Properties just brings up a generic page with Zero listed for data used and available.

 

I have close to 3TB of family photos, video etc on it - nothing irreplaceable, but it would be a massive migraine in

finding and restoring everything. I went to the Seagate website and downloaded a program which is currently scanning

the whole drive - in fact it's taking nearly 48 hours straight to read it all. Since it can see something there, it seems to

me that physical damage to the drive is not the problem. But if that's what the program concludes, Seagate will require

me to pay $100 for their data recovery software.

 

Much less than a data recovery company of course, but I'm just wondering if there is another way...maybe even

something without the blackmailish price tag?

 

Thanks for any help.



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#2 Havachat

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Posted 15 July 2016 - 03:40 AM

Hopefully when you finish your scan the Drive comes up Ok.

If so you can try Recuva   https://www.piriform.com/recuva   and retrieve your files.

 

Also stop using the drive as any Read / Write will overwrite Data , and limit success of retrieval. 


Edited by Havachat, 15 July 2016 - 03:41 AM.


#3 JohnC_21

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Posted 15 July 2016 - 09:52 AM

If Recuva does not detect the disk can your provide a screenshot of the attached drive in Disk Management? Right click Computer > Manager > Disk Management.



#4 Toraneko

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Posted 15 July 2016 - 03:18 PM

Hi,

Thanks for the replies. I actually know of Recuva, but only thought of it as an undelete program.

 

Now things just got A LOT WORSE.

 

I downloaded Recuva and installed it, and then plugged in a 2TB travel drive I have - I thought that I could at least

get some of the data off of the Seagate onto it. Then the same thing happened to it as the Seagate - the drive icon

appeared and was given a letter, and that was it. Two days ago when I plugged it in it was perfect.

 

I think the PC is corrupting the drives when I plug them in.

 

I have another computer, a laptop, so the first thing I did was plug the drives into it - no luck. The directory or

something is corrupted and the drive in unusable. So I can load up Recuva onto the laptop and try to get the data

off of the Seagate that way. The travel drive was new with nothing on it, so nothing is lost. But right now I don't want

to plug in USB anything with a memory into the PC - not even an SD card - they will mostly likely get corrupted as

well.

 

I've run a full virus check as well as Malwarebytes but so far nothing.

 

Any idea on how to fix this problem? I am at my wits end. Also since the drives don't appear to be the actual problem,

if or when I can get the data off, can I re-format them by right-clicking and choosing 'format' to make them usable again?

 

Thanks again for all your help.



#5 JohnC_21

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Posted 15 July 2016 - 03:34 PM

See if you can mount the drives with a linux distro. Sometimes this is successful where Windows fails. Download Fatdog64, burn the iso file Fatdog64-702.iso to disk or use Rufus to create a bootable USB flash drive. If you see FreeDos in the dropdown box select iso image and browse to the fatdog iso file. Backup any data on the flash drive. Boot to the Fatdog Desktop. Attach your corrupted drive. You should see a USB icon appear on the desktop. Click once on it and the drive should mount and a File Manager open showing your Files.

 

I would avoid using chkdsk on a drive that has a corrupted file system as that can make things worse. When the USB drive is attached how is the drive listed in Disk Management?



#6 Toraneko

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Posted 16 July 2016 - 02:53 AM

Hi, Thanks for the reply.

I will keep that as a back-up if the Recuva does't work. It will take about 10 hours for it to

scan the drive. At first, it refused to recognize the drive letter, then I told it to scan for any

external device. The normal scan failed, so I need to use the deep scan.

 

It just finished but I'm not sure I did it right. Out of thousands of files it only found a few - did

it just undelete old files I got rid of?

 

Any idea on how to fix the OS so it stops doing this every time I plug in a new USB drive

or card?

 

And am I correct in thinking with the Fatdog I'd need to get into Setup to change the Boot order

so it will start from a CD or USB drive?

 

I'm uploading the disk management photo (Drive E). I noticed it shows healthy but not active.

Way back when I remember some problem I had like this where I right clicked to activate it

and suddenly it was live again. Is this the same case?

 

Thanks again a lot.

Attached Files



#7 JohnC_21

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Posted 16 July 2016 - 06:47 AM

Drive E is listed a RAW which indicates you have lost the partition table. Forget about Fatdog. 

 

Download Testdisk for Windows. Not the 64bit version. Unzip to a folder on the desktop. Run the program and do a quick scan per the step by step guide. On any partition found highlight it with the arrow key and then press the "P" key. Are your files listed. If so then post back. If no partitions are found then do a deeper scan. Highlight any partition found and press the "P" key. If you see any of your files you can copy them back to the computer. The default location is the folder you unzipped TestDisk to. You can select all files but you would need at least that amount of space on the computer. You can select certain directories/files by pressing the ":" key and then the upper case "C" key. Do not write anything back to the external. Your first priority is to recover any files then if possible write a new partition table. 

 

If Testdisk says it cannot recover any data then rerun and select Advanced > Boot from the menu. Post a screenshot.

 

http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk_Step_By_Step

https://www.cgsecurity.org/Download_and_donate.php/testdisk-7.0.win.zip

 

If your 2TB travel drive is also marked as RAW do not attach anything to the HP Windows 10 PC. 


Edited by JohnC_21, 16 July 2016 - 07:05 AM.


#8 Toraneko

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 05:57 AM

Hi,

I managed to get the program running, and am starting to recover my data....but it looks like it will be

all night and longer. I will get back to you.

 

Thanks again.



#9 Toraneko

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 01:19 AM

Hi,

OK I managed to get some of my data recovered (Thanks a million). But I am not sure what

to do to get the rest of it. As you can see in the screen cap I've enclosed, it shows 1 directory DVD,

but there are a lot more. What should I do now?

 

Thanks again.

Attached Files



#10 JohnC_21

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 06:53 AM

First do the following. Click on the Advanced Menu then Boot. Post a screenshot. 

 

Edit: Also under the Advanced Options is a List Option. Using List do you see more than one directory?

 

From your image it seems you are at the root of your external with only the DVD directory detected. If you only did a Quick Search you will need to do a Deeper Search and hope Testdisk finds your directories. A Deeper Search will take a Long time on your hard drive but do not do this until posting a screenshot of the Advanced > Boot screen

 

If Testdisk does not find any additional directories after a Deeper Search then you will need to scan the drive with something like Easeus Data Recovery or MiniTools Data Recovery. Not being able to find the rest of the directory structure indicates a possible bad MFT. 

 

If they cannot find your data then you may need to consult a professional data recovery service which is not cheap. DriveSavers is one of the better ones.


Edited by JohnC_21, 18 July 2016 - 07:12 AM.


#11 Toraneko

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 04:03 PM

Hi,

OK. as you requested, here are the screenshots.

The 2nd one I saw previously - as I said, it only shows DVD. There should be a lot more

at the top.

 

Thanks again.

Attached Files



#12 JohnC_21

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 04:25 PM

In your first image select Repair MFT and post a screenshot of the next screen. Thanks.

 

Have you only done a Quick Search or have you also done a Deeper Search.



#13 Toraneko

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 06:21 PM

Hi,

I am getting a question. Which should I select?

 

Also I've only done the Quick Search so far.

 

Thanks.

Attached Files



#14 JohnC_21

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 06:31 PM

I would click N because it wants to fix the MFT mirror (a backup) using your MFT file which may be corrupt. I would start a Deeper Search but this is going to take a long time so be patient.

 

Edit: Was your 2TB travel drive also listed as RAW?


Edited by JohnC_21, 18 July 2016 - 06:33 PM.


#15 Toraneko

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 07:07 PM

Hi,

OK I clicked No and it sent be back to the previous screen testdisk4. So I will try the deep search. Getting the data off of the

DVD folder took 14 hours. We'll see how long this scan takes....

Also the 2TB wasn't messed before up but it is now - same thing, showing RAW. I ordered a new WD 5TB drive from B&H and UPS

just delivered it today. But I don't dare plug it into this computer.....

Thx.






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